Best Odds: 21/20
Premier League football returns this weekend with several highly notable matches, one of which will definitely be the latest instalment of what’s called the New Forest Derby between Bournemouth and Southampton. The two sides have experienced different starts to their respective campaigns and the Saturday’s clash at Vitality Stadium could potentially be a highly interesting one.
Proving they are much more than just a flash in the pan, Bournemouth continue to mount a serious challenge in the top tier of English football. The Cherries have gone from a 17-point deduction and League Two to become a standard member of the Premier League in just a decade and their strong start to the 2018/19 campaign has once again proved they mean business.
Bournemouth are as high as sixth in the standings after eight rounds of action with 16 points to their name. Only four teams in the league have scored more goals than The Cherries who’ve also been one of the most entertaining teams to watch with an average of 3.4 goals per game. Eddie Howe’s men have yet to suffer a home defeat across all competitions this season and should be high on confidence heading into the New Forest Derby. Joshua King should be the one to watch in the home side, after netting twice in his the Premier League game at Watford. The Norway international made headlines for his open-goal miss during the international break but should be on top of his game in the Premier League.
The hosts should have almost a full crop of players to pick from, with the exception of Scotland midfielder Ryan Fraser who is suffering from a thigh injury.
Contrary to Bournemouth’s positive stretch, Southampton have endured a poor spell of late – losing three Premier League games on the trot. To make things even worse, the Saints have conceded the total of eight goals without scoring a single one and it’s fair to say Mark Hughes’ men are in a bit of a crisis.
Southampton can find some solace in the fact Bournemouth only managed to beat them once in their six previous encounters but will have to work hard in order to maintain the positive record against the Cherries. It will be easier said than done for a side dwelling in 16th in the table, ten places behind their Saturday’s rivals. Hughes’ charges have earned not more than five points from their opening eight league matches and the visiting fans have every reason to worry ahead of their trip to the Vitality Stadium. The Saints only managed to score six goals thus far in the season, three of which came at the hand –better yet foot – of former Liverpool forward Danny Ings. The Englishman has been the most in-form Southampton player and the Saints will definitely hope he will be at his very best on Saturday.
Southampton forward Stuart Armstrong limped off in Scotland’s friendly defeat to Portugal but has been declared fit to start the game at Bournemouth.
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy pulled out of the England squad with a knock ahead of the Croatia clash but has also passed the fitness test and will be at Mark Hughes’ disposal at the weekend.
Key Factors to Consider
- Bournemouth have averaged 3.4 goals per game in the Premier League this season
- The Cherries have yet to lose a single match at home soil in current campaign
- Only 4 teams in the league have scored more goals than Bournemouth (16)
- Southampton managed only one win in 8 Premier League rounds this season
- Danny Ings scored three of Southampton’s 6 league goals
Bournemouth and Southampton head into the Saturday’s duel in contrasting forms and mindsets. The hosts boast plenty of confidence following their strong start to the season whereas the Saints have struggled to find their ground. The forthcoming clash should bring plenty of entertainment as both sides will be eager to claim three points from the first New Forest Derby of the season.
Best Odds: 21/20
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