Saturday’s game looks set to be one of the most important games in our recent history, with the fight for survival very much alive.
West Ham currently sit 17th in the league table having accumulated 30 points so far, but with eight games left to play, it is going to be a very nervy end to the season.
The home side will remain without the injured Winston Reid, Pedro Obiang and Andy Carroll ahead of the clash, but Swiss midfielder Edmilson Fernandes looks set to return to the squad.
Arthur Masuaku is available for selection after his six-game ban has come to an end, which will be a refreshing boost to the side.
Manuel Lanzini picked up a knock on international duty, but remains hopeful to return in time for Saturday’s match.
Charlie Austin looks like he will be fit for the away side, so expect a goal or two from him come Saturday.
West Ham have lost four of their last five matches in the league, losing 3-0 at home to Burnley last time out.
Southampton recently appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager, who saw his side advance to the semi-final of the FA Cup after dispatching Wigan in his first game in charge.
Head to head, Southampton have won three of the last four meetings between both sides, also being first to score in the last five matches.
The stats do not bode well for us, put it that way, but when have West Ham ever done things the normal way? After all, that is the West Ham way, of course.
David Moyes needs to be careful in how he approaches the game, but if we sit back and invite pressure, we stand no chance.
We need to go at them, get the crowd behind the side and get the first goal. We have the quality to unlock any defence, and if Arnautovic continues his excellent form, there is no reason as to why we cannot collect all three vital points.
Southampton are in a position where they also need to win this game, so don’t expect a defensive display from them. They will try and get at us and hurt out defence, but we cannot let them play, which comes from the players’ desire to press and how much they want to win.
If Lanzini is fit, this is how I think we will line up, considering David Moyes will play five at the back:
ZABA, RICE, OGBONNA, CRESSWELL, MASUAKU
KOUYATE, NOBLE (C)
ANTONIO, ARNIE, LANZINI
I do not care what anyone says, that team is capable of beating a struggling Southampton side. Arnautovic will have a point to prove against Mark Hughes, so again, I am looking ahead of this thinking that we can win it!
Having said that, I thought the same against Burnley and look how that turned out.
We, as fans, must be the 12th man Saturday, because as a crowd we can lift the side and really give them a boost. If we do all we can, the players cannot complain.
Relegation is very much a possibility, and this game is one I am extremely nervous for. It is a win at all costs match. If we lose, we are in big, big trouble.
But let’s remain positive, go into the match ready to chant louder than we ever have before, and remain united.
As for my prediction, I am going with a 2-1 West Ham win, with Noble and Antonio to score.
By Frankie Levin – (@FrankWHUFC)