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Can Southampton end their goal drought this weekend?

Friday 18th August 2017
Southampton welcome West Ham United to St Mary's in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, desperate for a win and to end their long-running goal drought at home.

With West Ham's defence being torn apart in pre-season while being thrashed in their Premier League opener, Southampton will fancy their chances of finally rippling the net.

Analysing Southampton's goal drought

Southampton's home games in PL since their last goal

  • 15/4/17: Southampton 0-3 Manchester City

  • 29/4/17: Southampton 0-0 Hull City

  • 10/5/17: Southampton 0-2 Arsenal

  • 17/5/17: Southampton 0-0 Manchester United

  • 21/5/17: Southampton 0-1 Stoke City

  • 12/8/17: Southampton 0-0 Swansea City

Southampton have now gone six games without scoring a goal at St Mary's in the Premier League, although they dominated their last outing with 29 shots to Swansea's four, hitting the woodwork through Marco Gabbiadini.

Goals have been a problem for the South Coast club, however, with last season's top scorer Nathan Redmond bagging just seven in 37 Premier League games. Charlie Austin is next with six in 11 league starts but he's struggled with injuries and hasn't been given a run of games since Gabbiadini joined.

West Ham's defence is a real problem

Southampton should fancy their chances at ending the goal drought given how porous West Ham's defence has been in the last 12 months. The Londoners conceded 64 goals in the Premier League last season, the sixth-worst defensive record.

West Ham followed up a dismal campaign with even more porous displays in pre-season, picking up just one win in six friendlies, conceding a staggering 14 goals. Slaven Bilic's side have shipped 10 goals in their last three games in all competitions, which leads us to their Premier League opener to Manchester United.

The Hammers travelled to Old Trafford to face Jose Mourinho's side and suffered a humiliating opening day 4-0 thrashing, conceding 21 shots on the day for their troubles. Bilic even admitted after the game: “ I expected us to do much better.”

With an ageing backline containing Winston Reid (29), Angelo Ogbonna (29), Jose Fonte (33) and James Collins (33), the pace of Southampton's attack could prove too much for West Ham, who have kept just one clean sheet from their last seven games in all competitions.

Wing-play will be key for Southampton

If Southampton wants to beat West Ham and end their goal drought this weekend, they need to target the visitors' full-backs. Against Manchester United, United had Arthur Masuaku at left-back and Pablo Zabaleta at right-back. The two defenders endured a torrid affair, being dribbled past six times and blocking only two crosses between them.

West Ham's fullbacks didn't affect the game in the attacking third, creating zero chances between them, while putting in just one completed cross from four attempted. Southampton can really exploit this, with such dribble enthusiasts like Nathan Redmond and Sofiane Boufal as options out wide.

If the pair can get in behind the full-backs and supply the bullets for striker Gabbiadini, who has scored six goals in 12 starts in all competitions for Southampton, around the six-yard box they will end the wait for a goal on home soil this weekend. It's worth noting Southampton have scored in each of their last four Premier League meetings with West Ham, winning two of the previous three head-to-heads.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 330

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