There are many derbies that can claim to be the most intense but after six years without a league match between Southampton and Portsmouth, the atmosphere at Fratton Park will be fierce for what’s likely to be a tight, tense game this Sunday.
It’s said that form often goes out of the window in derby games but even though they lie 15 places below Championship leaders Southampton, it’s Portsmouth who go into the match on a better run.
Pompey have gained 11 points from their last six fixtures, while Saints needed a last-second goal against Hull to avoid a third defeat in the same spell.
Despite that, it’s the visitors who remain favourites at 11/10 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with a home win available at 12/5 and the draw 11/5.
Even in their slump Saints have kept scoring, continuing to average over two goals a game for the season, but Portsmouth have proved a tough nut to crack with nine clean sheets helping them to become the Championship’s fourth best defence.
It would be hard to see either side recovering from going in behind at the interval as both have 100% records of converting half-time leads into full-time wins.
Given this, Southampton are likely to emerge with a narrow win, with bwin offering 19/10 for an away win and under 3.5 goals being scored. It’s also worth considering a repeat of Saints’ second most popular score this season and a 2-1 away win is available at 31/4 for punters looking for a longer-odds option.
New customers using the free £25 bet available when registering for a bwin account would win £218.75 if Saints get another 2-1 triumph.
Recent history in this fixture isn’t on Nigel Adkins’ side though, with Pompey winning the last two encounters 4-1 after Southampton had won four of the previous five.
One outcome that looks unlikely based on that history, and the fact that Saints’ scramble against Blackpool was their first draw in eight, is for tthe honours to end even.
Certainly it would be hard to see either side recovering from going in behind at the interval as both have 100% records of converting half-time leads into full-time wins, meaning lead-win at 11/20 or Southampton-Southampton at 23/10 in the half-time/full-time market look to be the best value of all.
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