BURNLEY host Southampton on Saturday night. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up .
Burnley vs Southampton | Saturday 26th September 2020, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Burnley got their delayed Premier League campaign underway in very uncharacteristic fashion last weekend, conceding four in a six-goal thriller at Leicester. However, normal service was resumed with a solid 2-0 Carabao Cup victory away at Millwall a couple of days ago.
The Clarets welcome a Southampton side who have lost all three of their competitive games so far, dumped out of the Carabao Cup to Championship side Brentford and humiliated in a 5-2 battering at home to Spurs in their last league game.
You would expect Ralph Hasenhuttl to make wholesale changes after that kind of performance but his hands seem a little tied in that respect so we may see a small tweak to the line-up as opposed to a wide broom sweeping changes through the first XI.
Turf Moor is probably one of the last place the Austrian would choose to take his side to have their brittle confidence tested, given the Saints last victory there came in 2007 with the following seven visits resulting in four defeats and three draws, added to the fact we know if Sean Dyche and his side scent blood they are a dangerous animal.
The first goal in this could be crucial, not only due to the Saints possible confidence issues but Burnley, despite throwing the lead away in the aforementioned defeat at the King Power, when opening the scoring first last season their record was an incredible W14-D3-L1 and conversely when shipping the first goal they only managed W1-D4-L13.
Defeat at Selhurst Park was only the third reverse in Southampton’s last 12 road trips (W7-D2-L3) but was the third successive loss in their opening away league fixture of a season – including 3-0 to Burnley last term.
Interestingly, on the previous two occasions the side from the South Coast went on to be victorious in their very next away match – and by an identical 2-0 scoreline (at Brighton and Crystal Palace).
It would not be a surprise to see Under 2.5 Goals, a best priced 3/4, or either side winning to nil (29/10 Southampton, 19/4 Burnley) even more so considering there has not been a draw in any of the opening 18 Premier League games – but maybe this could be the first.
If they are to make the trip back from Lancashire with all three points this weekend, Southampton will definitely have to defend better than in that performance against Jose Mourinho’s men where Son Heung-min helped himself to four goals as they persisted with an ultra-high defensive line.
All four goals were very similar in that Son was put through by Harry Kane, got to see the whites of Alex McCarthy’s eyes in a one-on-one situation, before slotting past the woefully exposed keeper.
Chris Wood to have 2+ Offsides (11/10 Ladbrokes)
However, it was a case of if at first you don’t succeed as the South Korean forward was caught offside on four occasions trying to spring the trap which makes the 11/10 on offer from Ladbrokes for Chris Wood to be flagged offside on two or more occasions very appealing.
Wood led the Premier League charts last season in being caught offside, seeing the flag raised against him on 35 occasions from 2446 minutes played – at an average of once every 70 minutes.
Of the five occasions Burnley were caught offside in the corresponding fixture last season, the New Zealand international was responsible for three of them. Unibet offer 1/1 for Over 3.5 Offsides in total which looks a cracking bet, so I am happy to play both those lines at level stakes.
James Ward Prowse – 2+ shots outside the box (11/8 Ladbrokes)
The saying goes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – which leads me on to James Ward Prowse. Regular readers of my WLB pieces will know of my affection for the Saints midfielder and in particular his consistent ability to shoot from distance.
Only last weekend in that aforementioned Spurs game I put forward Southampton’s skipper to have two or more shots from outside the box and he duly obliged, meaning since the return to action after lockdown he has now covered that line in seven of the 11 fixtures he has appeared in for his club – 3, 2, 2, 0, 4, 0, 2, 1, 0, 2, 3 – and in both games this season.
At Turf Moor last season JWP struck two shots from outside the box – which means I can’t pass up the opportunity to play the 11/8 available with Ladbrokes via their Bet Builder option for two or more James Ward-Prowse shots from outside the box.