MAN CITY travel to Southampton on Saturday afternoon and Ben Ragg (@Punters_Corner_) is on-hand to deliver his favourite fancies.
Southampton vs Manchester City | Saturday 19th December 2020, 15:00 | Amazon Prime
The Saturday 3pm Premier League match this week sees high-flying Southampton host Manchester City.
This is obviously a huge test for Southampton, but Ralph Hassenhutl will be one of the happiest managers in the league right now. Not only are his team playing brilliantly and currently sat in third, they also have a full squad to choose from this fixture – the only team in the league with no injuries or suspensions. No injuries despite the hectic schedule this season is quite remarkable.
Manchester City have most of their key players back from injury with Sergio Aguero getting closer to 100% fitness. Their only absentees are Zinchenko and Eric Garcia – two players that would have been unlikely to start here anyway.
When these two met last on the 5th July, Southampton put in a determined and dogged display and came out 1-0 winners thanks to a wondergoal from Che Adams. Man City had 74% possession and 26 shots but didn’t manage to make their pressure count as the Saints stood strong and held out for the 1-0 win.
This season, Southampton rack 5th for possession in the league behind only Leeds, Chelsea, Liverpool and City. They have dominated the ball in many of their matches this season, but I don’t see that being the case here at all. I expect Hassenhutl to play a similar way to the way they did last time they played city which was to sit back, soak up the pressure and try to hit them on the break.
Man City rank top for most possession in the league this season and they will always be a possession oriented team with many of their players racking up the passes in their matches. With that in mind, I really like the John Stones passing angle.
John Stones has turned his career around this season and is becoming a regular this season, pushing Laporte down to the bench. In his 4 league starts this season, he has managed 86,109,97 and 85 passes. He is priced at even-money with Ladbrokes for 70+ passes which looks a safe bet to me – especially considering his average his up at 91.8 passes per game this season.
Furthermore, City’s centre backs landed in 113 and 106 in the last match between these two and I expect stones to rack up the passes also.
The next bet I like is for Kyle Walker to have a shot outside the box – priced at an eye-catching 13/5 with PokerStars. This bet has landed in each of Kyle Walker’s 7 matches against teams outside the Big Six. He loves a pop from range and has scored a couple of screamers in his career.
This bet was 29/20 in his last match and it landed despite him being on the pitch for just 16 minutes. Given these stats, I was surprised to get anything above evens, so I think there is huge value in this bet.
The final bet I like is another in the props market and is for a headed shot on target from centre-back Jan Bednarek priced at 20/1 with Skybet. Bednarek has had 3 headed shots on target in 10 matches this season scoring 1 in the process.
Southampton have scored more set piece goals than any other team this season and this is mainly down to set play specialist James Ward-Prowse. His deliveries into the box are often pinpoint and it’s no surprise the amount of goals Southampton have scored from set pieces.