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West Ham v Southampton: Wait could go on for first Saints win

| 29.08.2014

Defeat to Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup in midweek would have dented the pride of many West Ham fans, with tensions seemingly still high after ‘The Tevez Affair’, but the Irons will look to bounce back as Southampton visit the Boleyn.

The Saints are without a win so far in the Premier League, despite a couple of reasonable showings. A summer decimation of their squad looks to have hit them hard, and a win would certainly take some of the pressure off Ronald Koeman’s newly-assembled team.

We’ve scoured the markets and have come up with a trio of best bets ahead of the clash in east London.

Southampton to score under 1.5 goals @ 1/2

Yes, the price is a bit skinny, but we’ve seen enough already this season to really fancy this bet.

The loss of Lambert and Lallana in the close season and the injury to Jay Rodriguez, looks to have really affected their attacking ranks.

While they threatened against Liverpool, the south coast side seemed to lack a real cutting edge, highlighted even more in their goalless draw against West Brom.

Throw in that they have scored two or more goals just once in their last eight visits to Upton Park, and this looks a solid pick.

West Ham to win @ 8/5

The Hammers have started the league campaign in encouraging style, with an unlucky late defeat to Spurs well and truly avenged when taking apart Crystal Palace last week.

With the onus on Sam Allardyce to bring a more attractive style of football to E13, a few teething problems could have been expected, but none seem to have materialised.

They have beaten Southampton in eight of the last 11 head-to-heads on their own patch, so clearly this is a fixture they relish.

And having made nine changes to last week’s XI in their League Cup fixture, the Hammers will be much fresher than a Saints squad that made just three.

Mauro Zarate to score first @ 7/1 or anytime @ 9/5

The Argentine is the perfect example of the type of football the West Ham faithful want to see.

An attacking, skilful talent, Zarate has looked sharp in his two competitive appearances to date. He preceded his lively cameo in the cup with a top-draw goal to compliment a very competent performance at Selhurst Park.

Playing just behind the striker, the former Lazio and Inter Milan playmaker will be have the opportunity to get on the end of many knock-downs from likely frontman Carlton Cole, and certainly likes a shot from distance.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.