Inter Milan v Southampton – San Siro at 18:00 live on BT Sport 3
At first glance, Southampton’s price of 3.08 to defeat Inter at the San Siro looks awfully short. However, upon delving deeper, I think they offer some value on the Asian Handicap market.
This was the year where Inter’s fortunes were supposed to change. After a few disappointing season’s, the Nerazzurri were expected to rise up and hit the heights of the Mourinho era, having been taking over by a Chinese consortium. Ten competitive matches into the campaign and there is little evidence to suggest this season will be any different from the last.
Frank De Boer has struggled to find any consistency. Apart from a 2-1 win over Serie A champions and title favourites Juventus, performances have been mediocre at best domestically.
Inter are currently 11th in the Italian league after 8 games. They opened their season with an away loss to Chievo and have suffered back to back defeats in their last 2 outings. Most recently a home loss to Cagliari.
In Europe, it hasn’t been any different. Losing their opening 2 Europa League matches to Hapoel Beer Sheva and Sparta Prague.
They are now on a run of 4 matches without a win, and it seems off field problems are affecting performances on the pitch.
Mauro Icardi’s revelations in his autobiography have been well publicised. Describing clashes with some of the Inter Ultra’s and even threatening to bring over some Argentine criminals to kill the fans he was arguing with.
It got worse for Icardi at the weekend, missing a penalty in their loss to Cagliari, with some Inter fans cheering his miss. Icardi has been fined but remains captain to the disdain of many fans.
Pressure may be starting to mount of Frank De Boer, but whether he is taking the Europa League seriously is questionable. He has rested several players in the first two matches and although they need a result tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was to rest some players again.
It was a slow start to the season under new manager Claude Puel. It took the Saints five matches to register their first league win, but have gone from strength to strength since.
Southampton have now won 5 of their last 7 matches in all competitions and are unbeaten since losing to Arsenal, early on in September.
Defensively they are solid, conceding just once in their last 7 games, and that was a questionable penalty awarded to Burnley when leading 3-0.
The Saints top the group in the Europa League having earned 4 points from their opening 2 matches. It is still very tight though, with Hapoel and Sparta snapping at their heels. You also can’t write off Inter, although struggling for form, the talent is there.
Puel has rotated his squad throughout the season and I expect him to do so again this evening. A draw would be a fantastic result and I expect them to play to their strengths and set up defensively.
Inter come in to the match as favourites, which is unsurprising with home advantage. However, at 2.50, on current form and the fact that De Boer hasn’t taken this competition seriously, as well as off field problems, this is too short.
Southampton are the form team and defensively sound. It will be a hard fought match, with chances at a premium, but the Saints can come away from this match with at least a point.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Southampton +0.25 at 1.88
Prices correct at time of writing.
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