The south coast derby takes centre stage as Southampton welcome AFC Bournemouth to St Mary’s in what promises to be a thrilling tussle.
Claude Puel’s men have been involved in a host of high-scoring matches in recent weeks, but Saints fans will settle for a victory of any kind against the Cherries on Saturday evening.
The hosts are chalked up as 8/13 (1.62) with dabblebet to take all three points, while Eddie Howe’s men are available at 9/2 (5.50) to take all three points; there is 3/1 (4.0) that the match remains deadlocked at the end of 90 minutes.
There have been more than two goals scored in each of Southampton’s last seven matches – including a 3-2 defeat against Manchester United in the EFL Cup at Wembley – and Puel’s team certainly know the way to goal, having notched no fewer than 11 goals in their last four fixtures.
Bournemouth’s battling qualities came to the fore as they picked up an unlikely point against Manchester United at Old Trafford in their most recent away match – the first time that the Cherries have avoided defeat on the road in 2017.
The odds compilers are anticipating a goal-laden game; dabblebet go 3/4 (1.75) that both teams are on target, while the same firm also offer 3/4 (1.75) that at least two goals are scored when this rivalry is renewed; the last meeting between the teams ended in a 3-1 win for Southampton and 11/1 (12.0) is available that the scoreline is repeated on this occasion.
Saints have shipped just a single goal in their last five home wins and there is 13/8 (2.63) that Puel’s men again win without conceding against the Cherries, while even money (2.0) is available that there are fewer than three goals scored.
It is a selection that would have seen punters profit from each of the previous three meetings between the teams in Hampshire, although two of those clashes were League One fixtures. Nevertheless, it represents a marker of the considerable progress that the rivals have made in recent years.
Better value, however, may lie in backing Puel’s men to pick up three precious points from a high-scoring clash; there have been more than two goals scored in three of Saints’ last four wins, while the Cherries - who have conceded 31 away goals in the Premier League this season - have conceded at least three goals in six of their last seven defeats away from home in all competitions.
The 11/8 (2.38) quote, therefore, for Southampton to win a game that features more than two goals could well present punters with a solid option ahead of Saturday evening’s south coast derby from St Mary’s.