Southampton vs West Ham United Preview: Bottom half strugglers face off as relegation escape continues
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

After managing only one win in their previous 11 Premier League matches, West Ham United will certainly look to come back on the winning ways against Southampton.

The 0-1 win against Chelsea was meant to be a turning point for Manuel Pellegrini's side, but unfortunately, they have yet again fallen behind by losing two in a row - 2-0 away at Wolverhampton Wanderers and 1-3 against Arsenal, at the London Stadium.

The Hammers will travel to St. Mary's while being 16th, just two points above the relegation zone where, in 18th place, sit the Saints.

But the only difference is that although the hosts are sitting below West Ham, they are the ones on form having lost only one of their previous four games as Danny Ings have been firing them higher up the table.

Before the two consecutive 2-1 wins against Watford and against Norwich City, the Saints were sitting on only two league games out of 13 possible.

Unfortunately, their streak was shortly ended by Allan Saint-Maximin and co as Newcastle United found a way to stop them.

Team news

Łukasz Fabiański, Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere have all been ruled out as all of them are still recovering from their respective hip, shoulder and groin injuries.

Aaron Cresswell is a doubt after being forced off with an injury in last week's loss to Arsenal.

Winston Reid is close to a full recovery after multiple surgeries and setbacks after suffering a serious knee injury in March 2018.

But Ralph Hassenhuttl also has his injury worries.

Yan Valery has been confirmed unfit after catching a virus.

The only players struggling with injuries are Stuart Armstrong and Sofiane Boufal, but there's a chance that both will make a full recovery for the match.

Predicted line-ups

Southampton (4-4-2): McCarthy; Cedric, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Djenepo; Ings, Long.

West Ham (4-4-2): Martin; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Fornals, Rice, Noble, Anderson; Antonio, Haller.

Key battles

Felipe Anderson v Cedric Soares

Although the seemingly out-of-form Anderson has been recently playing more centrally, there's second to no doubt that he will be drifting wide to help out in chance creation.

And it will be Cedric's job to keep him away from entering into the box from down the left, where the Brazilian was the most dangerous last season.

There is also a possibility of Arthur Masuaku coming into the side at left-wing which would only add pressure onto the Portuguese as he might struggle when doubled by two direct and speedy wingers.

Sebastien Haller/Michail Antonio v Jan Bednarek/Jack Stephens

After being ineffective for several games, Pellegrini's system screams for a formation with two strikers and this might be the perfect occasion to implement it back.

Both Haller and Antonio have shown that they need support when playing as a striker, and this is how they should be set up against Southampton's two centre-half's, Bednarek and Stephens.

After the team was changed to a back four, the two have been going through a real renaissance when it comes to their form as they've been vital in the Saints' revival.

The managers

Pellegrini fielded his opinion about Southampton's recent form ahead of Saturday's game:

"I think that lots of teams in this league have had bad runs. You must be very concentrated in defending and try to score as well. They (Southampton) have good players and it will be a tough game."

But also voiced his view on his own team's current position:

"We know a couple of wins can raise our team up the table. We are always talking in the way we must try to do it and not change all that we are doing."

On the other hand, Hassenhuttl also spoke the same way about his team, as well as their opponents:

"The two good results in the home games helped us massively and now we have another home game. The self-confidence at home is also coming back."

"We know that West Ham is a very difficult opponent so the most important thing for us is to focus on the way we want to play and our philosophy.”