With the FA Cup taking centre stage we’re treated to just one Premier League match this Sunday. It may not be the best Super Sunday we’ve had in a while, but hopefully by the end of this article I will have swayed you on the side of value to get the interest raised!
Watford enjoyed a strong result against Leicester on their return from the break, a side who have really turned it on this season and trounced this weekend’s visitors to Vicarage Road 9-0.
Southampton looked like a team walking the green mile with Coach Ralph Hasenhuttl leading them. It was a horrendous performance that wouldn’t even be acceptable down the park of a Sunday. But to his credit he has turned it around since that humiliating night and safety is now all but assured this season.
Southampton fans should be happy with that, but it is pretty clear that bar a few key performers like Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond, the Saints will not be marching into the top echelons of the Premier League any time soon.
Motivation must be a big factor coming to the run-in for relegation. Saints, as I mentioned, have little to worry about, but Watford are embroiled in a six-team fight to beat the drop. Just a single point separates Watford from West Ham, Bournemouth and Villa. In Nigel Pearson they have a tough taskmaster who won’t accept a lack of effort and with clear talent in the Watford side, they have all the prerequisites to stay alive.
Expected points has Watford at 39 and comfortable from the drop. They have been unlucky at times and suffered immensely when captain and leader Troy Deeney was absent for a lengthy spell. The defeat at Burnley last Thursday was a slight stumbling block, but ultimately any side can go to Burnley and get turned over due to their style. Watford have the fight needed for the run-in. They just need to find the goals.
Watford are averaging more shots than their rivals but with an average of just 3.19 on target per match, this is significantly lower than all of their relegation rivals (and Southampton). It appears that quality of chances is the issue and the forwards of Watford haven’t kept their cool. No forward player has outperformed their expected goals figure and with only 6 goals Troy Deeney is their top goalscorer… and he was missing for the best part of 3 months at the start of the season!
2nd bottom of the offensive table with just 28 goals from 31 games, they have conceded 46 goals which is not too shabby for a team in their predicament. Five teams have fared worse – one of them being their opponents this weekend.
54 goals, with nine of them coming in a single game, shows that Southampton can throw in the towel when the tide has turned. They are the typical side who can be on the beach in March, which I think will certainly be the case come this Sunday.
With all this mind lets have a look at a few bets…
61 per cent of Watford’s total points this season have came at home, and they have beaten Liverpool, Man Utd and Wolves – not a bad list for any team in the division. Adding to the mix draws against Leicester, Spurs, Arsenal and Sheffield United (all top ten teams), it becomes clear these lads won’t give up easily.
I think Saints are thinking of the beach and don’t have a lot to play for. With their goalkeeper seemingly prone to a howler, I think the pressure will be too much.
I like Watford to win, but given how poor their attack has been, I can see this being a lower scoring game. So Watford to win & Under 3.5 goals gives us a buffer.
Troy Deeney is their main threat, he’s on penalties too so the price for him to score first looks good.
Ismaila Sarr is a strong threat down the right, so Ryan Bertrand will have his hands full. He’s over 3/1 to be booked.
Tips for Watford v Southampton
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