2011 has been a vintage year for many clubs: Man City won a first major trophy in 31 years, Huddersfield went a record-breaking 43 games unbeaten and Southampton are just one game from creating some history of their own.
Bristol City stand as the last club who can prevent Saints going a full calendar year unbeaten at home for the first time ever.
Having got over their recent blip with a confident 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, Southampton go in as clear 21/50 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
However, if Nigel Adkins could choose which team to face in order to complete this achievement, it probably wouldn’t be the first side that stopped Saints scoring this season.
When these two met just five weeks ago at Ashton Gate, Bristol City pulled off a surprise 2-0 victory that kick-started Saints’ slump.
Saints have shown an ability to wear teams down with 13 goals in the last 15 minutes of games this season, a period in which City have conceded nine times.
As such, it’s worth considering the Robins to get another upset win at 25/4 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market or at least a draw, which is available at 16/5.
Neither side has been in great form since that game, but at least Saints have won twice to stay top, whereas their opponents have picked up just two draws and two defeats.
The visitors’ lack of form means that Saints should even be able to overcome a 0-1 handicap, as they have done in over half of their home wins this season, and punters can back them to do so again at 6/5.
Saints may find City a tough side to break down, especially with ex-England keeper David James in decent form and the fact that they have conceded the fifth-least first-half goals in the Championship.
Yet Saints have shown an ability to wear teams down with 13 goals in the last 15 minutes of games this season, a period in which City have conceded nine times.
So while Derek McInnes’ men might be able to hold the likes of Rickie Lambert and Guly Do Prado in check for 45 minutes, Saints should ultimately take victory, making Draw/Southampton in the half-time/full-time market the best bet at 333/100.
If Saints claim victory with a second-half surge then new customers backing them to do so with the free £25 bet available when registering for a bwin account would win £108.25.
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