West Ham United v Southampton: Back the Saints to earn unlikely Boxing Day draw

Alan Dudman hit three out of three bets in his last Premier League preview including a winning lay, and he has a trio of markets to consider for the Boxing Day clash between out of sorts West Ham and Southampton...

Form, injuries and inconsistencies are mounting up for Moyes

The Hammers are no longer London's top club following the resurgence of Arsenal, and their early season form seems to have deserted them with a run of just one victory from their last seven in all competitions.

A 2-1 humbling at Spurs in midweek compounded the misery of their previous two Premier League blanks in failing to score against both the Gunners and Burnley. From their last six, they have lost as many games in this run as they had in their previous 16 league games combined beforehand - which is a worrying trend considering the sheer volume of matches upcoming. For weeks, the Hammers boss has claimed his players are not quite at their required levels and there have been several inconsistent performances. A drop out of the top four following the Arsenal loss presents a tricky period for the Londoners to ride out.

David Moyes hasn't totally ruled out six-goal striker Michail Antonio featuring despite his positive test for coronavirus. Left-back Aaron Cresswell has missed the last six games following a collision with a goalpost against Manchester City, and he's another that has been earmarked for a possible return. Vladimir Coufal is available after serving a one-match ban too.

However, I feel the loss of Angelo Ogbonna has been felt the most. A left-footed centre-back looks like an area Moyes could use the January transfer window to strengthen/replace, but Ogbonna is a key man in the Scot's organisation and tactical sagacity at the back.

Saturday's game will be West Ham's 13th opponent since October 31st.

Saints will be the fresher of the two

Ralph Hassenhuttl will be hoping his Southampton can take advantage of their Boxing Day opponent's loss and dip in form, and they undeniably will be the fresher of the two with no game in their last 11 days, although the Austrian is full of admiration the job his counterpart has done in east London by saying: "Like last season also, very compact team, very good, very strong opponent - maybe the only team at the moment that is able to step in this top six table, and they did it in a fantastic way."

Che Adams, Adam Armstrong and Fraser Forster have all overcome injury problems while Stuart Armstrong could feature for the first time since injuring his calf in November.

Value in backing the overpriced draw

These two played out a 0-0 draw at St Mary's back in September, with Saints' Mohammed Salisu helping nullify the West Ham attack with a monumental defensive display. They key to any sort of Southampton result here will be the ability to drag Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek out of position. Rice has consistently shown he is West Ham's best defensive and offensive player this term.

West Ham have lost only twice at home all season (to Brentford and Manchester United) so I can understand the price of 1.9 in the outright win odds. But the the Londoners continue to come unstuck against sides they are expected to beat and play better against the top teams. They struggled in the 1-1 against Brighton, and the 0-0 at Burnley saw them waste the set-piece ball on a number of occasions. The delivery was fairly atrocious, and it's why Cresswell is needed back.

Southampton have gone six league matches without a win (D3, L3), and a generous price of 4.4 awaits those willing to chance the visitors. But just one victory on the road all season means I can probably swerve that bet - even with West Ham's current form.

This has the potential to be scrappy and Hassenhutl's team is not the most predictable. However, the eight draws all season (and three on the road for the Saints) is pushing me to take the draw outright at 4.0. That price is usually a bit bigger than the standard 3.65, and it would give an opportunity to trade out with a tight opening 20 minutes.

The Hammers edge the head-to-head with 19 wins to Southampton's 11, with nine draws in that process.

Saints to help us land Under 2.5 bet

The 0-0 from earlier in the season is gnawing away at me, as is West Ham's inability to put away the supposed "lesser teams". The Under 2.5 price at 2.16 is the far bigger of the two but Southampton have conceded 75 Premier League goals in 2021, four shy of the record for a calendar year held by Ipswich Town in 1994 and Newcastle United this year. That stat will always influence this market.

They are maddening to work out for this bet. Hasenhuttl had them set up to earn a 0-0 at Manchester City in September, but they conceded two at Norwich the following month despite City's measly 0.53 xG figure. And who concedes two against the Canaries?

Go against two with a pair of lays

A lot rests on whether Antonio makes the team; but the 31-year-old has failed to score in any of his last eight Premier League appearances since netting the winner against Tottenham in October. The Jamaican international last had a longer run without a goal in the competition between November 2019 and February 2020 (9).

We've had some success in taking on strikers in the lay market this season; opposing Ivan Toney and Temmu Pukki, and with a back price of around 2.28, I am hoping we can lay the player for around 2.5. Depending on whether he starts of course.

I couldn't believe the price of Andriy Yarmolenko on the back side at 2.52. He was booed off by the Hammers fans in the Dinamo Zagreb game and he hasn't scored a goal for West Ham all season. It's a shame, as I like him as a player and the way he cuts in from the right on his trusty left-foot wand is something different. But he hasn't translated his Ukraine form to a Hammers shirt, and I am happy to lay him at 3.0.

According to Opta; Armando Broja has scored four goals in six Premier League starts, making him Southampton's top league goal scorer this season. All four of the Albanian's goals have given Saints the lead in the game, and have been worth five points overall. Backing him to score and the draw on the Betbuilder pays 7/1.

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment