Southampton v Spurs: Saints or Spurs to March in for Three Points?

It’s been a long, tough two weeks for Spurs and a period that saw the club take just one point from a possible nine in the league. On the plus side, Tottenham are through to the last eight of the Champions League while that late penalty save from Hugo Lloris secured a 1-1 draw with Arsenal and maintained the gap between the two clubs.

That gap needs to be reinforced when Spurs travel down to the South Coast to take on Southampton on Saturday afternoon. The overall record against these opponents is a good one and the Saints are struggling in the league so is the task as simple as it looks on paper?

Team News

Confirmed team news isn’t usually received until some 24 hours before kick off but the name to look out for is that of Dele Alli. The England international has had to endure a long spell on the sidelines but reports suggest he will be fit to play some part in Saturday’s game.

We also know that Kieran Trippier has been ruled out of this game while Harry Winks is being assessed after picking up a knock against Borussia Dortmund in the week.

The other news surrounds the manager Mauricio Pochettino who starts a two-game touchline ban following his altercation with Mike Dean last month. Will his absence from the technical area have any effect on the playing XI?

Head to Head

The ease in which we can access stats in the modern day means that we can go right back through history if you really want. Up to and including the most recent league game between these two sides, Spurs have won 81 games while Southampton have 62 wins alongside 49 draws.

Of course, a lot of that information isn’t strictly relevant so what happens if we bring things right up to date? We’ll take into account the last nine matches which date back to the start of the 2014/15 season. The figures show that the Saints have only won once while there have been two draws among six Tottenham victories.

The corresponding fixture last season ended with a 1-1 final scoreline while Spurs ran out 3-1 winners at Wembley back in December. Head to heads will therefore lean towards Tottenham although Southampton’s record is much better when they play at home.

Dangerman

There is talent in this Southampton side and it’s easy to wonder why they are languishing at the wrong end of the table. Part of the reason for that is an inconsistent strike force and the man we’ve identified as the threat here is Charlie Austin.

It’s been another frustrating season of injuries and suspension for the much travelled forward and his scoring ratio has dipped since he averaged more than a goal every other game while at QPR. This season, Austin has just three goals in 22 games so why on earth have we marked him out as a dangerman?

The issue is that Charlie Austin has that poor record but the threat is genuine and historically. Spurs have a knack of getting misfiring strikers back into form. It’s a long shot maybe but Tottenham’s defenders can’t be complacent based on one poor campaign.

Match Odds

Tottenham are an odds on chance to take three points away from this game and the top price for Mauricio Pochettino’s men currently stands at 10/11 with Black Type. The draw is next on the list at a best of 29/10 with 188Bet while a win for Southampton rounds this market off at a top price of 57/17 with Unibet.

If Spurs find their best form then they will be too strong for Southampton but we all know that it isn’t always as simple as that. The same theory would have been applied to the Burnley game which ended in disaster and away from home, Tottenham may yet be vulnerable. We’ll make our verdict shortly but for now, let’s take a look at some of the players who can decide the destiny of this game.

Other Bets

Despite an extended injury break following the home game with Manchester United in January, Harry Kane remains in strong contention for another Golden Boot trophy. Kane was also on target against Borussia Dortmund in midweek so he’s an obvious favourite to score the first goal here.

The England captain can be picked up at best odds of 3/1 with BetFred and Black Type and he’s followed by teammate Fernando Llorente at a top price of 5/1 with 10Bet and RedZoneSports. Llorente is likely to start on the bench, however, so a better option could involve Son Heung-Min who is slightly further back at a best of 11/2 with SportNation and Sport Pesa.

The bookmakers don’t quite agree with our assessment of Charlie Austin as the dangerman as the best priced Southampton player is Danny Ings. The on loan Liverpool man is available at best odds of 6/1 with Unibet and Betway to open the scoring while Austin is slightly further back at a top price of 15/2 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa.

Other options from either side include Christian Eriksen at best odds of 10/1 with BetFred and possibly Eric Dier who is as short as 14/1 in places but out at a best of 33/1 with 10Bet and SportNation.

Other popular side bets here might include both teams to score at best odds of 8/11 with 888Sport and Over 2.5 goals at 3/4 with SportingBet.

Verdict

Tottenham seem to be saving their best performances for Europe at the moment: Having squeezed through qualifying after that brilliant draw in Barcelona they simply took Dortmund apart at home before defensive steel led to a narrow, 1-0 win in the second leg.

In the league it’s been a different story and few punters will be backing Tottenham with any great confidence here but they should gain momentum after a UCL win and a slightly extended rest.

Spurs for the win is the tip but if you can’t see any great value in those odds of 10/11, we can look at the side markets. Son Heung-Min was an able deputy for Kane in the latter’s injury absence and while the South Korean hasn’t been quite so sharp since Harry’s return, he’s a generous enough option at 11/2 for the first goal.

Elsewhere, there is a choice of odds on options for the final bet of the game: We’ve mentioned Spurs to win at 10/11 while BTTS will be popular too. It’s worth noting that Southampton haven’t exactly been short on goals of late: In their last five matches, the Saints have scored six times which isn’t great but it’s not bad for a team in relegation trouble.

Based on that information, we’ll finish by backing Over 2.5 goals which is available at that 3/4 price.

Best Bets

  • Son Heung-Min to score first at 11/2 with SportNation
  • Over 2.5 Goals at 3/4 with SportingBet

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