Southampton host Burnley at St. Mary’s on Saturday knowing that a win is crucial for their promotion aspirations.
It’s well-documented that the Saints’ form has deteriorated in recent weeks – they have registered only two league wins since November – but they do still sit second in the Championship table.
With a trip to West Ham on Tuesday, this is a must-win clash for Nigel Adkins’ side and he will be helped by the return of Richard Chaplow in Tuesday night’s FA Cup defeat to Millwall, while defender Jos Hooiveld is back in full training.
Recent signing Billy Sharp could also be in line for his first start after playing the last half-an-hour in Saints’ snow fight last weekend at Birmingham.
Visitors Burnley have promotion aspirations of their own and the Clarets currently sit in 11th place, only three points off the play-offs.
Burnley have a good record at St. Mary’s – one win and three draws from their four visits – and they could take advantage of the added pressure and expectation on a Southampton side struggling for form.
The Lancashire side are third in the Championship’s last six games form table and they could be boosted by the return of striker Martin Paterson for their trip south.
Burnley are 7/2 outsiders in bwin’s 3way football betting market, with the Saints odds-on at 3/4 and the draw at 5/2.
These odds do not reflect the two sides’ recent form, however, and Burnley’s big price of 7/2 could be a steal.
The Clarets have won five of their last six league matches, seeing off Hull, West Ham, Brighton, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest. Conversely, over that same period, the Saints have only won twice in six home matches.
New customers who back a Burnley win at 7/2 could potentially welcome returns of £112.50 if they use their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com.
Burnley also have a good record at St. Mary’s – one win and three draws from their four visits – and they could take advantage of the added pressure and expectation on a Southampton side struggling for form.
Given Burnley have won their last two away matches 2-0 and Saints have only scored once in their last three home outings, a 2-0 away win is a long shot worthy of some attention.
At odds of 22/1, punters backing this selection with that £25 stake could pocket an excellent £575 if their prediction proves correct.
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