For anyone who missed it, West Ham got spanked 4-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League opener. While this isn’t our first, nor last tonking, this one felt especially depressing.
Optimism was high after a summer where the Hammers finally brought in some experienced Premier League players. It felt like the brink of a successful season, only for the dream to be momentarily shattered by Romelu Lukaku.
Something that has been repeatedly stated in the aftermath was some variation on, West Ham United’s season won’t be judged on results against Manchester United, rather the teams like Southampton. So you could say that the real hard work begins in earnest with the visit to St Mary's.
We have some good news ahead. Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio makes a welcome return to the team.
Unfortunately it looks like West Ham will be without Manuel Lanzini (knee), Cheikhou Kouyate (knee) and Andy Carroll (hip). Carroll is back in training and could be back for the game against his Newcastle United. The club where the striker started his career.
Andy Carroll is back in West Ham first-team training.— Uber West Ham (@UberWestHam) August 16, 2017
Won't be the last time we tweet that this season. pic.twitter.com/eoSuqROra3
Who remembers in April when Slaven Bilic told us Carroll had a small injury and would only be out for a week? Classic.
Let’s get into the Brace the Hammer predictions. They’re a lot more positive than last week’s:
3-1 to the Irons
Southampton got off to a disappointing start last season, but it pales in comparison to the humiliation West Ham suffered at the hands of Manchester United.
It's tough to be optimistic for this game. Perhaps the one saving grace is that our new players will be more comfortable together. I don't expect a victory.
West Ham 1-3 Southampton
We bounce back creating many an opportunity but it ends in a 2-2 draw for the first points of the season (with a late equalizer from Southampton). Antonio's return to the side proves his worth, while Hernandez opens his Hammers account. We will again miss the creativity of Lanzini, but the threat down both wings proves to be a positive sign.
2-1 West Ham
Southampton are still in transition after last season and West Ham will need a good showing after the disaster against Manchester United last weekend.
West Ham come back in a big way, even if we're away at St. Mary's. Last time we visited, we left with a 3-1 victory so I'm calling for a repeat performance. Hell, I'm going to go as far as to call a Pedro Obiang goal. The Saints were lifeless at home against Swansea so I'm hoping for more of the same.
2-2 I got it
West Ham will still be missing Lanzini but I think they'll pull a win out thanks to that unfortunate Man U loss. I think they're gonna pull out all the stops and win it 3-1
Southampton 1-1 West Ham
I don't see either side as truly up for an attacking masterclass. Despite a 4-0 score line, West Ham's defensive line wasn't too worrisome. It will be a question as to who can mount an attack dangerous enough to score. Southampton also struggled in the attacking third, so I predict neither team will pull away in this one.
Saints haven't scored in 6 home games and yes this dates back to last season however they had 29 shots on Saturday, hitting the target just twice.
Last season when they going got tough, we tightened our defence and majority of our victories were 1-0 wins, some lucky and some deserved. While the going isn't what I'd describe as tough just yet, there are a few raised eyebrows after Old Trafford and I'd imagine Slav's priority may just be to get out of the South Coast while avoiding a defeat to ease some pressure.
The return of Antonio is massive and so will the fact we should see more of the ball while not sitting so deep this weekend, And for that reason I think we will pick up 3 points in a low scoring affair.
1-0 West Ham
A difficult game coming on the back of a heavy defeat. It's tempting to say that if any of the injured return to the side then that will boost the Hammers' hopes of getting a result; but as said in the injury report column, expectations will be high of Michail Antonio in particular and / or Andy Carroll / Chieke if any of them do actually play. That said, I think they team can come away with at least a point.
West Ham beat Southampton away from home last season and they have not been in great form of recent. So I feel like this one could be the first win of the season for the Hammers.
This is a game West Ham should be winning and they should be getting a bounce back after last week’s awful performance
West Ham 2-0 Southampton