West Ham manager David Moyes says his team “needed” the two Premier League wins they have managed since the international break ahead of Sunday’s game with Southampton.
The Hammers had won just one Premier League game heading into the international fixtures in late September, but since returning they have beaten Wolves 2-0 and Fulham 3-1 in their two matches.
And Moyes spoke of his relief at picking up maximum points in those games.
“We needed it, we’re not daft, we knew we needed a couple of wins and we got them,” he said. “We felt there were some mitigating circumstances why we were a little behind at the start of the season, but we’re getting players back and when we get them, I think we’re a good team.”
Moyes is expecting a tough fixture against the Saints.
“There doesn’t seem to be an awful lot between the teams and anyone can beat anyone on their day,” he remarked.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is reportedly in serious danger of losing his job after a poor start which has seen them pick up just seven points from nine fixtures. They are just a point and a place above the relegation zone, but Hasenhuttl spoke in his pre-match press conference of his players trying to keep spirits high.
“It’s as positive as possible following tough results,” Hasenhuttl said. “We had a normal week after two games in a week.
“We worked during the week on a few things with a motivated group. I often speak about how margins are for winning a game. These margins you have to put on your side. You have to show we can do this to be successful again.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Southampton – Che Adams
Adams leads the Saints in goal involvements this term with two goals and one assist so far, playing a part in three of their eight goals so far. He may have to play another big role if his team are to get a result against the Hammers.
West Ham – Gianluca Scamacca
The striker has scored in his last two Premier League games for West Ham, and would become the first Italian player to score three in a row in the competition since Manolo Gabbiadini in March 2017 if he nets again here.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Southampton have the youngest average starting XI age in the Premier League this season (24y 164d), while West Ham have the oldest (28y 125d). Southampton have had five different players aged under 21 start for them in the Premier League this season, more than twice as many as any other side.
– West Ham have conceded 798 away goals in Premier League history, and could become the fourth side to ship 800 on the road, after Everton (846), Newcastle (830) and Tottenham Hotspur (826).
– Southampton are looking to win back-to-back league games against West Ham for the first time since September 2016, following their 3-2 win at the London Stadium in December last year.
– Southampton have lost seven of their last 10 Premier League home games (two wins, one defeat), as many as they had in their previous 27 at St Mary’s beforehand. Both their wins in this run have come against London sides, beating Arsenal 1-0 in April and Chelsea 2-1 in August.
– Southampton have won just two of their last 15 Premier League games (two draws, 11 defeats), losing each of the last four in a row. Their two wins in his run have seen them concede the first goal of the match (vs Leicester and Chelsea in August).