West Ham travel to fellow strugglers Southampton knowing defeat could drop them into the relegation zone, depending on other results.
The Hammers have won just once since September’s triumph over Manchester United, coming at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
It’s been a horrendous run of form that has dropped them to 16th in the Premier League, looking over their shoulder rather than pushing forward.
Question marks remain over the future of manager Manuel Pellegrini; the Chilean has become an unpopular figure at the London Stadium as their position has dropped.
Given their form, how will they lineup?
David Martin has replaced Roberto in recent weeks and should continue in goal. Pellegrini will be searching for a settled back four so is unlikely to change much, although Aaron Cresswell was substituted in the loss to Arsenal through injury. Hammers fans will be praying the left-back is fit after they raged at Arthur Masuaku’s display off the bench, while both he and Andriy Yarmolenko have trained following their recent knocks.
Declan Rice and Mark Noble are a settled pair at the base of midfield, but there could be a serious shake-up in front of them. Felipe Anderson is yet to score this season in 17 appearances, and fans have not been happy with his attitude on the pitch. Pablo Fornals got an assist in the defeat to the Gunners so should keep his place. Youngster Nathan Holland came off the bench against Arsenal, and it may be time to give him his first start after his blistering form for the under-23 team this term.
Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller could start together up front. Getting service into the striker has been an issue for the Hammers, something highlighted by former Tottenham striker Darren Bent. It’s part of the reason why he hasn’t scored since October. Starting them as a pair may present more of an opportunity against the Premier League’s worst defence.
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