Thursday, March 23, 2017

Prediction: Southampton vs Tottenham

Verdict: Spurs Draw no bet

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: bet365

Having shown improvement to take seven points from their last three matches, Southampton head into the Tottenham clash high on confidence. Spurs are flying high as well after winning four of their last five matches in all competitions and everything suggests we will witness a great game of football at St Mary’s.

Southampton

We cannot say that Southampton’s current season has been a resounding success, as the Saints failed to progress from their Europa League group, but that could easily prove a blessing in disguise. It was easy to see that the European campaign was proving a burden for the team and it is not that surprising that Claude Puel’s charges have raised their game shortly after the European exit. Since the 1-1 draw with Hapoel Be’er Sheva, the Saints defeated the likes of Middlesbrough and AFC Bournemouth, while sharing spoils with Stoke City, climbing to eighth in the overall standings. Southampton are still way behind top 4 positions, but they will want to improve their Europa League hopes by defeating top 6 rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Before the game against the Cherries, the Saints largely struggled up front, bagging mere three goals in seven Premier League fixtures, but at least their back line did fairly well during said period, as Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk have established quite the defensive partnership. Southampton made a real coup by defeating Bournemouth away as Claude Puel decided to rest a number of regular starters, with Jay Rodriguez marking is return from injury with a brace.

Team News

The former England international is expected to make way for Shane Long, while Dusan Tadic, Steven Davis and Jose Fonte should be recalled as well.

Oriol Romeu returns from suspension, whereas Charlie Austin, Jordy Clasie and Matt Targett miss out through injury.

Tottenham

It is fair to say that Tottenham Hotspur missed a glorious opportunity to lift the Premier League trophy last season, since their chances of going all the way this term are slim to none. That is not to say that team’s performances have been disappointing, but Spurs are simply not playing well enough to compete with the likes of Chelsea, who have been absolutely amazing of late. Nevertheless, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have improved their top 4 hopes with successive triumphs over Swansea City, Hull City and Burnley, showing a great deal of character to come from behind against the Clarets. But, it is the away game against revived Southampton that will serve as a genuine test to their Champions League hopes, and there will be some familiar faces in the visiting dressing room. Mauricio Pochettino and Victor Wanyama had both become fans’ favourites before moving to White Hart Lane, but the duo will now be completely focused on helping Spurs negotiate the difficult away game. The visitors have reason to fear the trip to St Mary’s given the disappointing eight-match winless run on the road, although it has to be noted that Tottenham won three of their last four fixtures at said stadium.

Team News

Toby Alderweireld returns to the side after recovering from injury, meaning that Eric Dier could be relegated to the bench.

Vincent Janssen and Danny Rose are back in contention, but Erik Lamela continues to miss out through illness.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Spurs won six of last eight meetings with Saints (D1 L1)
  • They also won three of last four games at St Mary’s (D1)
  • Spurs scored at least two goals in each of those matches
  • Tottenham won last three Premier League fixtures
  • Southampton had scored 3 goals in 7 games prior to Bournemouth game

Conclusion

Southampton have shown improvement of late, but their key men are far from the desired form and they have all sorts of problems up front. Meanwhile, Spurs are slowly finding their rhythm and having impressed in previous meetings with the Saints, we are backing them to finally end the barren run on the road.

Verdict: Spurs Draw no bet

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: bet365

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