It’s Saturday, it’s 5pm and Christmas is calling. You are in a festive mood, meeting friends for drinks and doing whatever shopping you need to get done. You stop by a pub in town and look at your phone to see what the live EPL game at 5.30pm is…
Yep, it’s none other than Southampton v West Ham. You think, “Is this worth the hassle you’ll get when you arrive home so many hours later than promised?”
The answer is: probably not. But let’s see if we can at least find something with which to fill your pockets from this delightful feast of festive football.
These teams are lurking dangerously at the wrong end of the table and performances as a whole suggest they’ll still be in this space come the business end of the season.
Both managers are also under serious pressure with Manuel Pellegrini apparently needing this game to save his job while Ralph Hasenhuttl is just about keeping the wolf from the door… for now.
So, how will this play out?
At a shade of odds on, the ratings suggest Southampton are far superior to West Ham and I would find it hard to disagree. West Ham, despite being a goal up on cross town rivals Arsenal during the week, couldn’t hold on and allowed the Gunners canter to victory – this is a very worrying sign for me.
Southampton were unlucky not to take three points from the Emirates just over two weeks ago. We cannot ignore the absolute drubbing the Saints received from Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester but I am willing to forgive them that performance as they have steadied the ship in their last two home fixtures winning both by a scoreline of 2-1 and Danny Ings bagging a goal on both occasions.
I think there will be a few goals scored and don’t see why a play on Southampton win & BTTS would go too far astray – it’s 9/4 here with PP.
And why not stick with the man on form for a goal for the Saints? Ings to score two or more is 9/2 here with PP.