Southampton V Chelsea – St. Mary’s at 16:00 live on Sky Sports 1

Next up for my Asian Handicap previews this weekend, is an intriguing clash between Southampton & Chelsea.

Only last weekend we were cashing in on the Saints as they earned a hard fought point at Manchester City.

Chelsea enjoyed last weekend as they thumped Manchester United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, but Saints should provide a tougher test.

Solid Southampton…

Claude Puel has slipped seamlessly into the hot seat on the South Coast, continuing the good work of his predecessors.

Despite selling off players every summer, Saints still maintain their status as one of the top 10 clubs in England.

Their defence is expertly marshalled by Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte, both of whom could leave after this season.

Further up the park, Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and Charlie Austin can score goals against anyone in the league.

Add to that, the now fully fit, record signing Sofiane Boufal who scored a peach of a goal on Wednesday. Southampton look well set for success this season.

Chelsea on form…

Despite some good early results under new manager Antonio Conte, Chelsea were not playing very well.

The poor performances came back to haunt them in September, with back to back defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal.

But Conte showed what a good manager he is, by changing his approach to his preferred three at the back.

Since making this change and bringing in players such as Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses, the Blues are undefeated.

They have also kept three consecutive clean sheets, while plundering nine goals of their own along the way.

This is a tough match up for both teams, who are defensively sound and on form at the moment. These teams also had to deal with midweek EFL Cup action on Wednesday night, so recovery could be key winning.

Stats, data and prices…

I prefer getting into the markets early, to gain the most value possible. Plus, if you are consistently beating the bookies closing price, you should profit in the long run.

Early prices for this clash at St. Mary’s, have the hosts as 3.35 underdogs and visitors Chelsea are 2.35 favourites.

On the face of it this price on Saints looks like decent value, so let’s take a closer look at some recent data and see if the evidence leads to betting opportunity.

Based on my data, there has been 86 home teams within a 3.0 to 3.6 price range over the past three seasons.

Just 28 (32.55%) of these teams managed to overcome the odds and claim victory against their guests. In terms of goals, 49 (56.97%) of the 86 matches ended with at least three goals.

Southampton have very rarely played in this price range so, I have had to amend their parameters to find more useful data.

Their home record against the traditional top six teams is a not too impressive, P18 W4 D5 L9. Somewhat surprisingly only six of these games finished Under 2.5 goals and even those all had two goals in them.

Finally, in terms of the Asian Handicap line, Southampton covered this in 7 of 18 matches.

I also extended the range a little for Chelsea, to review a similar amount of data. Their record when playing away against a favourite priced 3.0 to 4.5 reads, P13 W7 D0 L6. Mixed results at best.

These games also saw a lot of goal scoring action, with just two ending with Under 2.5 Goals after 90 minutes.

At this price range, a win means they covered they Asian line as well, so seven covers and six losses.

Asian Handicap & Total Goals…

The main Asian Handicap line in this one is set at +/-0.25 and with Saints price of 1.93, they look good value.

Also, despite the three year data showing games in this range to be high scoring, the recent form of these teams suggests Unders is more likely.

Plus, with both playing and only scoring one goal each on Wednesday night. Albeit with weakened teams, there could be a little fatigue in both sides.

Chelsea are in great form just now, but Southampton are a tough nut to crack and with the value available on the home team, they have to be backed here.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: Southampton +0.25 at 1.93

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DarkDyson, all stats taken from his data sheets.

Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker, Asian Handicap specialists.

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