Southampton v Tottenham – St. Mary’s at 12:45 live on BT Sport 1

This Saturday’s lunchtime kick off see’s Mauricio Pochettino make his first return to former club Southampton, with his new side Tottenham sitting one place and one point above the Saints. This should be an entertaining match for both fans and neutrals as well as the Asian Handicap betting punters out there.

With 4th placed Man City 7 points clear of Spurs and 8 of Southampton, the Champions League is only a very distant possibility but the Europa League is still in reach. An extra place for Europe’s second tier competition is there already for the 6th place finisher after Chelsea won the League Cup. Another can be earned if Arsenal defeat Aston Villa in the FA Cup final, providing the Gunners can finish in the top 4.

For Southampton and Ronald Koeman however, the chance to accumulate their best ever points haul and to finish above Pochettino’s new club may provide more of an incentive. The Argentinian left the south coast club after a successful 16 months in charge, leading the Saints to an 8th place finish on 56 points, a club record. Koeman looks set to improve their finishing position as they are 9 points clear of Swansea and can take this years total to 59 points with a win over Tottenham, with the added bonus of overtaking them in 6th place.

The Saints recent form has been mediocre and will need to improve to claim 3 points this Saturday. They have only won 3 of their last 8 league games, D1 L4 and have earned just 7 points from a possible 15 in their last 5. Their strong defensive displays at St Mary’s continue though, only conceding 3 in their 7 matches in 2015, not conceding in their last 3. With the best defence in the league, conceding an average of 0.59 at home, they will make it very difficult for Tottenham.

Spurs have the 4th best away record in the league, W8 D3 L5 and score an average of 1.5 goals a game on the road. Their recent form is slightly better than Southampton’s winning 4 of their last 8 but have also only picked up 7 points from their last 5 league outings.

The North Londoner’s will be without Kyle Walker, out for 4 weeks with a foot injury and Danny Rose is also unlikely after limping off against Newcastle last week. A big boost will be the return of Hugo Loris after missing the last 3 games due to a cut knee but his future remains uncertain after expressing a desire to play Champions League football.

I don’t see much value in the goals market with both sides statistics poles apart. 81% of Tottenham’s away matches have seen 3 goals or more whereas just 35% of the Saints home matches have been over 2.5. With Southampton’s strong defence the Unders would be the bet but there is no value in the 1.85 on offer.

It’s the away side and underdog that represents the value on the Asian Handicap betting market. Tottenham to avoid defeat will be my recommendation for this one.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Tottenham +0.5 @ 1.88

Prices correct at time of writing.

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