Eddie Howe needs a win
But breaking down Southampton is a lot harder than it looks
After bringing us the utterly enthralling games of West Ham against Sunderland, BT have pulled another bore cracker for Tuesday night with the South Coast derby between Southampton and Bournemouth. Now call us biased but we’re backing an Irishman to settle the spoils.
Bournemouth are still nervously peering over their shoulders at the relegation zone. They’re only five points clear after Saturday’s nil all draw at Watford. The main reason for that is their home form. If it weren’t for Aston Villa being crap, Bournemouth would be bottom of the home form table. 13 points from 13 home games, losing three of their last four.
The Southampton ship has steadied, mainly thanks to the six foot five man mountain that is Fraser Forster. Since he returned to the side, Southampton have conceded just twice in seven games – which happened during last Saturday’s loss against Chelsea. They do top the recent head to head though against Bournemouth, they’ve won the four games since 2010 including a comfortable 2-0 at St Mary’s in November.
Shane Long has two in his last two games and is back creating chances again. An overall shot accuracy of 53% means that unlike Gabby Agbolnahor, when Long shoots, he tends to score. Against a side that’s made more defensive errors than the current bottom three. Back a wincast of Long to score and Southampton to win at 4/1. Forster’s kept six clean sheets in seven games and Southampton are 3/1 to win to nil.
Bournemouth have beaten Manchester United at home and are 9/5 to grab a much needed victory. But the smart money goes on a Saints win at 6/4.
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