SOUTHAMPTON are fighting for their Premier League life and next up for Mark Hughes' Saints side is a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton. Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) shares his best bets.
Everton v Southampton | Saturday 5th May 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
The Toffees come into this fixture in good form having lost just one of their last seven matches heading into this Premier League fixture. Despite the club surveys and fan displeasure about Sam Allardyce as manager thanks to his pragmatic style despite the calibre of player at his disposal, he has made them hard to beat in recent weeks and is even up for Manager of the Month for April.
His quote that “It's an entertainment game, you're trying to capture hearts and minds, and I think, particularly from a home point of view, we've achieved that” could be a little too far though.
Their home form in particular is certainly impressive – they have lost just two of their last 12 – in fact only Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal have won more home matches in the Premier League than Everton this term.
For all of those reasons I was very surprised to see the bookmakers have actually made The Toffees the underdogs here. Considering their current form and the fact they have only lost five at home in the Premier League, all to top seven sides no less, that seems odd to me.
Of course, Southampton have much more to play for here and that has been taken into account, but odds of 12/5 with 188BET certainly appeal.
Southampton have suffered a torrid season so far and find themselves in the relegation zone currently – one point behind Swansea who reside in the last safe spot of 17th.
They have struggled for consistency all season long, in fact not once in their 41 fixtures have they secured back to back victories. So if they do pull off an away win here it will be there first time completing that feat all season after their 2-1 home win over Bournemouth last time out.
They celebrated that victory like survival had already been secured, which of course it is not, and with an away record of two wins in 17, things don't look that hopeful.
They are averaging less than a goal a game away from home too, with three of their last four Premier League away games ending with a blank. Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham have all kept clean sheets against them on home soil in recent weeks and with Everton keeping three clean sheets in their last four games, netting could well be an issue again on Saturday for the Saints.
I think I have been pretty brazen with how I see this game going and I am delighted to see the way that the bookies have priced it up. Yes, Southampton need the points more than Everton, but so did Huddersfield last week and the Toffees beat them without too much fuss.
Add home advantage to the mix here and you have a great looking price of 12/5 on a home win for Everton, which is my recommended bet here.
Everton v Newcastle – Everton to win (12/5 188bet)