Following West Ham’s win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Southampton head into Monday night’s clash with Leicester at St. Mary’s in the unusual position of second place in the Championship table.
The Saints had topped England’s second tier since September 18th – a total of 19 fixtures – but they have the opportunity for a swift return to the summit with a win over the inconsistent Foxes.
Southampton are 4/5 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market for the match, while Nigel Pearson’s men are priced at 16/5 and the draw is at 5/2.
The home side’s promotion charge stuttered over the festive period, but back-to-back away wins over Coventry (in the FA Cup) and Nottingham Forest suggest Nigel Adkins’ team have found their form once again.
They will have to make do without the division’s leading scorer, though, as Rickie Lambert serves the final match of his three-game suspension.
But the 15-goal hitman wasn’t missed at Forest last weekend, where fellow strikers Guly Do Prado and David Connolly both netted.
The south-coast side are 9/5 in bwin’s double result market to be winning at half-time and full-time, a feat they have achieved in ten of their 13 home victories this campaign.
The Saints have also been boosted by the arrival of Spanish Under-21 playmaker Yago Falque from Tottenham on loan, but Japanese international striker Tadanari Lee has yet to complete his move from the J League following his successful work permit application.
Visitors Leicester, meanwhile, have had a poor season to date. Even the arrival of Pearson, back for a second spell in charge at the King Power Stadium, has failed to reignite the Foxes’ campaign and they have recorded just one victory in their last seven league outings.
Pearson’s side did make progress in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, with a thumping 4-0 win over East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest in their third-round replay.
Even more pleasing for the Foxes was the return to form of summer signing Jermaine Beckford, who netted a hattrick – his first goals since Pearson’s first match in charge back on November 20th.
Despite the midweek confidence boost, Leicester will find it tough at St Mary’s, where Southampton have dropped only five league points since last January.
The Saints are keen to avenge their 3-2 reverse at Leicester back in August and the south-coast side are 9/5 in bwin’s double result market to be winning at half-time and full-time, a feat they have achieved in ten of their 13 home victories this campaign.
New customers using their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com on this particular selection can expect returns of £70 if it comes to fruition.
More adventurous punters might like the look of bwin’s goal bet market and a 3-1 home victory looks to be the best value call at surprisingly lengthy odds of 29/2.
But either way, expect the Saints to move back to the summit with yet another victory in front of their own fans.
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