Daily News: Darikwa, Ritchie and Zaza linked again! Cresswell out injured!
Author: Matthew Kirk. Published: 27 December 2015 at 8:43pm
The Saints arrive in E13 for the 5.30pm kick-off on the back of a superb 4-0 win over Arsenal, which denied the Gunners the chance to overtake Leicester City at the head of the Barclays Premier League table.
West Ham, meanwhile, have not won in their last eight now, but have only lost two of those encounters, drawing their last five.
That latest draw came at Villa Park, when Aaron Cresswell ended a three-game wait for a goal, only for Jordan Ayew’s second half penalty to ensure the spoils would be shared.
The Hammers go into their final game of 2015 tenth in the table with 26 points from 18 starts – two points and two places better off than the Saints.
The two clubs have met 164 times in all competitions, including the early Southern League days, with West Ham winning 72 times to Southampton’s 46.
However, it was the Saints who had the upper hand last term, winning 3-1 at the Boleyn Ground in August, before the Hammers held on with ten men to draw 0-0 at St Mary’s in February.
Jussi Jaaskelainen made his only Premier League appearance of last term in that match, coming off the bench after Adrian’s red card and making a series of fine stops.
West Ham United
Slaven Bilic will check on James Tomkins’ and Aaron Cresswell’s fitness after the pair were forced off during Saturday’s draw at Aston Villa.
Tomkins suffered a facial injury, while Cresswell felt tightness in his hamstring and both will need to be assessed.
However, Andy Carroll (groin) and Manuel Lanzini (hamstring) could return after spells on the sidelines.
For the Saints, they will again be without Graziano Pelle and Cedric Soares.
Pelle will be absent for a few weeks with a knee problem, while Soares has a groin injury.
– The last three Premier League games between these sides at Upton Park have produced a total of 13 goals.
– None of the last 12 Premier League games between these two played at West Ham’s ground have ended in a draw (nine wins for West Ham).
– The Hammers lost their opening two league games at home this season but are unbeaten in the subsequent six.
– West Ham have recorded five successive top-flight draws for the first time since October 1968 – they’ve never drawn six in a row before in the division.
– Saints were unbeaten in their first six Premier League away games this season but have lost their last two on the road.
– They have won just two of their last 15 Premier League away games (W2, D5, L8), scoring 11 goals.
– Tickets for this game have SOLD OUT. However, tickets may become available online as Season Ticket Holders relist.
– There will be no service on the Hammersmith & City line on Monday, but the District line will be serving Upton Park as usual. Click here for the latest on TfL services and here for National Rail.
– Sunny spells are predicted for Monday, with temperature at kick-off of 10C (50F).
– If you’re not heading to the game, make sure you keep up to date on the action on our digital channels. The whufc.com match centre has live audio commentary and text updates, in-running stats, photos and more, while you can get involved with the conversation on social using the hashtag #WHUSOU.
West Ham and Man United chase winger – The Mirror
Everton and West Brom are also being linked with a move for the 26-year-old, who the Cherries would be extremely reluctant to sell.
Ritchie has been a mainstay in Eddie Howe’s team and has started every Premier League game, so there will be a huge reluctance to let him go.
A good run of form, three draws and three wins in the last six games, has seen Bournemouth move to 14th in the league table as the look to preserve their top-flight status.
Ritchie has two goals and three assists in the league this year and had a chance to add to that in the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace, but he couldn’t find the back of the net with his header.
Ritchie has been very impressive this season, hence the interest in him, and if Bournemouth do set a price that they deem acceptable, West Ham will need to convince him that he’d be better off at Upton Park than at any of the other clubs who want him.
West Ham and Crystal Palace both make offers for Zaza – Tuttosport
Zaza has seen his game time limited this season and is struggling to hold down a regular spot at the Italian champions, something which has led to talk of a winter departure.
Both Crystal Palace and West Ham are keen on the former Sassuolo star, but Zaza remains unsure about leaving his homeland.
According to Tuttosport, Zaza is considering asking Juventus to allow him to leave on loan, something which would leave open the possibility of a return to Turin.
However, there are concrete proposals on the table for Zaza, according to Calcio Mercato, with Crystal Palace and West Ham having put forward offers.
The striker is not short of suitors in Italy, as both Udinese and Sampdoria are keen to welcome him into their ranks for the second half of the campaign.
Zaza has made ten appearances in all competitions for Juventus this season, scoring five goals in the process.
Sales before signings, warns Sullivan – KUMB
The club’s co-owner told Sky Sports that the club overspent in the summer and have consequently exhausted the available wage budget, as dictated by the FFP rules regarding maximum wages.
“Unless some leaves the club, we don’t have a penny to spend on wages,” he said. “But we’ll only let fringe players go or if somebody made an offer that we couldn’t refuse. We’re not going to be selling players for £10, £20million as we’re a non-selling club.”
