ADAM Goodwin (@agjournalism) takes a look at Super Sunday’s contest between Brighton and Southampton.
Brighton v Southampton | Sunday 29th October 2017, 13:30 | Sky Sports
I’m not sure you can label this game as a derby, but for the purposes of trying to build anticipation for a game that – on paper – doesn’t seem too exciting for the neutral, I will.
These sides haven’t met since the 2011/12 Championship season, with the home side winning 3-0 on both occasions.
In arguably the best performance of last weekend, Brighton hammered West Ham 3-0 at the London Stadium. Glenn Murray seems to have solved Chris Hughton’s problems in attack, as the ex-Crystal Palace striker bagged a brace on Friday night.
Southampton were also victorious last weekend, as they beat West Brom 1-0 at St Mary’s – this was thanks to a stunning, solo striker from Sofiane Boufal. The Moroccan midfielder mazed his way through the West Brom midfield and defence before slotting the ball beyond Ben Foster.
Maurico Pellegrino will need more of the same from his side this weekend, as they look to record their first away win since 16th September.
Brighton are now unbeaten is three Premier League, and it feels like they’re finally starting to settle into the Premier League. Results wise, they’ve started the season pretty well.
Narrow losses to the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, draws against Everton and high-flying Watford and victories versus West Ham and Newcastle are good results, and they’ll be looking to build on this come Sunday.
I’ve mentioned in previous previews that I was worried about Brighton’s lack of goalscorers, but Murray was out to prove me wrong last Friday as he was amongst the goals for the Seagulls.
Murray has been far from prolific in past Premier League seasons, averaging less than a goal every four games for the likes of Palace, Bournemouth and Brighton. But this season he has a shot accuracy of 80% and, whilst he’s only attempted five shots, it’s better than Gabriel Jesus, Alexandre Lacazette and Alvaro Morata.
If Brighton can get Murray the ball, there’s a good chance he’ll get it somewhere near the back of the net. Tomer Hemed and Sam Baldock are returning to the matchday squad, so whether Murray will start is yet to be seen.
Boufal’s goal was the one bright moment in an otherwise tedious affair at St Mary’s on Saturday evening, but that should’ve been expected from two teams with the lowest shot accuracy in the league.
I’m still not convinced by the Saints, they haven’t put in a performance so far this season that has shown me that they can battle for the top seven or eight yet. In the three games they’ve won, they’ve been extremely fortunate.
They beat West Ham thanks to two penalties, scraped past bottom side Crystal Palace and they only got three points against West Brom because of Boufal’s brilliance. That was along with two dour 0-0 draws against Huddersfield and Swansea.
It’s not looking particularly encouraging for Southampton at the moment.
The betting angles
Southampton are favourites for this tie at the AMEX and I don’t think they deserve to be. Brighton have looked by the far the better side so far this season, and with the undoubted electric atmosphere for this “derby”, I think they’ll have the advantage.
I like the 27/20 being offered on Brighton draw no bet with Marathon.
I also like the Combination Correct Score market on BetVictor and I really fancy Brighton to win either 1-0 or 2-0, which is 9/2.
Glenn Murray is 13/2 to score the first goal at the AMEX on Sunday and, if he starts, this also looks like decent value.