West Ham V Southampton Opta Preview

West Ham United Upton Park Saturday 20th October Southampton 7 Games7  ATTACKING 5 Goals scored5 0.71 Ave goals per game0.71 37% Shooting Accuracy40% 7% Goals to shots %7%  PASSING 2,442 Passes2,239 75% Pass completion %69%  DEFENDING 73% Tackle success rate %74% 16 Goals conceded12 2.29 Ave goals conceded per game1.71  DISCIPLINE 131 Fouls123 18 Yellow cards5 2 Red cards3 7,898 Opta Index Score6,803

West Ham United v Southampton

Stuart Gray must be delighted that a team in such terrible form as West Ham are able to take the heat off his own side. The Saints performance against Arsenal last week - where they were incredibly lucky to restrict the Gunners to just two goals - was widely described as one of the most inept displays in recent years in the Premiership. It was certainly the worst of the season so far, according to various pundits.

Of course, with West Ham shipping seven goals away to Blackburn just a day later, Southampton's showing seems nowhere near as bad. The Hammers suffered greatly from Tomas Repka's second sending off in three matches for the East London club, but were already two goals behind at the time, and with the club now conceding an average of 2.29 goals per match, Glenn Roeder's job already appears to be under threat.

Although defender Christian Dailly has taken a fair amount of criticism from Hammers fans since joining the club, they would most likely be in a far more precarious position without him. The Scottish international has made well over a fifth of the team's total number of clearances, a figure that is itself fairly low at just 284.

An ability to cross the ball would therefore be useful for Southampton in this match, but so far this term they have struggled to fling accurate balls over from the flanks. Their overall completion rate has been one percentage point below the Premiership average, although Wayne Bridge has been doing his best to improve matters. The England under-21 star has managed to find a team-mate with 10 successful crosses so far - far from brilliant, but better than any other Saint.

Question: what is the lowest number of goals scored in the Premiership? Answer: five. Question: have either West Ham or Southampton scored more than five this season? Answer: absolutely not. You wouldn't even need to ask the audience to know that with shooting accuracies of 37% and 40% respectively, neither side has been setting the league alight.

One chink of light at the end of the tunnel for the Saints is that their discipline has been reasonable good. They have received the lowest number of bookings in the league so far with just five cautions, and as a result they will be hoping to restrict the number of suspensions received as the season progresses. Mind you, somebody may need to tell them that red cards earn bans as well - they have three to their name already.

Let's be honest - of all the games this weekend this is probably the one the neutral would least like to watch. There is very little chance of a goal, let alone two, and neither side is exactly demonstrating mouth-watering skills at the minute. whufcbet.co.uk are offering 8/1 on the seemingly inevitable goalless draw.

Chris Green. Match referee: N. Barry

Scunthorpe official Neale Barry is one of the most lenient officials in the Premiership, issuing an average of 1.67 cards per game.

Referee's Name  FoulsPenaltiesYellow CardsRed CardsAve Disc pointsN. Barry 109 1 5 0 42.33

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Match Result West Ham5/6Draw9/4Southampton11/4Correct Score West Ham 1-06/1West Ham 2-013/2West Ham 2-17/1West Ham 3-012/1West Ham 3-112/1West Ham 3-225/1West Ham 4-033/1West Ham 4-128/1West Ham 4-250/1West Ham 5-0100/1West Ham 5-1100/1Draw 0-08/1Draw 1-111/2Draw 2-214/1Draw 3-350/1Southampton 1-08/1Southampton 2-016/1Southampton 2-112/1Southampton 3-040/1Southampton 3-133/1Southampton 3-233/1Southampton 4-0100/1Southampton 4-1100/1Southampton 4-2100/1Double Result West Ham/West Ham11/5West Ham/Draw16/1West Ham/Southampton33/1Draw/West Ham7/2Draw/Draw7/2Draw/Southampton7/1Southampton/West Ham25/1Southampton/Draw16/1Southampton/Southampton6/1First Goalscorer F Kanoute5/1P Di Canio11/2J Defoe7/1S Todorov7/1P Kitson15/2D Hutchison9/1T Sinclair12/1Carrick14/1Courtois16/1H Foxe16/1S Moncur20/1Mccann20/1T Repka33/1R Soma33/1S Schmemel40/1C Dailly40/1N Winterburn50/1S Potts50/1No Goalscorer8/1J Beattie7/1M Pahars15/2K Davies9/1A Svensson9/1S Mcdonald12/1M Le Tissier12/1J Tessem16/1M Draper20/1M Oakley20/1D Petrescu20/1P Murray20/1S Ripley25/1J Dodd25/1W Bridge33/1R Delap33/1C Marsden33/1T El Khalej50/1C Lundekvam50/1F Benali80/1

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