West Ham United v Southampton Cheat Sheet
West Ham United v Southampton
Sunday afternoon sees Southampton travel to West Ham in what is a crunch game at the bottom of the table with both of these teams coming into this game in the relegation zone. The home side have won just six games this season but five of these have been at the London Stadium and they will hope to find another victory here. The visitors are rock bottom of the table but they have lost just one of their last four in the league and are just two points behind Leicester in 17th coming into this round of fixtures so they are not dead and buried yet.
West Ham fans are bitterly disappointed with their campaign so far this season and a loss here could spell the end for David Moyes’ career as the Hammers’ boss. They are through to the quarterfinals of the Conference League and have a matchup with Gent to come but they are in the relegation zone and faith is faltering amongst West Ham supporters. However, in all competitions they have not lost in five here, winning three in that time, and they have picked up 18 of their 24 points this season here. A similar result here could jump them up to as high as 12th if other results go their way this weekend, showing just how tight the Premier League is this season. The Hammers also have at least one game in hand on every other team in the bottom half, and two over Crystal Palace, Wolves, Everton and Sunday’s opponents Southampton. Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and Michail Antonio are both doubts coming into this one but both have a good chance of being available here. If the Polish keeper is unavailable, Alphonse Areola will come in in goal ahead of him.
Southampton have been very disappointing this season and are in trouble at the foot of the table. They are now onto their third manager of the season having already sacked Nathan Jones and Ralph Hassenhuttl this season and Ruben Selles is now in charge. Results have improved since the Spaniard has taken charge, winning two (Chelsea and Leicester), drawing two (Manchester United and Spurs) and losing two (Leeds and Brentford) of his six league games in charge. The Spaniard can take confidence that despite being bottom, they are not cut adrift and they remain just four points behind Crystal Palace in 12th. Last time out a 93rd minute James Ward-Prowse penalty made sure the away side recovered from 3-1 down with 15 minutes to go against Spurs, which led to an Antonio Conte rant for the visiting side that day. Armel Bella-Kotchap and Jan Bednarek were both taken off in the first half in that game, and whilst the Polish centre-back broke his ribs, he played for his country in the international break following pain-killing injections. Che Adams and Mohammed Salisu are both doubts as well. Juan Larios and Valentino Livramento are both out.
Said Benrahma is West Ham’s joint top scorer in the Premier League this season, along with Jarrod Bowen on four goals, despite playing 901 fewer minutes than the Englishman. He has had 50 shots with 16 on target in his 1429 minutes, an average of 3.15 shots per 90 (1.01 on target). In the 19 matches where he has played 59 minutes or more this season, he has had 56 shots (2.95 per game) with 20 of those on target – just over one per game.
This selection has landed in 14 of them. In his last four matches that he has played 59 or more minutes, the forward has scored twice and got three assists, amassing 15 shots with eight on target. This selection landed in all four. The Algerian also has an exemplary record on penalties, scoring all three of his attempts this season, and is also the free kick taker for the London club. He has started four times against Aston Villa (including in the Championship with Brentford), having 15 shots in those games and at least one shot on target in three of them.
Aaron Cresswell has attempted 1109 passes this season, the second most of any West Ham player (behind Declan Rice) despite only playing 1578 minutes, an average of 63.25 attempts per game. The defender has started 22 games in all competitions, attempting at least 50 passes in 17 of those matches. The five matches he did not attempt 50 or more were Arsenal (37), Crystal Palace (49), Wolves (39), Tottenham (36) and Manchester City (27). Three of those teams are currently in the top four and so West Ham would have seen less of the ball in those games, but they should see more here.
Southampton’s opponents this season have attempted 14948 passes this season – a number only beaten by five teams, and they tend to see just 45.1% of the ball in their games. In three of Ruben Selles’ six league matches in charge, they have seen 40% or less of the ball. Chelsea managed 61% of the ball, Leeds 60% and Manchester United (who had ten men for most of the game) had 47%.
Aaron Cresswell has played Southampton nine times. He has attempted at least 46 passes in eight of those games (most recent eight), and this selection has landed in six of the nine. In the three home games he has played against the Saints, he has attempted 159 passes, completing 99 of those. The return fixture saw the full back complete 60 of his 84 passes attempted – meaning that this selection landed comfortably.
Jan Bednarek has had to fight his way into the Southampton side this, having been sent out on loan to Aston Villa at the start of the season – where he was out of favour. However, since the second leg defeat at Newcastle in the EFL Cup in January, he has started nine games. Excluding the game against Tottenham (where he played just 33 minutes due to injury), he has committed 12 fouls at an average of 1.5 fouls per game with this selection landing in six and the Polish international has given away two or more fouls in 62.5% of those matches.
In his career, the centre-back has played against West Ham seven times. He has committed at least one foul in six of the seven games and at least two in four of them. The defender has been shown three yellow cards, including one in each of his last visits to the London Stadium (committing two fouls in both of those). He is priced at 7/4 to commit two or more fouls and 11/4 for another booking at this ground.
At home this season, West Ham have had 69 corners and conceded just 48 – a discrepancy of 1.62 corners more per match. They have had at least five corners in over half (54% of their matches) and at least seven in 31%. Their last five games here have been particularly impressive in terms of their corner counts. They have averaged 8.20 corners per game, having at least four corners in all of them and at least eight in three of the five. Across the season, they have conceded five or more corners in just 31% of games here and conceded seven or more just once. Their opponents have had just three or more corners in five of the last ten here.
Southampton average 3.43 corners per game away from home, conceding an average of 6.50. They have had three or more corners in just 64% of matches and five or more in just over one in every five (21%). In 71% of their games they have conceded six or more corners and in exactly half they have conceded seven or more, including in three of their last five and six of their last ten. Their three away matches under Ruben Selles have seen 24 corners conceded, with at least seven against in each of them. They conceded four corners in the second half alone at Old Trafford against a ten-man Manchester United.
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