Southampton v Burnley – St. Mary’s Stadium at 16:00 live on Sky Sports 1
I turn my attention to St. Mary’s for my second Asian Handicap preview this Sunday. Southampton host Burnley and with form on their side, they come into the match as worthy favourties.
Claude Puel had a slow start as Saints boss having replaced Ronald Koeman over the Summer. The Frenchman was without a win after his opening 4 league games.
It was always going to be difficult for Southampton with some key personnel leaving in the transfer window….again. Two away losses against Man Utd and Arsenal were possibly expected, but home draws against Watford and Sunderland were a disappointment.
Southampton seem to have settled in recent weeks though, unbeaten in 6 across all competitions. Wins against Swansea and West Ham as well as a draw with Leicester last time out has moved them up to 10th in the league.
Puel’s side have also began their Europa League campaign brightly, picking up 4 points from their opening 2 matches.
Southampton’s change in form is largely down to their improvement in defence. After conceding in each of their opening 4 matches (6 in total), they’ve kept clean sheets in their last 3 league matches, 6 in total in all competitions.
For the Clarets, survival will be their aim this season, looking to improve on their performance in the EPL 2 years ago. Burnley were relegated in their first season back in the top flight, but bounced back on the first attempt, finishing at the top of the Championship.
Burnley have looked competitive, even strong, at home this season. With 2 wins and draw from 5 matches, signs are there they have a decent chance in staying up. Away from home however, they have been poor.
Sean Dyce’s men have lost all 3 road matches in all competitions, including an EFL Cup defeat to League Two side, Accrington Stanley. I see this as a good opportunity to pick up their first away points in the league though.
They have the ability to make this hard for Southampton and like the Saints, their strength also lies in defence. Their clean sheet against Watford was impressive and they were unlucky not to back that up with another at home to in form Arsenal.
Asian Handicap & Total Goals
Although worthy favourites, the Saints look to short for me at 1.41. Yes, they are unbeaten in 6 without conceding, but they have already been held twice at home this season.
Southampton have also only managed to score more than 1 goal in one of their 7 league games this season, so with the Asian Handicap line at 1.25, I’d rather be on the visitors at 2.08 which I think at worst should pick up a half win.
There is also some value on the Unders. 71% of both Southampton and Burnley’s matches have seen less than 3 goals. In a match where I think the defences will come out on top, Under 2.5 goals at 1.94 looks a juicy price.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Burnley + 1.25 at 2.08
Prices correct at time of writing.
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