WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) returns to his staple diet of Premier League football. Southampton play host to Burnley on the south coast; can Sean Dyche pick up that elusive away win?
Southampton v Burnley | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
Burnley will no doubt be the happier of these two sides with the start they’ve made to this season.
Sean Dyche’s men have recorded wins against Liverpool and Watford at home and will consider themselves desperately unlucky not to get a point against Arsenal after a brilliant defensive display was thwarted by a last second Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goal that was both offside and handball.
Burnley have a wilier look about them this time around. Relegation in the 2014/15 season looked pretty much nailed on for a long time.
The injury to Sam Vokes heaped all of the goal-scoring pressure onto Danny Ings and their home form was simply not good enough; only four wins were recorded at Turfmoor that season – they already have half that total from just five attempts.
Southampton finished a brilliant sixth last season, a performance that went a little under the radar with Leicester’s exploits taking pretty much all of the limelight. They’ve started a little slower this season but since Charlie Austin has been starting up front they are now six games unbeaten.
Austin has scored five in his last five starts and Saints haven’t conceded a single goal in their last six games. Claude Puel looks to have found the rhythm with this team and that spells trouble for the rest of the Premier League when visiting St Mary’s.
Last season Southampton won 11 of 19 home games and only Manchester City scored more than them and their own place; 39 goals in just 19 games on the south coast.
Something I want to focus on this season with these two sides is the lack of goals in their matches; Saints games have seen just 13 goals in seven games; a goal per-game ratio of just 1.86 that’s the lowest in the Premier League.
Burnley follow suit straight after them with 14 goals scored in their seven games, 2.00 goals per-game – the second lowest in the top-flight.
Saints have played Leicester, Arsenal and Manchester United this season and Burnley have had an even tougher start having played Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester across their opening seven games. To have kept tight defences across these kind of games is a credit to both sides.
Burnley in the Premier League under Dyche have seen only 16 of their 45 games go Over 2.5 Goals; that’s an incredibly low figure for a league that’s averaged 2.70 goals-per-game since he first brought Burnley up in 2014.
It’s obvious then that he likes to build from a solid base and with Michael Keane and Ben Mee both performing very well so far this season – the former having just received his first senior England call up – I think we can expect another low scoring game.
Burnley are missing their star striker Andre Gray through suspension and Saints have injury troubles of their own; Shane Long, Ryan Bertrand, Sofiane Boufal and Jay Rodriguez will likely all be sidelined.
The Clarets have lost their last three visits to St Marys, 2-0 in the Premier League in 2015 and the same score-line when they met in the Championship in 2012. They’ve also failed to find the net in their opening two away games this season. Everything points to a home clean sheet.
Saints have scored just three goals in three Premier League home games so far and as Burnley are playing pretty well at the back I’m not expecting them to blow the visitors away – consequently 2/5 to win the game looks so very short and means I’ll instead look to correct scores.
Southampton are 85/40 to win 1-0 or 2-0 in the Correct Score combination market at BetVictor. It’s a decent way of boosting the Win To Nil market in which they are just 11/10.
Charlie Austin scored 18 goals in the season that both QPR and Burnley were relegated back to the Championship. He’s a local boy and has said that he’s very happy where he is. Confidence is key for strikers and the value on him to score just never seems to diminish.
Here he is up against his old club. He scored 45 goals in 90 games for the Clarets and the ex-Burnley striker came good for us when I backed him to score at the London Stadium. 6/5 (Bet365) to score anytime certainly looks worth backing.