The Super Sunday offering this weekend throws up a clash of two clubs who’ll have graded their respective starts to the Premier League season as unsatisfactory.
Both West Ham and Southampton find themselves at the wrong end of the table and although they’ve both had brief spells outside of the top flight in recent years, it looked like those dark days of languishing near the bottom were over for supporters.
Looking at their squads you’d have to believe they’d dig themselves out of it, but try telling that to Newcastle fans and you’ll soon get an answer.
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Even though the Saints only sit on five points in the league, it’s fair to say their form has been trended up of late.
They’ve captured three much needed wins on the spin in league and cup, so maybe Claude Puel’s French flair is finally making a mark on his charges. A fourth win comes in at .
Life hasn’t been rosy in the garden of his counterpart Slaven Bilic however, the seeds he’s planted in their new home of (what we must call) the London Stadium just haven’t taken root as yet.
A 96th minute winner from Dimitri Payet over lowly Accrington Stanley on Wednesday will have done nothing to help the Hammers nail down some form in their new home.
They did manage to grind out an opening win at home to Bournemouth, but since then utterly shambolic losses to Astra Giurgiu of Romania and Watford have followed. Those defeats have got Hammers fans so riled they have even begun fighting amongst themselves in the stands.
Bilic is moved in quite swiftly from 14/1 to to be the first manager to depart his club in this Premier League campaign. He may be spared that ignominy by worst performers, but another loss on Sunday would bring the exit door a bit closer.
The most pleasing stat for Puel over the course of the last three victories must be the noticeable naught next to their opponents score.
His charges seemed to have finally settled into the 4-3-3 system Puel has implemented.
A fourth victory, coupled with another clean sheet in London would send a powerful message to the rest of the league that the Saints are on the march.
That bet can be found at and we think it’s definitely worth sticking a punt on, especially when you consider that West Ham are only averaging about a goal a game at home.
Good time Charlie
A big part of Southampton’s recent upturn has been the return to form of Charlie Austin.
Injuries have hampered the start of his Saints career, but four goals in his last three has seen his popularity rapidly rise in Puel pecking order.
He’s the favourite to land the first strike on Sunday and is definitely worth an anytime shout.
If West Ham are to find the net, there really only seems one man for the job – Michail Antonio. The midfielder has been undefendable in the air so far this season and is the Premier League joint top scorer with Chelsea’s Diego Costa.
on him at anytime might be a cheeky punt.