We turn our attention to the lower extremities of the table for this one, although that certainly doesn’t change the importance of it for one team.
Bournemouth had an incredibly difficult task on their hands when travelling to the Etihad to face Man City midweek, but the defeat sees them remain in the final relegation spot and with their goal difference unfavourable compared to both West Ham and Watford, this is a must win game if they’re to have any chance of avoiding the drop.
Southampton have lost just one of their seven matches since the return of football and would be seventh in the table based on that form alone, while their hosts over that period haven’t deviated from their current position, so there’s hardly reason to suggest they’re going to suddenly turn this one around.
Indeed, the Saints would be up in fifth in the league on away games alone, going W6-D2-L2 across their last 10, netting two or more in seven as one of their defeats and blanks in that run came against Liverpool.
In fact, that record on the road this term is even without visiting this poor Bournemouth outfit, and considering that, we’re struggling to see why they’re not favourites for this one.
Both Teams To Score
Of course, the Cherries are going to be the more motivated team and should be respected in that regard but losing eight of their last 11 matches dating back to early February and conceding two or more on eight occasions is a bit of a concern for us.
They did however beat Leicester in their last game here at the Vitality Stadium, meaning they’ve now netted 17 goals of their own across their last 13 outings, but we wouldn’t be rushing to back them given that Foxes outfit was hardly in a good vein of form.
The hosts have actually lost both their fixtures here with bottom-half sides since the return from the enforced break by minimum two-goal margins, with the last of them a 4-1 battering by Newcastle, while the other came against a Palace side that have lost all six matches since.
Southampton To Win Or A Draw
The extra incentive and reason for us to ignore the motivation factor for Eddie Howe’s men in this one is the fact that both sides will be trying to claim bragging rights on the South coast.
23 miles separates them and this will be one more for the fans than anything else, and that certainly should play against the hosts.
Indeed, the Saints have a favourable W2-D4-L1 record in this head-to-head since 2016/17, as both sides got on the scoreboard in all but two of those, while the visitors have gone W1-D2 from their three outings at this stadium over that period and that is enough for us to get behind them.