With all the off field activity in recent times West ham have quietly slipped into a real relegation dog fight. We are likely to require at least two more wins and another couple of results in order to stay up. Given a tough run in, where home 'advantage' will be in uncertain supply, we look in big big trouble.
Undoubtedly the games against Stoke and today's visitors, Southampton, will be critical to the outcome of a difficult season. It's an understatement to suggest that the atmosphere will be tense today and that the first goal will be crucial. We need leaders today - this is a game made for Mark Noble but the uncertainty regarding James Collins' availabilty is deeply concerning, as well as the Lanzini injury.
On the plus side, Masuaku is back and we have to hope that Mr Moyes gives him the opportunity to continue his potent partnership with Marko Arnautovic. Similarly, Declan Rice keeps getting better and better having been labelled Ireland's best player after his recent international debut vs Turkey. Right now he looks like a better option than the ineffective Joao Mario - just the latest player to demonstrate the need to do transfer business in the Summer as January only seems to bring other club's left overs.
Southampton bring the Hughes-Arnie and Austin-Sullivan factors just to add extra spice to what is a fascinating encounter.
We can do this.
Rory Nostradamus says 3-1 home win.
P.S. the pic is of punk legends Peter and the test tube babies relaxing after Thursday might's excellent Dublin gig. Thanks lads! Their new album is classy and called 'In Yer Face' - hopefully our lot will take heed and really go at it today.