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Dec 26, 2021 at 3pm UK at London Stadium
West Ham
2 - 3
Antonio (49'), Benrahma (64')
Rice (34'), Dawson (60'), Bowen (68')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Elyounoussi (8'), Ward-Prowse (61' pen.), Bednarek (70')
Broja (66'), Bednarek (85'), Walker-Peters (90+6')

Preview: West Ham United vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: West Ham United vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between West Ham United and Southampton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

West Ham United play host to Southampton on Boxing Day potentially requiring all three points to retain their spot in the top five of the Premier League standings.

Meanwhile, the Saints are without success in their last six top-flight fixtures, leaving the visitors down in 15th position ahead of the trip to the London Stadium.

Match preview

With a hectic schedule and several injuries to key players, it was somewhat inevitable that West Ham would eventually encounter an inconsistent run.

Nevertheless, David Moyes would have expected far better than a return of five points from six Premier League games, the solitary win coming at home to Chelsea.

Michail Antonio's lack of form in the final third has hurt the Hammers, as will his coronavirus-related absence over the Christmas period, but it gives other players an opportunity to show that Moyes should not rely heavily on the forward.

Jarrod Bowen netted a brilliant goal during Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup, although he has also struggled for consistency in the final third with that strike representing just his fifth of the campaign.

On a positive note, Moyes was left encouraged by the performance in North London, and it may be enough to lift his players ahead of what will be regarded as must-win game on Sunday.

Up until the start of November, there were signs that Southampton had fully recovered from their slow start by collecting 10 points over a four-match period.

However, just three points have come from the following six fixtures, heaping the pressure on Ralph Hasenhuttl with just three wins being recorded from 17 games this season.

Although just five points separate ninth and 15th, Southampton have not looked like a side who are capable of putting together the kind of results which can quickly move them up towards mid-table.

Chelsea loanee Armando Broja continues to be the bright spot of an underwhelming campaign, the 20-year-old having now scored four times from just 621 minutes of top-flight football.

West Ham United Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

West Ham United form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Southampton Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

Team News

Antonio's participation for West Ham is dependent on recording two negative coronavirus tests later this week, but the forward may not be risked from the start even if he is available for selection.

Having been limited to starts in the Europa League this season, Andriy Yarmolenko may be given a chance down the middle, while Pablo Fornals and Sead Benrahma will both hope to feature after dropping down to the substitutes' bench in midweek.

Vladimir Coufal, after suspension, and Ben Johnson, after injury, are expected to occupy the full-back positions.

Despite positives being taken from the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace, Hasenhuttl will consider making several alterations.

Fraser Forster may replace Willy Caballero if he has fully recovered from injury, while Theo Walcott could be recalled on the right flank.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabainski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Johnson; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma; Yarmolenko

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Caballero; Livramento, Salisu, Lyanco, Walker-Peters; Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Broja, Tella

We say: West Ham United 2-1 Southampton

Despite the difference in league positions, everything points to this being a close game. Southampton will fancy their chances of causing West Ham problems in the final third, but we are backing the Hammers to battle their way to a hard-fought win.

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38296399267393
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382251169402971
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381610125757058
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham38168146051956
8Leicester CityLeicester381410146259352
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381215114244-251
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38156173843-551
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381310154462-1849
12Crystal Palace381115125046448
14Aston Villa38136195254-245
17Leeds UnitedLeeds38911184279-3738
RNorwich CityNorwich3857262384-6122
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