Looking more defensively solid than ever under Claude Puel, Al Hain-Cole expects the home side to ease to victory against the Premier League's least prolific attacking team
Southampton will be hoping to maintain their strong recent form when they welcome Burnley to St Mary’s Stadium in Sunday’s Premier League clash.
Unbeaten in six matches coming into the game, Clause Puel’s team are 4/11 (1.36) favourites with bet365 to come out on top once again. In contrast, the Clarets have won just one of their last six fixtures, and are 8/1 (9.00) outsiders to secure a first away win of the season here.
The hosts have drawn each of their previous two matches in all competitions, and you can get odds of 7/2 (4.50) on them being forced to settle for a single point once again in this one.
After another summer of upheaval that saw manager Ronald Koeman depart to be followed by key players Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle, many feared the worst when the Saints opened the season with no wins from their first four fixtures.
However, a run of four wins and two draws later and Puel is beginning to look like yet another inspired managerial appointment by the club that brought Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino to the Premier League.
Not only has the Frenchman extended the team’s unbeaten home streak to eight games, he has also matched his predecessor’s Premier League club record of six consecutive clean sheets.
In fact, the former Nice boss should feel rightly confident of exceeding the Dutchman’s six-game tally when his team take on Sean Dyche’s men, who have scored a joint league low of just five goals so far this campaign.
Considering none of those goals have come on the road and that the guests also drew a blank in their one other away game this season (a 1-0 EFL Cup defeat to Accrington Stanley), even money (2.00) seems generous on Southampton consigning Burnley to a fourth consecutive defeat while keeping a seventh successive clean sheet.