Our football match prediction:
Southampton did remarkably well to beat Liverpool in the League Cup semis, but they failed to impress in previous two games in all competitions. Following a heavy 5-0 loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup, the Saints were beaten by Swansea City in their last league fixture as well and, no doubt, Saturday’s football match against West Ham United is of big importance for the hosts. Claude Puel’s troops aim to regain their spot in top ten and seeing that West Ham United’s key player Dimitri Payet left the club in the January transfer window, we predict that the hosts will return to winning ways in the national championship. The Hammers suffered a heavy 4-0 loss to Manchester City in midweek and we believe that Payet is going to be sorely missed in the remainder of the season. Yet another important first-team regular Andre Ayew is on Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana.
Highlighted Player (Jose Fonte):
Born in Penafiel in 1983, Jose Miguel de Rocha Fonte spent his early career in the lower divisions of the Portugal’s league system, and while he did join giants Benfica in 2006, he never made a single league appearance for the Eagles. The loan spell with Crystal Palace proved crucial for the towering defender as he later secured a permanent move to Selhurst Park, performing well in three Championship campaigns. Fonte then surprised everyone when he joined League One side Southampton, but that would prove to be the best decision he has ever made, as he helped the Saints return to the Premier League before establishing himself as one of the leading central defenders in the elite division. Rated for his aerial ability, but also quite capable on the ground, Jose Fonte even caught the eye of England’s top clubs, although a big club move never materialised for him. The late bloomer eventually played himself into the first team plans of Portugal coach Fernando Santos, making his Selecao debut at the age of 30.
Highlighted Team (West Ham United):
West Ham United are an English football club based in East London. The club was founded in 1895 and it has to be noted that the club’s name was Thames Ironworks back then. The Hammers were playing their home games at Upton Park from 1904 until 2016, when they moved to the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. West Ham have won three FA Cup trophies (1964, 1975 and 1980) and they were runners-up in 1923 and 2006. The capital club finished the 1985/1986 England first division campaign in third place in the standings and that is the club’s highest placing in the top flight. West Ham United have strong rivalries with fellow London clubs, but Tottenham Hotspur are considered the club’s main rivals. A number of top-class players were part of West Ham in the past and the likes of Joe Cole, Carlos Tevez, Paolo Di Canio, Paul Ince, Julian Dicks, Shaka Hislop, Michael Carrick and Slaven Bilic are some of them.