Championship pace-setters Southampton have occupied an automatic promotion spot since day one and are priced at 2/5 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market to beat Barnsley at St Mary’s this weekend.
Fourteen points clear of the drop zone, the Tykes have all but secured their place in the Championship for a seventh consecutive season.
With the hosts having so much to play for, it is hard to see Barnsley being able to stop Southampton in their tracks and as a result, they are priced as huge 13/2 outsiders to dent Saints’ promotion dreams.
Barnsley’s away form is most definitely not the reason they have accumulated 43 points to date and recent weeks have seen the side from Oakwell really struggle on their travels.
Four defeats on the bounce and failure to score in their last three suggests that it is almost impossible to make a case for the South Yorkshire club to stage an upset.
Although Southampton may have drawn against Ipswich at St Mary’s in midweek, it is unlikely to end in a stalemate when Barnsley come to the south coast on Saturday.
It has been a massive 12 games since Keith Hill’s men drew an away fixture, but if punters fancy this run to come to an end, then a draw is available at odds of 3/1.
Of their 18 league fixtures on home soil, Southampton have won 13 and scored 38 goals, which is more than any other side in the Championship. They are also the only side in the division to average above two goals per game on their own ground (2.11).
Victory over Barnsley would move Nigel Adkins’ side one step closer to the Premier League and if the pressure of trying to secure back-to-back promotions is starting to take its toll, then it is not immediately apparent.
A late Ipswich equaliser on Tuesday night paved the way for West Ham and Reading – who both have games in hand – to close in on the Championship leaders, so it is crucial that Southampton get back to winning ways.
St Mary’s has been a fortress this campaign and the Tractor Boys snatching a point was certainly a shock result, even taking into account the recent renaissance of Paul Jewell’s men.
Of their 18 league fixtures on home soil, Southampton have won 13 and scored 38 goals, which is more than any other side in the Championship.
They are also the only side in the division to average above two goals per game on their own ground (2.11).
With this in mind, as well as Barnsley’s inability to score on the road, it is worth backing the Saints to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0, which is priced up at 3/2.
If you are going to stick your neck on the line and simply plump for one score in particular, then 2-0 Southampton looks to be the way to go.
Saints have recorded two victories by that scoreline in their last seven at home, while Barnsley seem to love losing 2-0 in their away games, having done so on five occasions already this term (including last time out at Middlesbrough).
Bwin is offering 21/4 on this outcome, so new customers who back it with their free £25 bet for registering will win £156.25 if successful.
Recommended bet: Southampton to beat Barnsley 2-0 @ 21/4
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