Southampton v Everton (Mon, 20:00, SS1)
Simon’s recommended tip:
Under 2.5 Goals @ 9/8 – BET NOW
Southampton’s improved defensive resilience has been underestimated by bookmakers and under 2.5 goals looks a juicy price when Everton visit St Mary’s on Monday.
Nigel Adkins clearly had a 'eureka' moment after the 2-0 West Brom defeat in November. Since then, his side have conceded just 12 goals in their last 12 Premier League games - compared to 28 in their first 10 matches! This run has obviously heavily affected their over/under stats - the Saints have gone under 2.5 goals in an amazing nine of their last 12 games, compared to just two of their opening 10. It's also not a coincidence that they tightened up at the back exactly when Jack Cork returned to the first team - he's offered a security in midfield that no-one else in their squad can offer.
Everton are atight defensive unit as well, with just 11 goals conceded in their last nine away Premier League games. They also drew a blank in their 0-0 draw with Swansea last time out, which is encouraging for our bet, while Toffees matches are rarely anything but tight affairs. Their last 16 consecutive Premier League games have been decided by no more than one goal either way!
With two good defences going head to head, I really can’t see why under 2.5 goals is as big as 9/8. Bookies clearly haven’t reacted to the change in philosophy from Nigel Adkins and we can take advantage. *Note: Nigel Adkins has been sacked since I wrote this preview but my tip would stay the same regardless.
Premier League Preview
Southampton are on an excellent run of just two defeats in their last 12 Premier League games which has seen their relegation odds drift to a best price 9/5. Everton are still in the hunt for a top four position though 10 draws this season – the second highest in the division – continues to be their Achilles' heel. The Toffees are 6/1 to finish in the Champions League positions.
Premier League Facts
Head to heads:
Everton are unbeaten in their last six consecutive games against Southampton - the last Saints win came back in 2002, when Marian Pahars scored the winner in a 1-0 victory. Bet Now on the full-time result.
Four of Southampton’s last 12 Premier League games have finished 1-1. Bet Now on the correct score market.
Everton have been drawing at half-time in their last four consecutive Premier League games. Bet Now on the half-time result market.