A busy Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) looks ahead to Thursday’s Southampton-Hapoel Beer Sheva clash.
Southampton v Hapoel Be’er Sheva | Thursday 20:05 | BT Sport 2
- Both teams locked together on seven points and in second place.
- A Southampton win or 0-0 draw would see Saints go through while a Hapoel victory or a score draw would see the Israeli’s go into the Last 32.
- Claude Puel’s side have won both their home Europa League matches in this group. Group winners Sparta Prague were smashed 3-0 while Inter were beaten 2-1 in November.
- Be’er Sheva have had a terrific adventure with home and away wins over Inter Milan and a home draw against Saints on Matchday 2.
- The Israeli side arrive in great form having won their last seven domestic matches. They sit 10 points clear at the top of their league.
- The picture is more gloomy for Southampton with just one win in their last six Premier League matches and Saints now lie in the bottom half of the table.
- Worryingly for the South Coast side they’ve fired blanks in three of their last five games and didn’t record a single shot on target against Liverpool last month. Within the same period though they’ve kept three clean sheets.
- While Southampton are short at 10/21 I do feel they are a class up from their opponents and are unlikely to spurn this chance at home to reach the knockout stage. I’ll back them -1 on the Asian Handicap at a shade of odds on.
Southampton v Hapoel Be’er Sheva – Southampton -1 Asian Handicap (5/6 188BET)