Southampton v Bournemouth: Desperate Saints in Must Win Battle With South Coast Rivals
It’s beginning to get very bleak for the three clubs already marooned in the Premier League relegation spots.
West Bromwich Albion, have shown initial resurgence under caretaker boss, Darren Moore, although the Albion are almost requiring snookers to ‘coin a phrase’ from the ongoing World Championships in Sheffield. Stoke haven’t won in the Premier League since late January, while Southampton have one last crack at survival this Saturday – kick-off 15:00 – with the visit of local rivals Bournemouth to St. Marys.
The Saints are four points behind Swansea in 18th spot and six behind Huddersfield with four games remaining. Southampton has the daunting task of facing the already crowned league champions Manchester City on the final day, so their other two fixtures – away at Swansea and Everton – along with Bournemouth have huge significance in their survival bid.
Bournemouth can make the short trip along the South Coast safe in the knowledge that another season in the top flight of English Football is virtually guaranteed. The Cherries sit in 11th place on 38 points and can face the Saints with only the pressure of bragging rights over their bitter rivals.
Southampton have claimed just three points from their last eight Premier League outings, but the money is coming for Mark Hughes’ men in this contest. Virtually every bookmaker has taken the decision to cut their odds of a Southampton victory this weekend.
The Saints are a top price of 8/11 with William Hill and Black Type at the time of writing on the home side who are desperate for the three points. MarathonBet offer the best odds on the Draw at 31/10, while another nail in the Southampton Premier League coffin would be in the form of a Bournemouth victory at 21/5 – once again with MarathonBet.
Of the five previous Premier League meetings between the two sides, Southampton have two wins, with two draws and one solitary win for the Cherries at Dean Court. The last two fixtures have ended in stalemates, but Southampton have to be aggressive in this game in front of their home supporters, which could make for an entertaining and potentially high scoring encounter.
Southampton are in a very precarious position but have shown some attacking flair in recent games by scoring twice against Arsenal and Chelsea – albeit to no avail with regards to points. A similar level of intent could well be enough to get the win over Bournemouth to kick-start their survival hopes, however.
Individual Goal Scorers
Saints leading striker, Charlie Austin has seven Premier League goals so far this season and Unibet along with 888Sport make the former Queens Park Rangers man their market favourite to open the scoring in this game at 16/5.
The same firms offer 39/10 on Austin’s Italian team mate, Manolo Gabbiadini, but the ex-Napoli man has had limited game time under Hughes, so he is best left alone. By contrast, Shane Long has been used regularly by Southampton boss Hughes and he could be a popular choice at 51/10 – once again with 888Sport and Unibet.
From a Bournemouth perspective, Jermain Defoe and Callum Wilson lead their First Goalscorer hopes at generally available 7/1 shots. Norwegian forward Joshua King has scored twice in his last four appearances for the Cherries and is worthy of consideration at 9/1 with 888Sport and Unibet.
Two other players at fancy prices to consider are Bournemouth’s Jordon Ibe at 22/1 with BetBright and Southampton’s attacking left-back, Ryan Bertrand at the juicy odds of 35/1 with 188BET. Both players are worthy of noting in the Anytime Goalscorer market at 7/1 and 12/1 respectively – both with Sun Bets.
Other Side Bets
My view is that Southampton cannot afford a pragmatic approach to this game, which could lead to goals and very likely to be at both ends of the pitch. Sport Pesa’s offer of 10/13 on Both Teams to Score is my strongest selection of the game. The Saints’ best chance of winning this game is to keep a clean sheet, but their defence has not been competent enough in that regard, which makes our selection even more appealing.
The odds of 8/11 on a Southampton victory are rather prohibitive – especially when the Saints have not won in the Premier League for nine games. Betway and William Hill go 12/5 for a Southampton win and Both Teams to Score which looks feasible at much more rewarding odds.
Our Correct Score offering for this game is a 2-1 home victory for Southampton at 8/1 with 10BET and Sport Pesa. The nerves will be tangible amongst the home following at St. Marys on Saturday afternoon, but a narrow home win for the Saints could just give them the catalyst for Premier League safety.