Chelsea v Southampton – Faith in Blues to squeeze past Saints

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THE second FA Cup semi-final takes place on Sunday and expert analysis Dan McCulloch (@danmcc84) shares his best bet for when Chelsea meet Southampton at Wembley.

Chelsea v Southampton | Sunday 22nd April 2018, 15:00 | BT Sport

At first glance the 1/2 available on Chelsea to win this game looks about right.

For all their issues this season, the London side are 35 points ahead of today’s opponents and their victory at St Mary’s last weekend – when they came from two goals behind to win 3-2 – makes it very likely that Southampton will be playing Championship football next term.

Mark Hughes is yet to win a league game in four attempts as Saints boss and the performances have been varied. They were generally decent in losses to Arsenal and Chelsea, toothless against Leicester on Thursday night and appalling in a 3-0 loss to fellow strugglers West Ham.

All of this makes it very difficult for me to judge exactly where they are under Hughes. Instead, I looked at their record against the top six this season. In 11 games they are yet to record a victory. However, they’ve been competitive in the vast majority of these matches, drawing three and losing five by a single goal.

With that in mind, my first selection is Chelsea to win by a single goal at 13/5 with Bet365. Both games against the Saints this season have seen this bet obliged and overall nine of their 19 victories this season have been by the most slender of margins. Eight of Southampton’s 15 Premier League losses have also been by a single goal so I think this is the value play.

I also like the look of Both Teams To Score at evens (Ladbrokes). Much has been made of the lack of firepower Southampton possess but it is worth remembering that they’ve scored twice against both Arsenal and Chelsea in the last fortnight and 19 of their 34 league games have seen both sides find the net.

It’s six in 11 against the top six and I think they’ll find the net against Antonio Conte’s men.

The West London side seem to have lost the knack of keeping clean sheets. They’ve conceded in each of their last ten games in all competitions and both sides have found the net in their last five games.

I think Ladbrokes‘ price is a tad big and I am more than happy to take such advantage of such an offer.

Best Bets

Chelsea v Southampton – Chelsea to win by one goal (13/5 Bet365)

Chelsea v Southampton – Both Teams To Score (1/1 Ladbrokes)

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