With Virgil Van Dijk injured and Jose Fonte now at the Hammers, the heart of the West Ham defence has been ripped out and in its place a young Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida have struggled badly.
Against Arsenal in the FA Cup, Stephens was at fault in some part for nearly every goal,with the Arsenal play around the box far too quick for him to deal with.
West Ham need to Watch Out Wide
The main danger for me is how well Southampton attack wide. The relationship between the full back and winger on both sides is fantastic.
At times when a winger moves infield this is the trigger for the full back to overlap, as you can see blow.
Carroll to do a Deeney
Against Arsenal on Tuesday night Troy Deeney put himself up against the weak link in the Arsenal back line, Shkodran Mustafi, who just could not deal with him.
I expect Andy Carroll to go up against Stephens although Yoshida is also vulnerable, I believe Carroll could expose either equally well and my guess is he will seek out Stephens.
Then it’s a question of winning the second ball. This is not careless long ball tactics, this is utilising the strengths you have against the opponents weakness’ and in the Saints centre of defence, there is a big weakness to expose.
I would imagine Southampton may be better organised than Arsenal against Carroll and sit Romeu in front.
If they do, that will create more space for the West Ham midfield to get on the ball and if they don’t, I expect Carroll to have a field day.
However, if the winger keeps his width, both full backs intelligently recognise to attack on the inside as Saints right back Cedric Soares does here, against a Leicester City side that were run ragged at Saints last league home game.