Date: Saturday, February 22nd 2014 Venue: The Boleyn Ground. 15:00 Match Preview It would have seemed preposterous just one month ago that this game would be a middle of the table clash, but that's where both these teams find themselves as the premiere league nears crunch time. Southampton's superb start to the season, which saw them reaching the lofty heights of the table and rubbing shoulders with the top four has fizzled out somewhat as the season has gone on and sees them now in the lower reaches of the top half. Not that they wouldn't have taken that at the start of the season. West Ham on the other hand have shot up the table from 18th a few weeks ago to 11th thanks to three wins on the bounce. As little as a draw could see them into the top half, and lessen concerns of relegation that have dogged their dismal season. This will be an intriguing affair with both teams confident they can leave with the points. While West Ham have home advantage and come into it on a fine run, Southampton have the flair and creativity to undo the best. Key Stats West Ham built on their 19th century tactics that saw them emerge with a point from their clash with Chelsea at The Bridge by winning their last three games all 20. The Hammers have not conceded in 4 games since they were beaten 3-0 by City. Southampton are unbeaten in their last 6 games. Since both gaining promotion from the championship in 2012, all three encounters have been 0-0 at halftime. However, West Ham enjoyed the only win between the two in their most recent stints in the premiere league. They demolished the Saints 4-1 in October 2012 the last time they met at The Boleyn. Team News In a season that has seen the Hammers hit heavily by injury, they have no new concerns ahead of the clash. They will, however, be without long-term injury absentees Ricardo Vaz Te and Joey O'Brien. This will also be the third and final game they will be without Andy Carroll after his sending off against Swansea. Southampton will welcome back Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren. Likely Line-ups West Ham: Adrian, McCartney, Tomkins, Taylor, Collins, Noble, Demel, Jarvis, Downing, Nolan, C.Cole Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, Schneiderlin, S Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert Prediction 1-1 source - bbc football
Frustratingly argumentative writer, eater, reader and fanatical about film ‘n’ food and all things fundamentally flawed. I have been a member of the WhatCulture family since it was known as Obsessed with Film way back in the bygone year of 2010. I review films, festivals, launch events, award ceremonies and conduct interviews with members of the ‘biz’. Follow me @FilmnFoodFan
In 2011 I launched the restaurant and food criticism section. I now review restaurants alongside film and the greatest rarity – the food ‘n’ film crossover. Let your imaginations run wild as you mull on what that might look like!