Fraser Forster put in a stellar performance as the Saints held on for a nil-nil at the Emirates on Tuesday night. Their recent resurgence means they are up to seventh and just one place below West Ham, with both teams very much in the reckoning for a European finish and certainly having an eye on Man Utd’s current fifth spot.
Defensive excellence has become standard since Ronald Koeman took charge of Southampton and no side has conceded fewer goals since the start of last season. This is the second time in that spell they’ve kept four consecutive clean sheets and midweek was the third time in a row that Arsenal have failed to score against them. However, they don’t have the best of records against West Ham, with just one win in seven meetings since 2012/13 as all three matches at St Mary’s finished level including two ending goalless.
West Ham’s form is excellent; they’ve won four of their last six and have lost just one of their last 11. Furthermore, they’ve recorded an impressive W3-D1-L1 record at the current top eight this season while keeping three clean sheets. They’ve certainly improved from previous seasons, with Dimitri Payet bringing flair and creativity to a solid spine that is supplemented by decent options off the bench. It’ll certainly be hard for Southampton to break them down and given the Saints have won just two of their last 13 home games against teams placed 3rd-9th they look too short for the win, with the West Ham-Draw Double Chance looking a very good price at 2.30.
With both teams being very solid at the back under-goals looks likely. 11 of Southampton’s last 15 matches have had fewer than three goals as have nine of the Hammers’ last 14. With this fixture not having seen a goal since 2013 it could pay to take the Under 1.5 line at 3.20. However, with goals likely to be at a premium and two well matched sides we’ll stick with our preference for West Ham in the outcome markets.
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