A cursory glance at the Championship table would result in the notion that Southampton, the leaders, will win with considerable ease on Saturday against a Nottingham Forest side that lie third from bottom.
Saints are at 13/10 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market to do just that and overcome Steve Cotterill’s men at the City Ground.
But on closer inspection of the recent form of both sides, the picture appears less clear, much like a hazy impressionist painting – but instead of idyllic scenes and beautiful women, it’s one of Kelvin Davis and Andy Reid.
Saints seem intent on letting the likes of Cardiff and Middlesbrough creep into the title race and a run of three losses, two draws and just one solitary win in their last six games has left them thirdbottom in the form table.
Forest did the double over Southampton prior to the Saints’ relegation in 2008-09, recording a 3-1 victory in the home fixture.
And seeing as neither team are averse to a high-scoring encounter – as shown by Nigel Adkins’ men beating Forest 3-2 in September – a similar clash could well ensue this time. Bwin offers odds of 19/2 on Forest winning and there being over 3.5 combined goals in the game.
Forest have the worst home record in the league, having secured just 11 points from 13 games. They’ve also let in more goals at home than any other team (21) and face the league’s top scorers on Saturday.
Cotterill’s side, however, are in even worse form than their opponents, having picked up just four points from their last six outings in England’s second tier.
Judging by the recent travails of the two teams, the chances of them simply cancelling each other out are fairly high, so something like a score draw of 2-2 at 25/2 could be a worthy choice.
Forest, though, have the worst home record in the league, having secured just 11 points from 13 games. They’ve also let in more goals at home than any other team (21) and face the league’s top scorers on Saturday.
Even considering that Southampton’s away record is nowhere near as good as their home form, they should have the gumption to shade this tie.
Bwin offer odds of 9/2 in their multiple correct score market for Southampton to win 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 and placing the free £25 bet punters receive for registering on this would offer impressive returns of £137.50.
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