Southampton and West Ham collide on the South Coast in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday at 7.30pm (UK time).
The Saints have navigated testing ties with Swansea and Coventry to reach this stage, requiring extra-time on both occasions, and it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the part for West Ham either. David Moyes’ men were mere seconds away from getting knocked out by non-league Kidderminster Harriers, so will know now want to ensure his side’s late surge wasn’t for nothing when they travel to the St Mary’s Stadium.
Southampton vs West Ham betting tips from Squawka Bet
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Southampton team news vs West Ham: Three out for the Saints
Alex McCarthy, Nathan Tella and Lyanco are all currently unavailable for Ralph Hasenhuttl due to varying injury issues, with the former out of action with a thigh complication, meaning Fraser Forster is likely to continue deputising in his absence. Hasenhuttl played with a back-three in the previous round to Coventry and may be tempted to follow a similar blueprint.
Predicted Southampton XI vs West Ham:
- Forster; Valery, Bednarek, Stephens; Livramento, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Walker-Peters; Walcott, Broja, Armstrong. (3-4-3)
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West Ham team news vs Southampton: Yarmolenko could return
Vladimir Coufal, Arthur Masuaku, Angelo Ogbonna and Ryan Fredericks are all set to miss out for the Hammers, but Andriy Yarmolenko may come back into the fold having been given time off following the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Elsewhere ‘cup keeper’ Alphonse Areola is expected to come in for Lukasz Fabianski.
A lot has been said about the club’s lack of activity in the January window, but Moyes has since hit back, branding the criticism levelled at his transfer policy as “unfair”, and saying approaches were made for a number of targets, including Luis Diaz, who ultimately joined Liverpool from Porto in the winter market.
Moyes said ahead of the Southampton clash: “It would be unfair [just to mention West Ham] I think a lot of clubs did not buy players in January. We were very serious about trying to bring players to the club in January but for different reasons, it did not happen.
“We know we are a little bit short of where we would like to be, the squad I have at the moment have done a brilliant job over the last two years and I have no reason to think they will not do a brilliant job in the coming three months between now and the end of the season.”
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This comes after Moyes revealed he spoke with Luis Diaz personally about joining the club. Last week, the Hammers boss told reporters: “I spoke to Luis Diaz on the phone, we were quite far down the line to sign him from Porto.
“My understanding was that Liverpool planned to come in in the summer, so we thought we’d try and get him in January. I don’t know if that affected Liverpool’s decision, but he’s a really good player and we didn’t get him.”
Predicted West Ham XI vs Southampton:
- Areola; Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Vlasic, Fornals, Benrahma; Bowen. (4-2-3-1)