Southampton 2.30 v West Ham 3.30; The Draw 3.60 Thursday 27 December, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Goals start to flow for Southampton
Southampton have made a bright start to life under Ralph Hasenhuttl and will be looking to continue their form when they host back-to-back home games.
A big problem for the Saints over the past three seasons has been their difficulty in scoring goals, so it has been encouraging to see them find the net six times over the past two games. They beat Arsenal 3-2 at St Mary's to take their first win under Hasenhuttl and followed it up with a 3-1 victory over Huddersfield over the weekend.
Hasenhuttl will not be so naive as to think that Southampton's issues have been solved. Charlie Austin and Danny Ings are the only reliable finishers in the team, but both suffer from fitness issues. Southampton would be wise to be looking for more attacking talent in the January transfer window.
Ryan Bertrand and Sam Gallagher are both unavailable to Hasenhuttl with injuries, while Cedric Soares faces a fitness test. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is suspended.
Hammers run comes to an end
West Ham's run of form came to an end on Saturday when they lost 2-0 at home to Watford.
It was a disappointing result that shows that West Ham still have plenty of work to do. Their four successive wins came against struggling teams. When faced with a sterner test, they failed it, even with home advantage.
A rejuvenated Southampton, away from home, presents another challenge. In favour of the Hammers is the fact that they probably deserved a draw against Watford, with their finishing letting them down. In recent weeks they have not been so profligate.
Against West Ham is their lengthy absentee list. Marko Arnautovic, Ryan Fredericks, Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are all definitely out, while Fabian Balbuena and Lucas Perez are doubts.
Three wins in a row for Southampton?
Southampton are the 2.30favourites, with West Ham at 3.40 and the draw at 3.60.
After back-to-back wins Southampton are the worthy favourites, but you could argue that their price is a little short. Odds of 4.20 for a Southampton win and both teams to scoreseem more generous, with the Saints having conceded in all four of their games under Hasenhuttl. Backing Southampton at 1.66 in the Draw No Bet market is a conservative alternative.
Entertaining match ahead
Both teams to score should land as an individual bet at 1.62, as these sides seem to be better going forward than they are defensively right now.
Over 2.5 goals at 1.83 is another option. Five of Southampton's last six Premier League games have seen three or more goals scored.
Will Saints sing for Ings?
Danny Ings has been a reliable source of goals all season for Southampton when fit and he has scored three goals in his last two games. Odds of 2.60 to add to his tally could prove generous.
For West Ham, Javier Hernandez leads the betting at 3.30, with Michail Antonio at 4.40and Robert Snodgrass at 5.00, other names to consider.
Back Southampton to beat West Ham and both teams to score at 4.20