West Ham visit St. Mary’s tonight on the back of an impressive away campaign so far this season. In August West Ham were beaten at Liverpool and Arsenal. They went through September unbeaten on the road but they suffered an away day set back in October with a 1-0 defeat at Brighton.
Good Form on the Road
Just 3 away defeats all season and Manuel Pellegrini’s team have won four of their last 5 games although they lost 0-2 to Watford last weekend. Long-term injuries rob them of Winston Reid, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere and Manuel Lanzini. Marko Arnautovic, who seemed to take so much pleasure scoring against his old Stoke boss Mark Hughes the last time these two teams met, also sits this one out with his injured hamstring. Despite that West Ham should have enough quality especially with 25 year old Brazilian Felipe Anderson pulling the strings in midfield along with 31 years old Robert Snodgrass. Snodgrass loves playing against Saints and has scored against them 4 times.
Good Feel Factor?
As for Saints, they’re on a roll with back to back wins. Away at Huddersfield last time out and at home to Arsenal before that. Three goals in both games were a bit of a rarity for Saints and it remains to be seen if the ‘Good Feel Factor,’ created by new Austrian boss Ralph Hasenhüttl, can keep that going. Saints haven’t scored 3 or more, top-flight goals in consecutive games, since the 1980/81 season. On Boxing Day that season, they did manage a 4-4 draw at Spurs with former Arsenal favourite Charlie George nettings Saints fourth.
Last season Saints won this fixture 3-2 at St. Marys. This time around West Ham could reverse that score line.
At the age of 17 Marc started working for the local Echo in Southampton and even made the sports pages himself when selected for Hampshire youth. But a serious back injury, sustained after a car crash on his way back from a party from Bournemouth, put paid to his sporting career. So now he writes about it.