Southampton vs Tottenham
Saturday 25th April, 12:45
Live on BT Sport 1
A stuttering couple of months for Southampton have been underpinned by an impressive stretch of results at St Mary’s where they have won their last three and lost just one of the last five.
It means that Ronald Koeman’s men have won 10 of their 17 games on the south coast this season and have the best home record outside the Premier League’s top four. All but one of those 10 home victories have come without conceding and there have been a further two shutouts, making it a total of 11 clean sheets for the meanest defence in English football.
At the other end, top scorer Graziano Pellé scored his first Premier League goal of 2015 when sealing the three points with a late strike against Hull two weeks ago. But it is now 18 games and four months since the Saints last scored more than twice in a match.
Team News: Victor Wanyama completes a two-match ban and joins Fraser Forster (knee) and Jay Rodriguez (knee) on the sidelines. Toby Alderweireld is a doubt after he was stretchered off late on in the defeat to Stoke with a shoulder injury.
A goalless draw at Burnley then a home defeat to Aston Villa has all but buried Tottenham’s top four aspirations for this season.
While there have been points during this campaign when Mauricio Pochettino has, and rightly so, attracted generous praise; on reflection of the season as a whole it must be concluded as a disappointing one for the north Londoners.
Until last week’s win at the free-falling Newcastle, Spurs had won only one of their previous nine league and cup games away from White Hart Lane and had failed to score in the most recent four.
But whatever criticisms can be thrown at Pochettino and Spurs in general this season, the same cannot be directed at Harry Kane. The 21-year-old netted his 30th goal of the season in the 3-1 win at St James’ Park and could now go on to become the first Englishman to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot since Kevin Phillips in 1999-2000.
Team News: Kyle Walker (foot) is a long-term absentee, but Jan Verthonghen (illness), Danny Rose (hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (knee) are all in with a chance of returning to the squad.
Saints have been so solid at home and Spurs so flaky on the road lately that I can’t see anything other than another three points for Koeman’s men this Saturday lunchtime. But neither can I get overly excited about odds of [2.16] on any team in a match between two sides that have been so evenly matched over the course of a long campaign.
Southampton are worthy of their favourites tag and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing them, but there are better bets to be had in this fixture.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
I mentioned above just how impressive Southampton’s defence – the most stubborn in English football – has been of late and throughout this season. And combined with Tottenham’s relative lack of success in front of goal on the road – they’ve failed to score in four of their last five away games – we have to conclude that the [1.88] available on Under 2.5 Goals is an outstanding value bet.
Southampton Clean Sheet?
Quite amazingly, Southampton have kept as many clean sheets in Premier League home games this season (11) as the total number of goals both Sunderland and West Brom have scored away from home. And have kept more clean sheets than the total number of Premier League goals that they have conceded at St Mary’s this season (10).
Odds of [2.9] on the Saints defence shutting out Harry Kane and co. is worth investing in, and if you do fancy Southampton to win then [3.6] about them doing so without conceding looks a better play than simply backing the home team in the Match Odds market.
3points Back Under 2.5 Goals @ [1.88]1point Back Southampton Clean Sheet @ [2.9]
Jaymes Monte 2014/15 Season P/L
Staked: 122.0 pts
Returned: 107.45 pts
P/L: -14.55 pts