The London stadium is the venue for this crucial relegation 6 pointer between West Ham United and Southampton. The home side, who have arguably underachieved more than any other team this season, desperately need to take 3 points from a Saints outfit who are one of the hot favourites to go down. There is sure to be a nervous and tense atmosphere inside the ground.
There really is so much on the line here. Both sides will have to come out and play, and that’s a recipe for a game that’s great for a bet builder. I’ve sorted a Stats Pack for the clash below, and if you want to increase your chances of winning, then why not check out my Stats Pack Guide whilst you’re at it.
West Ham do have some injury doubts ahead of the game. First choice goalkeeper Fabianski is likely still out, so Alphonse Areola probably gets the gloves again. There are doubts to 3 of the 4 projected starters at the back with Palmieri, Aguerd and Coufal all nursing knocks. However, the expectation is that all three will be able to lineup in the XI.
Southampton have some injury problems of their own with centre back Armel Bella-Kotchap ruled out with a shoulder problem, with Mohammed Salisu touch-and-go after not featuring for Ghana in the recent international break. Striker Che Adams limped out of Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifying match vs Cyprus with a calf problem and may not be back in time.
West Ham average 0.92 goals per game and have underachieved significantly compared to their xG of 1.29. Their xGA of 1.21 is very close to their goals conceded mark. The Hammers average more shots (12.69) than their opponents (11.81) but have conceded a large proportion of shots on target. They have lacked accuracy themselves, testing the keeper just 3.23 times per game.
David Moyes’ men average 5.50 corners per game which is slightly on the high side. They’ve only conceded 4.73 in each fixture and done well to limit their opponents in this regard. Cards have definitely been on the low side in West Ham games at just 2.77. The Hammers themselves have been an extremely clean team and racked up just 1.27 cards per game.
Southampton goal stats don’t make for great reading. They have scored just 0.82 goals per game and conceded 1.64. They have been underachieving at both ends of the field compared to their xG and xGA metrics, but this is legitimately a bad team. Saints simply don’t find the target enough at 3.46 times per game which is one of their main weaknesses.
The south coast outfit have only averaged 4.32 corners per game which is definitely on the low side. They have conceded an average of 5.21 to their opponents. Cards have been quite middling in Saints fixtures (3.72) with a very mixed bag both for and against. With referee Paul Tierney averaging 3.57 cards per game this particular department looks difficult to predict here in east London.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
The theme with West Ham players is poor accuracy. Said Benrahma averages 3.15 shots per 90 mins but only a third of them have been on target. The trio of Paqueta, Ings and Bowen all average around 2 shots per game but only around 25% accuracy, which is disappointing.
For those looking for players who might pull the trigger once in this game then Palmieri or Soucek could be worth considering.
Southampton are another poor team in terms of accuracy. Sekou Mara is expected to start this game and averages 3.19 shots per 90 mins but only 0.60 have been on target. Perhaps getting a start might improve his finishing though rather than having to snatch at substitute appearances.
Walcott, Elyounoussi and Alcaraz all like to shoot but can’t be relied upon to hit the target. James Ward Prowse surprisingly only averages 1.29 shots per 90 mins despite being on penalty and set piece duty.
Player Goals and Assists
Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen lead the West Hams scoring charts, but only with 4 goals each. The simple fact is that the Hammers have lacked goals all season and nobody else really sticks out in this department. Benrahma also leads them with assists, but only has three. Bowen at times shows glimpses that he might be returning to form, but he is inconsistent.
The biggest threat for Southampton is talisman James Ward-Prowse who has netted 7 goals and provided 2 assists. He is on penalty duties and also all set pieces. He is technically one of the best players in the Premier League from a dead ball situation.
However, with Che Adams likely ruled out then other potential scorers for the Saints look bleak. They have desperately lacked firepower this season.
West Ham only average 43.50% possession and are known for sitting back and then counter-attacking under David Moyes. Midfielder Declan Rice is the obvious stand-out player for potential passes. He is the engine and heartbeat of the team and averages close to 60 passes per 90 mins, an impressive figure considering West Ham’s overall possession numbers.
Similar to West Ham, the man to look for in the Southampton passing market is talisman James Ward-Prowse. They only average 45% possession overall, but he racks up 50.5 passes per 90 mins.
It is worth noting that under Ruben Selles that Saints have averaged at least 50% of the ball in all of their last three Premier League matches, including a whopping 66% vs Brentford. If they do control proceedings then both Salisu or Bednarek could come into contention for 50 or more passes.
West ham Cards
The London outfit have been quite a clean team this season. Nobody has more than four cards with Paqueta, Kehrer, Coufal and Rice topping that list equally. Paqueta averages 2.19 fouls per 90 mins, whilst Kehrer is another candidate for fouls. Declan Rice has generally played am efficient and clean game this season and for someone in his position an average of just 0.73 fouls per 90 mins feels quite low.
Sekou Mara averages nearly 5 dribbles per game so could be an obvious foul magnet here. He’s set to start upfront and will be tricky to deal with. Both Alcaraz and Walker-Peters also have high dribbling rates so could be potentially tricky customers for the Hammers. In midfield, Lavia is fouled 2.30 times per 90 mins and is an obvious contender to get involved with challenges.
Match-Ups to watch
Thilo Kehrer vs Sekou Mara
Lucas Paqueta vs Romeo Lavia
Declan Rice vs Carlos Alcaraz
Romeo Lavia leads the Saints for cards with six and is the obvious candidate to get stuck in here. Both Salisu and Ward-Prowse are also contenders to go into the referees book or produce at least one foul.
Left back Romain Perraud might have one of the toughest matchups here considering Jarrod Bowen will cut in from his side. He averages 1.51 fouls per 90 mins and could be in for a testing afternoon.
Jarrod Bowen is an elusive player and his high dribbling rate of 3.05 makes him an ideal foul magnet. The opposition will have to deal with him and Perraud may well bear the brunt of his skills.
Another player with a high dribbling rate (5.97) is Said Benrahma. He will have to be marshalled by Walker-Peters. Danny Ings is a physical centre forward and will be a handful for any of the Saints defenders to deal with.
Match-Ups to watch
Romain Perraud vs Jarrod Bowen
Romeo Lavia vs Danny Ings
Kyle Walker Peters vs Said Benrahma
My bet Builder Picks of the pack
With so much on the line in this relegation 6 pointer, you can expect plenty of action across the park. There are plenty of value selections here, and you can find my bet builder picks at odds of 4/1 below.