Get ready for Southampton's final Premier League away day at West Ham this Saturday by checking out our in-depth match preview, in association with SportPesa...
West Ham vs Saints
Saturday 4th May (3pm BST)
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Stephen Child, Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
To the untrained eye, not a lot but that certainly won’t wash with a team coached by Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Safety was secured with three games remaining against Bournemouth last weekend, a worthy prize but their half-season turnaround, but the Austrian will be left still wanting more from his squad.
What comes next for Saints begins tomorrow, not once the season has finished. Everyone wants to end the campaign on a high particularly those looking to stake their claim in the manager’s thoughts.
Those feelings will resonate with Saturday’s hosts West Ham who were never really in danger nor threatened to break into the top half. Victory at Spurs last time out demonstrated the quality at Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal; if they blow hot, Saints will need to be at their very best to leave with a positive result.
West Ham: Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Aaron Cresswell, who missed out on last weekend’s win at Spurs, could be in contention for Saturday’s match but the Irons will be without Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll.
Southampton: Defensive pair Maya Yoshida and Jannik Vestergaard will miss out for a second consecutive week, with the latter’s season now likely to be over.
Mario Lemina and Stuart Armstrong each made cameos from the bench of late and are in firm contention to start in the capital. Hasenhüttl hinted at one or two changes to his side without unnecessary total overhaul.
West Ham’s last five:
Tottenham (a) W 1-0 (Antonio)
Leicester (h) D 2-2 (Antonio, Perez)
Man Utd (a) L 2-1 (Anderson)
Chelsea (a) L 2-0
Everton (h) L 2-0
Southampton’s last five:
Bournemouth (h) D 3-3 (Long, Ward-Prowse, Targett)
Watford (a) D 1-1 (Long)
Newcastle (a) L 3-1 (Lemina)
Wolves (h) W 3-1 (Redmond 2, Long)
Liverpool (h) L 3-1 (Long)
Manuel Pellegrini: "For me, it’s been a quiet season. If you compare it to last season for this club it’s very different because, eight or nine games before the end, we’re not in a relegation battle. After that, if we win the next two games that we must play, then we can finish better.
"I think all of us must demand more of ourselves and improve for this club. This season has been okay, and a lot of new players came in, and maybe we had too many players injured, but we were always fighting around mid-table. It is not a bad season, but next season I hope we can improve."
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "It's now a new situation for us, not with big pressure anymore for our team, but that doesn't mean that we will lean back.
"We want to take as many points as possible. The first game, against West Ham, gives us a chance to substitute a few players maybe if we want, players who have not played that often but have trained very hard.
"We were successful as a team, and I was always speaking about everybody having his job and his role in this team, and I think that's the reason why we now are maybe thinking about giving one or two others of the players a chance to play."
Back in December, Ralph Hasenhüttl stressed that he would need every member of his squad to help pull Saints out of trouble and their push to safety has seen any number of players step up and deliver when needed.
Consistently, it has been Nathan Redmond, followed by James Ward-Prowse – at least as far as scoring and creating chances goes – and Shane Long has been the latest to click into gear.
The Irishman’s nomination for the Premier League player of the month was fully justified; the 11th-minute opener against Bournemouth was his fourth in five games in April and third on the spin at St Mary’s.
For the Hammers, supporters rarely remain in their seats when Felipe Anderson is in-form, the Brazilian single-handedly took the game away from Saints with a brace at the end of last year.
Perhaps the most consistent player this season has been young midfielder Declan Rice. Only 19 at the start of the campaign, he has been one of the first names on the teamsheet and made the defensive midfield role his own.
During the season he has also become and England international, matching higher-profile names in midfield battles throughout the season.
West Ham: 39
Previous five meetings:
October 2018: Southampton 1-2 West Ham
March 2018: West Ham 3-0 Southampton
August 2017: Southampton 3-2 West Ham
February 2017: Southampton 1-3 West Ham
September 2016: West Ham 0-3 Southampton
DID YOU KNOW?
- Southampton have scored in each of their last nine Premier League games – they last found the net in 10 consecutive top-flight matches between September-December 2002 under Gordon Strachan (a run of 12).
- 24 of Southampton’s 36 Premier League games have seen both teams score this season – only Manchester United (25) have had this happen in more.
- West Ham have won just one of their last five Premier League games (D1 L3), though it did come last time out at Spurs. They’ve not won back-to-back league games since a run of four in December.
NOT AT THE GAME?
If you're not on the road with Saints on Saturday, don't worry, as we’ll be here to bring you all of the action, as well as a host of behind-the-scenes access.
Check out our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com, with all of the live in-game updates and free audio commentary of the match.
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