Southampton v AFC Bournemouth Betting Preview
Back Ronald Koeman’s men to defeat local rivals Bournemouth
The Saints come into this Premier League tie on the back of their 2-1 win over Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, so their confidence will be running high. Ronald Koeman’s men have been producing solid and consistent performances, as has been the case for most of their current stay in the top flight. After 10 games they sit eighth in the league table with 14 points, which isn’t a remarkable tally, but when considering they sit only six points off the top-four, it’s a healthy total.
Their recent run of form has been more than satisfactory, losing only one of their last eight Premier League games and scoring 16 goals in the process. One thing Koeman’s side have struggled to find this season is that extra fight towards the end of their games to push for the three points. Five draws in ten must be a frustrating figure for the manager, but I fully expect them to beat their south coast rivals on Sunday.
Shane Long is unlikely to feature after missing Wednesday’s tie through injury, and Jay Rodriguez remains out with a foot injury. Sadio Mane returns after serving his one-match suspension.
Life was never going to be easy for newly-promoted Bournemouth – unsurprising for a side who were playing non-league football as recently as 2009. Despite such a heroic journey into the Premier League, Bournemouth have struggled to find their feet in the big-time, and their 30-mile trip to St Mary’s on Sunday will prove no easy test.
The Cherries currently sit one place above the relegation zone in 17th, accumulating a total of eight points from their first ten league games. Two wins and two draws have shown that Howe’s men have the ability to challenge stronger, more experienced sides, however they have lost three of their last four in the league, including two 5-1 defeats to Manchester City and more recently Tottenham Hotspur, which could spell trouble against an attacking Southampton side. After narrowly losing 1-0 to Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, the team will have little morale to build on – I think Bournemouth will do well to come away with anything on Sunday.
Harry Arter returned to the starting line-up during the week after five months out through injury and is likely to start. Artur Boruc is expected to miss the game with a thigh problem.
The two sides have met only four times in their history, the last coming back in 2014 in a friendly. Southampton have won all four encounters, scoring eight and conceding only one – but Bournemouth are a different side now, meaning the Saints will have to avoid becoming complacent. It will be the first meeting between the two sides in England’s top flight – I think Southampton will mark the occasion by taking all three points.
To score two or more – Graziano Pelle 10/3
This is a born goal scorer if ever I’ve seen one. A predator in the box and a menace to defenders, Graziano Pelle has eight goals to his name so far this season, five of which have come in the league. His spectacular volley against Aston Villa on Wednesday shows that the Italian is a man full of confidence at the moment, and I expect him to add to his tally on Sunday. Odds of 10/3 are well worth taking.
Both teams to score in first half – Yes 15/4
This game has the potential to produce a lot of goals. There have been at least three in nine of Southampton’s 14 matches in all competitions so far, meaning goals could be likely at both ends on Sunday. Bournemouth have only kept one clean sheet all season, conceding 22 in the process. However, of the twelve they have scored, eight have come in the first half.
I would recommend a stab at this one with tempting odds of 15/4.
Match Odds – Southampton 8/15
Unsurprisingly, the home side are favourites to win the tie. Odds of 8/15 for Koeman’s side to pick up their fourth league win of the season are very favourable, but I would also recommend considering odds of 10/3 for the draw. Bournemouth are priced at 6/1 outsiders to take three points from their trip to St Mary’s, and although we’ve seen a number of shock results so far this season, the Cherries’ recent form suggests that they’re in for a tough time on Sunday.
We could well be seeing Eddie Howe’s men in the bottom three by the end of the gameweek.
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.