West Ham v Southampton - Sunday 16:00, Sky Sports 1
West Ham are really struggling at the moment having lost four of their opening five matches, with their previous two games lost 4-2 against Watford and West Brom. These aren’t exactly high-flyers and are teams West Ham ought to beat if they want to fulfill their ambitions for this season. They’ve now conceded 11 goals in their last three matches and had to rely on the magic of Dimitri Payet to bail them out with a 96th minute free-kick against League Two Accrington Stanley in the League Cup. The Hammers are overly reliant on the Frenchman and the headed goals of Michail Antonio, who scored his fifth of the season against West Brom.
Southampton have finally found their groove, with Claude Puel’s side registering three consecutive wins across all competitions. The departures of Saido Mane and Graziano Pelle as well as the profligacy of Shane Long left them short of goals during the opening weeks of the campaign, but Charlie Austin appears to have stepped up to the plate with four goals to help the Saints to these victories. Southampton recorded their first clean sheet in 17 Premier League games against Swansea, whilst Crystal Palace were seen off in the League Cup without really having to get into second gear. It is also worth mentioning that Southampton’s two defeats so far this season have come away against elite teams in Man Utd and Arsenal.
West Ham under Slaven Bilic have been a very attacking side and especially at home, where there have been at least four goals in six of their last seven matches. With Southampton finding their scoring boots we think that over 3.5 goals looks exceptional value at 3.5, whilst Michail Antonio could benefit from Southampton’s weak defending on the flanks and so represents decent value to be the first goalscorer at 8.5.