By 90Min
December 25, 2018

Southampton host West Ham United on Thursday, in what is shaping up to be a Christmas cracker of a match at St Mary's.

The Saints head into the game in a buoyant mood, with their enigmatic new manager leading his side to two straight wins on the bounce. The Hammers are also having a decent time of it, having won four of their last five matches.

Henry Browne/GettyImages

With Southampton eager to continue their push up the table, and the Hammers setting their sights on Europa League qualification, it should be a festive treat of a footballing encounter.

Check out 90min's preview of the hotly anticipated Premier League battle below.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick-Off? Wednesday 26th December
What Time Is Kick-Off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Being Played? St Mary's Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Soccer Special/BT Sport Score
Referee? Craig Pawson

Team News

The Saints are without Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who is set to miss the game through suspension. The game is likely to come too soon for Ryan Bertrand (back injury) to make his return, while Cedric Soares is a doubt with a knee injury.

For the Hammers, fox-in-the-box Javier Hernández is a doubt with a hamstring complaint, while Fabián Balbuena is also a doubt with a knee injury. Marko Arnautović is still out (hamstring), along with Lucas Pérez (foot).

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Jack Wilshere, Ryan Fredericks (both ankle), Carlos Sanchez Winston Reid (both knee) and Manuel Lanzini (ACL) are also unavailable.


Predicted Lineups

Southampton McCarthy; Valery, Yoshida, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Targett, Romeu, Lemina, Armstong, Redmond, Ings.
West Ham United Fabianski; Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Diop, Masuaku; Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Felipe Anderson; Antonio, Carroll

Head to Head Record

There's not been a draw in the last six outings between the sides, with both teams picking up three wins a piece. Last season, the match at St Mary's saw the Saints emerge victorious in a five-goal thriller, with Charlie Austin's last-gasp penalty giving his side a 3-2 win over the Hammers.

AFP Contributor/GettyImages

West Ham won the last game between the two sides back in March, strolling to a comprehensive 3-0 win at the London Stadium, with a Marko Arnautović helping them on their way.


Recent Form

With Mark Hughes sent packing, Southampton have looked a far better side under their new manager. Hasenhüttl's side have won two games on the trot, and are now three points clear of the relegation zone after priceless wins against Arsenal and Huddersfield Town.

Despite losing to Watford last time out, the Hammers have picked up a solid 17 points from their last ten matches. With the host of new summer signings appearing to have gelled in recent weeks, and the side scoring goals seemingly for fun, it's a grand old time to be an Irons fan.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

Here's how the two sides have faired in their last five fixtures:

Southampton West Ham United
Huddersfield Town 1-3 Southampton (22/12)
West Ham 0-2 Watford (22/12)
Southampton 3-2 Arsenal (16/12) Fulham 0-2 West Ham (15/12)
Cardiff City 1-0 Southampton (08/12) West Ham 3-2 Crystal Palace (8/12) 
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Southampton (05/12) West Ham 3-1 Cardiff City (04/12)
Southampton 2-2 Manchester United (01/12) Newcastle 0-3 West Ham (01/12)

Predictions

This fixture absolutely reeks of goals. In their past five meetings there's been 16 of them. With both sides favouring an adventurous style of football, it's likely to be a real ding dong battle between the two sides.

Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

West Ham are very, very good on the road this season, but a vibrant St Mary's atmosphere is likely to galvanise the hosts. Therefore, it's looking like it'll be an entertaining, high scoring draw.


Prediction: Southampton 2-2 West Ham

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