West Ham United are looking to finish on a high when they welcome Southampton to the London Stadium on the last day of the Premier League season. The Hammers are playing for European football, while there’s little more than pride at stake for the Saints.
Where and when: London Stadium – 23 May, kick-off 16:00
Where you can see West Ham vs. Southampton: N/A
Last time: Neither side could make the breakthrough as these teams shared a goalless draw at St Mary’s a few days after Christmas.
West Ham v Southampton Predictions and Preview
Whatever happens this weekend, this season has to be regarded as a success for West Ham United. David Moyes has turned his team into European contenders after a relegation dogfight and a 16th-placed finish last term, whereas Southampton have regressed from their last campaign.
The Saints amassed 52 points last season and were only a couple off the top half of the Premier League table. They only have 43 this term, and they’re as close to the relegation zone as the top half. It’s often been difficult going for Ralph Hasenhuttl and his players.
Southampton did record back-to-back wins against Crystal Palace and Fulham earlier this month, but that followed a five-match winless run where they suffered four defeats. The Saints failed to make the most of the return of their home fans on Tuesday too, going down 2-0 against Leeds United at St Mary’s.
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Over 3.5 goals
West Ham to win 3-1
West Ham to win and BTTS
West Ham have also been out of sorts recently, but they are searching for a big three points this weekend. The Hammers only won one of their five games prior to Wednesday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion, leaving European qualification very much in the balance.
Irons fans had started to dream about Champions League football last month, but they may not even find themselves competing in the Europa League or the new Europa Conference League should they lose here.
The Hammers are competing with the likes of Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham for European places, and they will start these West Ham v Southampton predictions as the 4/5 favourites for the win. Southampton are 4/1, with the draw 3/1. The Saints have very little to play for, but they may thrive without any pressure.
Only time will tell how each team reacts to the situations they find themselves in, but the Hammers fans inside the London Stadium will do their best to spur their team on. West Ham’s new ground has had its critics and even the Irons support has come in for criticism for getting on their team’s back. This would be the perfect opportunity to shut down all that talk in emphatic style.
One to watch for West Ham: Jesse Lingard has proven a revelation since joining West Ham in January. The on-loan Manchester United forward has netted nine goals in 14 Premier League appearances for the Hammers, making him the club’s joint top scorer despite only being at the London Stadium for half of the season. Lingard is well worth a look for the opening goal on Sunday.
One to watch for Southampton: Danny Ings has missed matches through injury this season after appearing in every Premier League fixture for the Saints last term. He still has 12 goals in 28 league games though, and he’s always a contender in the anytime scorer market.
Long shot: West Ham are unbeaten in their last six games against Southampton, winning five in a row prior to the draw earlier this term. The Hammers scored 12 goals in those five matches at an average of 2.4 per game, winning at home 3-1 and 3-0 twice. Either of those two scorelines could be interesting this weekend at 13/1 and 17/1 respectively, as part of our West Ham v Southampton tips.