Premier League football returns this weekend as Southampton lock horns with high-flying Leicester City on Friday Night Football.
Southampton seemed as if they could be contenders for the drop not so long ago, but now, they’re starting to come out of their shell under this new regime as they look to drag themselves away from the relegation zone. Their last six game stretch began with a narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield United, but they were unable to follow that up with a successful performance against Bournemouth. They beat Portsmouth 4-0 in their Carabao Cup derby, before a rough stretch of games against Tottenham, Chelsea and Wolves where they only picked up one point from a possible nine.
In games with stakes as high as this one, it can be hard to tell what kind of a goal ratio we should expect in regards to the over/under. We’re leaning towards over, but it depends on what sort of performance both put in.
Leicester City achieved the unthinkable just a few short years ago when they won the Premier League, and while they aren’t quite on that level just yet, they’re certainly in the hunt for a place in Europe. Their latest six game run did begin with a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United which, looking back on it, they’ll be disappointed with. They managed to beat Tottenham in what was considered to be a huge victory for their season, before easing to a win over Luton in the Carabao Cup. They battered Newcastle and snuck past Burnley, but did experience a heartbreaking loss to European champions Liverpool.
Leicester can be conservative when they want to be but once the play opens up, they thrive on that kind of atmosphere. In a game like this, we’re backing them to edge over the 2.5 goal threshold.
Southampton are great at fighting back against the odds, but they seem to thrive more away from home. Leicester, on the other hand, can’t really be faulted throughout the pitch right now, and that’s a strong position for them to be in. Brendan Rodgers has been able to create the kind of surge in momentum that is often pretty rare to see from a non-top six side, and because of that, we think they’ll edge out the Saints and jump up into second place – if only for a day or so.
We’re also going to back the over 2.5 goals because we do believe that Southampton will get on the scoresheet, prompting the Foxes to step up their game and reach that next level. Either way, though, it should be an entertaining watch to kick off the weekend as the Premier League prepares to enter the winter period.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 5/4 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 10/11. (All odds are taken from bet365).