Prediction & odds for the game: Southampton (6/5) v Brighton (12/5)
When: Thursday, 16th July @ 8.15pm K.O
Where: St. Mary’s Stadium
Southampton’s push for a place in the top 10 will see them take on a Brighton & Hove Albion side that still isn’t mathematically safe from relegation.
Ralph Hasenhuttl may not have initially been viewed as the saviour that Southampton so desperately needed, but you can bet people are starting to come around to the idea. Not only are the Saints now safe from the threat of relegation, but they’re also marching towards a potential top ten finish in the Premier League. As we look ahead to the summer transfer window and beyond, there’s a very good chance that this club will be in the mix for a place in the top eight next season.
While a whole lot of people don’t really value a win over Norwich City, the Saints’ 3-0 success over the Canaries was certainly comprehensive. They did go on to lose to Arsenal, but they then responded with back-to-back wins over Watford and Manchester City. A 1-1 draw against Everton hardly inspired the masses, but what did get fans off of their seats was a dramatic 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Brighton & Hove Albion are limping over the finish line in their attempt to survive in the top flight for another campaign, but it doesn’t appear as if they’re going to be in all too much danger of actually going down. Still, fans aren’t going to be happy about their lack of progress even if they do stay up, and the general theme is going to be that they aren’t playing the best football – or, at least, that they aren’t doing so consistently enough.
The 2-1 win over Arsenal really did come out of nowhere for the Seagulls, as did the 0-0 draw against Leicester that gave fans confidence in the club’s ability to stay up. They did lose 3-0 to Manchester United, 3-1 to Liverpool and 5-0 to Manchester City, but in the midst of all that, they beat Norwich 1-0 to give themselves a bit of breathing space.
We don’t think this is going to be the most inspiring game of football we’ve ever seen, because as the rest of the campaign continues to slowly but surely wind down, it’s clear to see that teams who have nothing to play for are already preserving their energy ahead of what is bound to be a pretty short pre-season for 2020/21. In this game, we’re expecting Southampton to edge out a narrow victory, but it definitely isn’t going to be their finest hour.
Boring games often mean very few goals, which is why we’re backing the under 2.5 goals market – even though we’re hoping for a goalfest.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 6/5 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/5. (All odds are taken from bet365).