Championship Betting Preview: Southampton to battle past rivals Portsmouth

The Saints and Pompey need points for very different reasons in England's second tier. Adam Bate is backing the league leaders - but also expects an even first half
This south-coast derby could hardly feature more contrasting fortunes for the two teams involved. While Southampton sit atop of the Championship, Portsmouth labour in a financial quagmire, seemingly destined for relegation.

Saints have been in great form at home – winning four of their last five – and the fans will surely raise the roof for this clash against their beleaguered rivals. Nigel Adkins’ men are 1/2 (1.5) favourites with Bet365 here.

In contrast, Portsmouth have lost their last four away from home but may be encouraged by Blackpool’s 3-0 win against Southampton last weekend.

Michael Appleton’s team have shown in recent home wins against Birmingham and Hull that they can still up their game on occasions. Pompey are 6/1 (7.0) to stun the Saints and the draw is available at 3/1 (4.0) with Bet365.

In the goalscorers markets, Rickie Lambert is the obvious pick but there have been some doubts over his fitness of late. Instead, a long-shot pick for the home side might be Jos Hooiveld – he has two in the last nine games but is a 20/1 (21.0) shot to net first here.

For Portsmouth, Greg Halford is 16/1 (17.0) to open the scoring and that’s a decent price for a penalty-taker on a day when the referee could be busy.

In the other markets, it is worth considering that, despite Pompey’s lowly position, they have only been behind at the interval in three of their last 15 matches.

Appleton’s side could make things difficult for Southampton here and so the best bet is to back the teams to be level at half-time at 13/10 (2.3).

Ultimately, however, Saints' class should tell. Twenty percent of their home games have ended in 2-0 wins and the same percentage of Pompey’s away games have ended in defeat by the same score.

As a result, the value bet is to back a 2-0 Southampton win at 11/2 (6.5) with Bet365.

Draw at HT at 13/10 (2.3) with Bet365
Southampton to win 2-0 at 11/2 (6.5) with Bet365

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter