West Ham are finally getting into their groove after an excellent 1-0 away win against London rivals Tottenham last time out. The result felt like it had been coming after a good performance in the previous away defeat to Manchester United.
Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini will want to build on some good recent displays, and a game against Southampton, who have secured Premier League safety, should be a great opportunity to secure another three points.
West Ham’s injury list remains pretty long but Aaron Cresswell should be back in contention after training this week following a knee injury. Samir Nasri (calf) and Manuel Lanzini (groin) do remain doubts for Saturday’s game.
Forward Marko Arnautovic did have to be substituted in the win over Spurs due to a muscular problem, but Pellegrini confirmed it was a minor issue that shouldn’t stop him from playing.
Carlos Sanchez is closing in on a first-team return. The Colombian has been out since September with a knee injury but he played for the Under 23s in the 2-1 win over Everton on Wednesday.
Andy Carroll (ankle), Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles) and Winston Reid (knee) are out for the remainder of the season.
West Ham’s Predicted XI To Face Southampton:
Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Anderson, Antonio, Arnautovic
For Southampton, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl may have to do without Jan Vestergaard. The giant Dane may need to undergo surgery on a groin problem that has kept him out of the Saints’ last three matches.
Another centre-back Maya Yoshida could, though, be back in the squad after missing the 3-3 draw against Bournemouth with illness. Keeper Alex McCarthy (knock) and Michael Obafemi (hamstring) remain on the treatment table.
Southampton’s Predicted XI:
Gunn, Valery, Yoshida, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Long
The bookies have the Hammers as favourites for this one with Unibet currently pricing them at 27/20 for the win. A draw is 21/10 at BetVictor while a Southampton victory is 11/4 at the same bookmaker.
Predicted Score – 1-1