West Ham vs Southampton 15:00
Late goals from James Collins and Mohamed Diame, complemented by another fine display between the sticks by Adrian, helped West Ham to a 2-0 win over Norwich last time out. Despite now sitting in 10th place, the Hammers cannot afford to let their focus slip from the task in hand as incredibly they are still just four points above the relegation zone.
Defender Guy Demel has been a key lynchpin in the Hammers setup this season, compiling some of the most impressive defensive statistics in the league. He’s won 91.7% of his 36 attempted tackles this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Much has been made of the recent form of Adrian and his athleticism and reflexes have certainly been key West Ham at times this season. He stepped up to the plate again against Norwich, with the joint highest number of saves of any goalkeeper in the last round of fixtures with 6 (tied with Cardiff’s David Marshall).
Expect Mark Noble to be pivotal against a Southampton outfit with the ability to hurt you from all areas this weekend. Noble has been key in the Hammers’ engine room this term and he will be asked to curb the influence of the likes of Adam Lallana this weekend. He has the workrate to do it though, as evidenced by the fact that he is the only West Ham player this season to have broken through the 100-barrier for tackles attempted (104, winning 66.4%) as well as leading the squad in passes completed in the opponent’s half with 659.
Fellow midfielder Mohamed Diame has been a powerhouse for Sam Alladryce’s side this season, his surging runs from midfield often forcing opposition defences into full retreat. The Southampton back four will have to be wary of his influence this weekend, especially when he is running at them at pace. He has racked up the highest number of dribbles in the West Ham, squad this season with 45 and starving him of time and possession should be key to the Saints’ gameplan this weekend. Diame is an industry best 6/1 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Southampton turned in a dominant display as they saw off Hull 0-1 at the KC Stadium thanks to a scrappy second half goal from Jose Fonte.
Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin continues to be one of the most dynamic players in the Premier league this term according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He currently ranks third in the Premier League for total attempted tackles with 121.
Jay Rodriguez has been excellent at times for Southampton this season, popping up with a number of crucial goals. Despite the ten strikes to his name though, Rodriguez could actually do with improving some of his accuracy in front of goal for the remainder of the campaign. He currently has the fifth highest number of off-target attempts of any player in the league with 23, giving him an overall shot accuracy rate of 44.2%. Rodriguez is 9/5 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
His three goals have been a bonus for his endeavours but it is at the back that Jose Fonte has been unsurprisingly shining for the Saints’ this term, not only does he have the best tackle success rate of any Southampton player to have attempted than 60 tackles (77.8%), he is also the only Southampton player to have made more than 300 defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won) with 309.
Midfielder Steven Davis has been a quiet but influential presence in the Southampton midfield this season, racking up some impressive statistics along the way. He ranks second in the Southampton squad behind only Morgan Schneiderlin for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 619. These have come at a squad-best average rate of one every 2.4 minutes he’s been on the pitch.