Chris Millas (@ChrisMMillas) previews Southampton v West Ham and provides us with his best bets for the Premier League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

Southampton v West Ham Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 27/12/18
  • Time: 19:45
  • Venue: St Mary's
  • Channel: Sky Sports

A resurrected Southampton take on a much improved West Ham on Thursday evening with both sides looking to climb further up the table.

Life couldn't have started much better for Southampton under new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl who began his reign with an impressive 3-2 victory over Arsenal, which ultimately ended The Gunners' 22-game unbeaten run, followed by an emphatic 3-1 win away to Huddersfield on Saturday.

It was the first time The Saints had won back-to-back games since April 2017.

Hasenhüttl has had an instant impact, and while it's still early to come to any solid conclusions, the appointment of the Austrian and ex-Leipzig manager looks to be one that Southampton fans have long been craving for since the departure of Mauricio Pochettino in 2014.

In the opposite dugout, Manuel Pellegrini saw his side's 4-game winning streak come to an end at the weekend at the hands of Watford, losing 0-2 at the London Stadium.

Interestingly, during the mini-run, all 4 wins came against sides currently sitting in the bottom 7 (0-3 v Newcastle, 3-1 v Cardiff, 3-2 v Crystal Palace and 0-2 v Fulham).

Despite injuries to a number of key players, The Hammers look a much more organised and well-drilled side this season. It may take a while longer however before Pellegrini really stamps his mark.

Team News

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is suspended due to an accumulation of bookings. Ryan Bertrand and Cédric Soares are doubts.

Fabian Balbuena is a doubt after being forced off during West Ham's defeat to Watford on Saturday.

Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sánchez, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks, Marko Arnautovic and Jack Wilshere remain sidelined.

Potential Southampton Starting XI: McCarthy, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Bednarek, Targett, Lemina, Romeu, Valery, Armstrong, Redmond, Ings

Potential West Ham Starting XI: Fabianski, Masuaku, Diop, Ogbonna, Antonio, Anderson, Rice, Noble, Snodgrass, Chicharito, Carroll

Head To Head

  • Southampton – 25
  • Draws – 20
  • West Ham – 23

Key Stats & Facts

  • Over 2.5 goals has landed in 5 of Southampton's last 6 games in the Premier League.
  • Southampton are unbeaten in their last 4 home games in the Premier League.
  • West Ham are unbeaten in their last 4 away games in the Premier League.

Betting Odds

  • Southampton 13/10
  • Draw 5/2
  • West Ham 12/5

The Verdict

I'm really keen to get with a rejuvenated Southampton here who, in my opinion, are a great deal better than what their current league position suggests.

With the game being played on Thursday, both sides will have had 5 days to recover, so I don't think fatigue will come into play.

West Ham have conceded an average of 16 Shots (6th worst in the league) and 6 Shots On Target (4th worst in the league) per game on the road this season.

It won't be a surprise to know then that The Hammers have an xGA (Expected Goals Against) of 1.6 goals per game this term – only Brighton, Cardiff, Fulham and Burnley have a higher value.

Meanwhile, Southampton come 4th for Total Shots (249) and 7th for Shots On Target (81) in the Premier League this season but have been massively under-performing in the xG (Expected Goals For) charts which reads 24, yet have they only netted 19 times.

However, the South Coast side clearly seem to be benefiting from the ‘new manager bounce' and are finally being more efficient in front of goal and I'm therefore happy to take them on.

Recommended Bets

  • Southampton To Win @ 13/10 (bet365)
  • Southampton Race To 2 Goals @ 6/4 (William Hill)