West Ham vs Southampton Preview

Two sides entrenched in the Premier League relegation zone face off in a pivotal six-pointer at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon as West Ham United host Southampton.

The Hammers sit two places and one point better off than their cellar-dwelling visitors, and victory for either side could lift them above the dreaded dotted line.

The unthinkable scenario of West Ham going all the way in the Europa Conference League while suffering demotion to the Championship is not beyond the realm of possibility, as David Moyes's side return from the international break on a continental high.

With other teams' FA Cup commitments extending their domestic break, West Ham's last outing saw them hit AEK Larnaca for four without reply in the second leg of their Europa Conference League last-16 tie, as Jarrod Bowen bagged a brace alongside efforts from Gianluca Scamacca and Divin Mubama to seal a 6-0 aggregate thumping.

Attention will soon turn to their pair of quarter-final showdowns with Belgium giants Gent, meaning that Moyes's side cannot remain solely focused on the Premier League relegation dogfight, where no fewer than nine teams are at risk of a bottom-three finish.

A 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on March 12 ensured that West Ham would enter the international period in 18th place, but the gap to Crystal Palace in 12th is only a mere three points, and the Hammers crucially boast at least a game in hand on all of their relegation rivals.

Not since defeat to Brentford in their final home fixture of 2022 have West Ham gone down in front of their own fans - embarking on a five-game unbeaten run at the London Stadium - but Southampton have recent when it comes to noteworthy results on the road.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Coufal, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice, Paqueta; Bowen, Ings, Benrahma

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud; Ward-Prowse, Lavia; Walcott, Alcaraz, Elyounoussi; Mara