PREMIER LEAGUE expert Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) shares his betting thoughts on Monday Night Football's fixture pitting together south coast rivals Southampton and Brighton.
Southampton v Brighton | Monday 17th September 2018, 20:00 | Sky Sports
It feels like something has to give in Monday night’s game at St Mary’s as Southampton – who cannot win at home – face Brighton, who cannot win away.
Southampton’s 2-1 victory over Bournemouth towards the end of last season was crucial in their survival fight, but it is the only occasion this calendar year that they have earned all three points as hosts.
Brighton’s record on their travels is even worse. You have to go back to November, 2017 for their last victory and they have managed just two wins in 21 games since their promotion to the top-flight.
The Seagulls have scored on just seven occasions during that period but will be buoyed by the fact that their opponents on Monday evening have kept a clean sheet on just four occasions during that period.
Despite Brighton’s dreadful away record, I cannot make a case for backing the Saints at 21/20 (BetVictor). Watford went off 6/4 at home to the same opposition a few weeks ago and while that price was too big, I simply cannot justify the price drop.
First Goalscorer value
If Southampton are to win, it probably will be to nil but again, 11/5 (Ladbrokes) is too skinny. I would therefore turn your attention to the First Goalscorer market.
In Danny Ings and Glenn Murray, both sides possess in-form strikers. Ings has netted twice this term, including the first goal at Crystal Palace last time out. Murray has three to his name and scored a brace against Fulham a fortnight ago.
In what I expect to be a tight game, backing the two players most likely to score for their respective clubs seems fairly logical.
Ings is 11/2 with Bet365 – shorter than Charlie Austin, who is far from certain to start – while Murray is 15/2 with the same firm, which again looks too big.