Friday 20 September: 8pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
Southampton and Bournemouth face each other in a south coast derby. It’s nowhere near as thrilling or scary as a Southampton v Portsmouth clash (that’s coming in the Carabao Cup) but still a game that has a bit of bragging rights attached to it. Both sides won their last game in the Premier League and the winner of this match will go third in the table.
Southampton have become a club known for selling its best players. Next time you get bored, work out a team of ex-Southampton players and then look at who they currently have in their squad. That’s seen them shift from being a club that was finishing in the top ten of the Premier League to one that just does enough to save themselves from relegation. It’s 9/1 (10.0) at Paddy Power that Southampton will drop down to the Championship at the end of the 2019/20 season.
This term got off to a poor start with a 3-0 defeat at Burnley. That was followed by a 2-1 home loss to Liverpool and their fans were again starting to fear the worst. Southampton finally got their first league win of the season when beating struggling Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0. A better home performance saw them draw 1-1 at home with Manchester United and then they won 1-0 at Sheffield United last weekend.
The Saints start this weekend in 10th place with seven points. That’s three above the relegation zone and only one off the Champions League positions. It’s a tight table at present but that’s bound to change in the coming weeks and months. A win for Southampton would take them third in the league. The odds of that happening are at 26/25 (2.04) if placing your bet at 888sport.
Bournemouth are a place above Southampton but only on goal difference. They could be higher already having began their season with a 1-1 home draw against newly-promoted Sheffield United. Bournemouth led that match and should have held on for the three points.
They got off to a swift start in their next game scoring two early goals away at Aston Villa. That time they did hold on for a 2-1 away victory. That’s important for Bournemouth as they had poor away form last season. You can get odds of 5/2 (3.5) at Betfred on them winning at St Mary’s on Friday evening.
Bournemouth failed to build on that start of four points from their first two league games. They lost at home to Manchester City and then away at Leicester City. The defensive problems that the Cherries just can’t sort out continued with six goals conceded in those two games.
They keep themselves out of trouble with the occasional good performance. That’s what happened last week when they beat Everton 3-1 at home. Bournemouth still have several key players injured, so the more points they can earn at this stage of the season the better.
Southampton have only lost once to Bournemouth in the eight games played since the Cherries won promotion to the Premier League. That defeat was away from home in March 2016. Home games against Bournemouth have produced two wins and two draws. A stalemate is a popular result in this fixture with four of the last five ending that way. A trip to the Betfair website will see you coming away with odds of 27/10 (3.7) on this match being drawn.
This should be an entertaining local derby between two sides who have made a steady start to their league seasons. Neither are that consistent and winning two league games in a row isn’t a common occurrence. A bet on a draw with both teams scoring has odds of 18/5 (4.6) at BetVictor.