Southampton Match Preview
West Ham United have won more games against Southampton than any other side in the Premier League and they will be chasing another victory against them in what will be the first ever Boxing Day match in Stratford.
The Hammers face a busy festive period with three games in the space of six days and they will be hoping to get off to a good start against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Saints.
The men from Hampshire will go into this game the fresher of the two sides, having not played since the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace eleven days ago as, like the East Londoners, last weekend’s home encounter with newly-promoted Brentford was also postponed.
The postponement of the game with newly-promoted Norwich City eight days ago means that this is actually the first top-flight home game for the Irons since that incredible comeback in the London derby against the Blues earlier this month.
This will be the third away game in a row for the Saints and both sides will be looking to improve their form which has not seen them pick up three points in any of their last six games.
Southampton won on their first visit to Stratford back in September 2016 but haven’t been victorious since and David Moyes will be desperate to see that particular record continue here as he looks for West Ham’s ninth victory of the current campaign.
With little time to recover between this game and the visit to newly-promoted Watford two days later, Moyes could rotate his squad for this encounter with Mark Noble and Alex Král options that could make the squad. Nikola Vlašić could retain his place from the Carabao Cup quarter-final exit four days earlier if Michail Antonio isn’t fit enough after contracting Coronavirus.
Vladimír Coufal could slot back into the defence after serving his one match ban against Tottenham Hotspur although the Hammers boss also has Ben Johnson available after he returned from a hamstring injury to start on Wednesday night.
The match is a 3pm kick-off and the referee is Kevin Friend.