West Ham United and Southampton have both suffered difficult starts to the 2016/17 season, so this Premier League match takes on extra importance as neither side can afford any more slip ups. As well as being knocked out of the Europa League before the group stages had even begun, West Ham have taken just three points from five league games, while Southampton haven’t fared much better, taking five points out of a possible 15.
West Ham v Southampton Tips
Betting tips: Southampton will score at least twice
West Ham’s defence has been so bad at the start of this season that they have already conceded 13 goals in just five matches. If they were to keep up this rate of conceding for a full season then they would have let in a whopping 99 goals by the end of the campaign, 23 more than last season’s worst defence – which was Aston Villa – let in. In this current Premier League season, only Stoke have conceded more times than the Hammers so far.
As such, Southampton should be able to exploit their opponent’s defensive woes to score at least a couple of goals. Saints may have only scored four Premier League goals so far, but they put three past Sparta Prague in the Europa League to show that they are capable of taking advantage of weak defences. In both of West Ham’s last two matches they conceded four times to Watford and to West Bromwich, so it is certainly a reasonable bet to expect at least two away goals in this match given that West Ham’s back line can these days be classified as ‘weak’.
Prediction: This match will be level at half-time
In the five Premier League matches that each of these teams have played already this season, neither of these teams has yet enjoyed a half-time lead. Both teams have gone into the dressing room at the interval in a losing position on two occasions, while they have both been level at the break on three occasions.
It is a difficult match to predict given how evenly poor both teams have been to start the season, but one thing that would be far from surprising would be for this one to remain level at the break.