By Adefunmiloye Alani

23rd Dec, 2021 | 9:40pm

Paul Merson predicts the result of West Ham clash v Southampton

West Ham host Southampton on Boxing Day and will be looking to secure a much-needed victory following some disappointing results.

The Hammers have picked up just two wins in their last nine games across all competitions in 2021-22, and Paul Merson has tipped them to secure a 2-0 win over the Saints in his Sportskeeda column.

A win for the London Stadium outfit will help keep their top-four aspirations alive, but it will not come easy as Southampton have some quality players and could be unpredictable.

The Sky Sports pundit said: “West Ham need to win this game. They were disappointing against Arsenal last week and need to start winning Premier League matches again.

“They’ve made a positive start to the season under Moyes but seem to have hit a rough patch this month.

“West Ham could find themselves in seventh or eighth at this rate. They’ve crashed out of the Cup as well and will have to do without Antonio this season. They need to stay in and around sixth place, and a short burst could see them nick a top-four place.

“Southampton also seem to be facing hard times and have flattered to deceive this year. West Ham are the better team at the moment and Declan Rice could be the difference between the two sides this weekend.”

Tough game?

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are just six points above the relegation zone having won thrice all campaign, but they have lost just one more game than the Hammers, and they have what it takes to shock them in front of their fans at the London Stadium.

With Michail Antonio still struggling in front of goal, West Ham may need to look elsewhere in their bid to start finding the back of the net more regularly these days.

The Jamaican international striker has now gone nine games across all competitions without a goal, and that poor form has definitely affected the Irons.

It will be interesting to see whether Rice can step up in the final third, but David Moyes needs his other attackers to do that on Sunday.

They need to start winning again, and failure to do so against Southampton could be damaging.

More importantly, West Ham need to get in quality attacking additions in January, while they also have to strengthen at the back too.

They have to get their campaign back on track as soon as possible, but they have often struggled against the teams in the lower half of the campaign, and that must change against the Saints.

In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Hammers and more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.