Southampton v Everton – St Mary’s Stadium at 16:30 live on Sky Sports 1
Ronald Koeman returns to St Mary’s this afternoon for the first time since his Summer move to Everton. Both Southampton and the Toffee’s have been struggling with consistency of late, but with the hosts priced up at a short 2.16, the value has to be with the visitors on the Asian Handicap market.
It has taken Claude Puel a bit of time to settle in as manager of the Saints. It took the Frenchman 5 matches before registering a win in the Premier League and has still managed just 3 victories from 12 games.
However, Southampton have significantly improved their performances and Puel has them playing some good football. They are a well-organised, defensively strong side but are falling short in the attacking department.
With just 12 goals so far this campaign, only Hull have scored fewer. Southampton also haven’t found the back of the net in their last 2 home games.
They are a tough side to beat at St. Mary’s though, losing just one of their last 11 matches on home soil. However, their only 2 victories from 6 at home this term have come against 12th placed Burnley and second from bottom Swansea.
There is nothing to support their short price of 2.16 despite facing an equally unreliable Everton side.
The season started well for the Merseyside club, a draw at home to Tottenham before a run of 4 consecutive wins put them second in the league towards the end of September. Only Man City bettered their 13 points from a possible 15.
Since then, Everton have picked up just 6 points from a possible 21, winning just one in 7, and have slipped back down to 7th in the league.
Last time out, it took a last minute Seamus Coleman goal to equalise with a poor Swansea side and confidence seems to be low.
Koeman has an excellent squad at his disposal and has shown what they are capable of this season. I think they are going through a bad run and I expect them to improve. Whether today will be the day they can get back to their best, I’m not so sure, but I don’t see them getting beaten.
Asian Handicap & Total Goals
Both sides are very unreliable. There is nothing to suggest, apart from having home advantage, that the Saints should be as short as they are coming into this match. With just 2 wins at St. Mary’s this season, and the fact they are struggling in from of goal, I’d rather be backing Everton with a 0.5 goal advantage on the Asian Handicap market at 1.82.
A low scoring game is expected. Five of Southampton’s 6 home matches have seen 2 goals or fewer, as have 4 of the Toffee’s 6 road matches. The price for Under 2.5 is 1.79, a little short to be getting involved with however.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Everton +0.5 at 1.82
Prices correct at time of writing.
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