WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) returns for his usual Super Sunday staple. First up is a clash between Bournemouth and Southampton – they sit side-by-side in the league so how do we separate them?
Bournemouth v Southampton | Sunday 13:30 | Sky Sports 1
Bournemouth’s impressive rise in English football shows no sign of stopping.
A 1-0 victory over reigning Champions Leicester in midweek puts them in the top half of the table and it also means that they are level on points with their South coast rivals, who coincidentally are their guests this weekend.
Howe on Earth?!
The Cherries have now scored 22 goals this season, the same amount as Manchester United at time of writing and one week ago they recorded a 4-3 win over Liverpool. Prior to kick-off, the Reds were unbeaten in 15 games and the nature of the comeback from 3-1 down makes it arguably their greatest ever league result.
Their visitors can boast no way near as much attacking vibrance at the minute. Saints have always been a tight team since returning to the top-flight, preferring to win matches by the odd goal but their 14 scored this season is the second lowest only to Middlesbrough.
With Charlie Austin on the pyshio table with a shoulder injury for a few months that makes for rather worrying reading. Sofiane Boufal has caught the eye but Jay Rodriguez and Shane Long will need to chip in regularly if this season isn’t to fizzle out completely.
No one marching in
Southampton’s exit from the Europa League was disappointing, especially as it went down to a head-to-head decider but they only have themselves to blame for dominating a few games without hitting the back of the net.
That failing reared its ugly head again in midweek when Saints played against 10 men at the Bet365 Stadium for 70 minutes and still couldn’t score.
Rodriguez had one or two decent chances but in all truth Southampton didn’t really scare Stoke too much who found it fairly easy to shut them out when they’ve actually not been that good defensively this season.
Bournemouth hold a W5-D1-L2 record at the Vitality this campaign and as Saints have won just one of their eight away games so far, scoring only six goals, it’s pretty hard to conclude why the hosts are the outsiders.
Only the top four have scored more than the Cherries at home this season. Expect Virgil van Dijk to dominate in the air but that’s not really Eddie Howe’s game so Bournemouth will look to move the ball quickly and play intelligent through balls to pacey and tricky strikers Benik Afobe, Callum Wilson and Josh King.
I don’t foresee a Southampton clean sheet and that means that Bournemouth have a great chance of winning this game with Saints being timid in front of goal of late. This derby resulted in two home wins in 2015/16, both by 2-0 score-lines, I expect more of the same.
With the hosts being the underdogs that gives us room on the Asian Handicap to get on the +0.0 line at 12/11 with BetVictor.
The same as a wager on the Draw No Bet market, but better value, it gives us that bit of security should Saints hold Howe’s impressive side to a draw.
Bournemouth v Southampton – Bournemouth +0.0 Asian Handicap (12/11 BetVictor)