And Sullivan added that he doesn’t expect to lose Andy Carroll during the window, despite several reports linking him with a return to the North East – and specifically Sunderland, where former Hammers boos Sam Allardyce is now manager.
“Andy is doing a great job; he’s part of the club, part of the team and i think it’s very unlikely he’d want to go anyway,” added Sullivan.
“He’s got a baby and a fiancee in this area and I wouldn’t think there’s any club he’d go to apart from Newcastle. Even if Sunderland or another club offered him more money, I don’t think he’d go there. He’d have no interest.”
And Sullivan also revealed that he was keeping faith with manager Slaven Bilic, despite West ham having failed to win a game since the end of October.
“We’ve only lost four game in the league all season, which is pretty good,” he surmised. “The goals have dried up because we’ve got five strikers out. The goals would dry up for any team if they lost their five main strikers and first choice players.”
Song – We should have won the game – West Ham Official Site
The No4, who replaced goalscorer Aaron Cresswell with quarter of an hour to play, was aggrieved to see Mike Dean penalise Angelo Ogbonna for a coming together with Rudi Gestede and then saw penalty appeals of his own dismissed when Ashley Westwood appeared to handle late on.
Mark Noble had earlier had similar claims for a spot-kick waved away and, all in all, Song was left with the impression that on another day, the Hammers might well have departed Villa Park with all three points.
“Am I satisfied with a point? I would say no,” he confirmed. “With the penalty decision, I think there was a foul before Angelo [Ogbonna] committed the foul. But the referee made the decision and we have to accept it.
“I controlled the ball, I moved forward and I saw the players in front of me. So I decided to shift it and it touched his arm. Unfortunately for me the referee’s not seen it. Afterwards you have to carry on working. I don’t want to make excuses but I think we should have won the game.”
The point keeps Remi Garde’s Villa rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, but Song, who was sporting protective goggles for the first time, said he saw plenty on Boxing Day to suggest the Villans are far better than their lowly position suggests.
He continued: “Of course we expected a tough match like that. It’s Boxing Day, that’s what happens! They showed today that frankly they don’t deserve to be in this position.
“They pushed, they tried to get the three points, but we held them off and, in the end, I think it’s a shame that we’ve not won the match.”
As Song knows only too well, there is little time to stew on Saturday’s happenings, with Southampton set to visit the Boleyn Ground on Monday. The former Arsenal man is well versed with England’s atypical festive football traditions and has set his sights on three points against the Saints.
“It’s non-stop, we’re used to it. That’s England, you don’t get time!” We’ve got to rest up and be ready for Monday because it’s an important home match for us.
“We have to win, we have to get back to winning ways and, particularly after Saturday’s result, we have to give everything to win the game against Southampton.”
Hammers eyeing up Burnley defender – Sunday Mirror
Therefore, it is not surprising to read, in the Sunday Mirror that West Ham United are being linked with another right-back.
The player in question is Tendayi Darikwa, a twenty-four year-old who is currently on the books of the promotion chasing Championship side Burnley.
However, it appears that West Ham United are not alone when it comes to having an interest in Darikwa with it also being suggested that Derby County and Stoke City are also keen to and the player.
We`ll be keeping an eye out for any developments in the January transfer window.
Mark Noble worries over West Ham injury crisis – BT Sport
James Tomkins (head) and Aaron Cresswell (hamstring) were forced off at Villa Park but the club hope they will be fit to face the Saints with Dimitri Payet, Victor Moses, Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll and Nikica Jelavic already struggling with injury.
“I’m the first one to say we have a good squad but we miss the players we’ve got.” Noble said. “We miss the players who create stuff and score goals. Take away Jelavic, Carroll, Dimitri, Lanzini and Moses, it’s going to hurt any squad. We have managed to cope with it and I’m proud of the players for digging in and picking up the points.
“These teams are playing their full squads and we’re asking six or seven players to play when they are not fit. We lost Tomks at half-time and Cress with 20 minutes to go.
“It’s only 48 hours (between games) and we’ll do a warm down (on Sunday) and start looking forward to Southampton. We need to get three points.
“We have come through a tough spell with a lot of games with a squad which is depleted but the boys have dug in well and I’m proud of them.”
Saturday’s point means Slaven Bilic’s side have drawn their last five games and have not won in eight matches to sit 10th in the table.
Cresswell’s strike against Villa – West Ham’s first goal for 388 minutes – was cancelled out by Jordan Ayew’s second-half penalty after Rudy Gestede went down under Angelo Ogbonna’s challenge but Noble felt the Villa forward fouled Ogbonna in the build up.
“I thought it was a foul leading up to the penalty. It’s just the way it’s going for us,” he told the club’s official site. “We scored a good goal with Cress and you hope you can hang on. We knew they were going to be tough. We wanted to come and get the three points and we were heading that way until a bad decision.”