Dropping points at Stamford Bridge has been the death of many a Chelsea manager but surely Southampton’s Nigel Adkins seemed immune from the chop?
It was barely 36 hours after a Jason Puncheon equaliser earned the Saints a hard-fought point against the Blues that Adkins was removed from his position and placed on the managerial scrapheap at the expense of largely unknown Argentinian gaffer Mauricio Pochettino.
Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese’s ‘Abramovich moment’ doesn’t appear to have gone down too well with the natives, not least considering the Saints are on a five-game unbeaten Premier League run and – at the moment – are perched nicely above the mire in 15th place.
Quite what effect Adkins’ dismissal will have on the side can only be really judged by the end of the season, but in the immediacy it does put a slightly different slant on Everton’s visit to St Mary’s on Monday night.
For a start, Pochettino will head straight into a fans’ protest, with the Saints faithful planning a bout of white handkerchief waving after five minutes of the match.
It’ll also be interesting to see how the players react to the departure of the bloke who’s steered them to just two losses in their last 12 league games and all in all, it’s perhaps no surprise that Southampton have been on the drift since Adkins’ sacking.
bwin’s 3Way football betting market has the hosts at 14/5 to kick off the Pochettino reign with three points, with Everton odds-on at 91/100 and the draw at 5/2.
As ever, I’m inclined to follow the example set by the bookies and after initially having this one down as the draw, I’m now drifting into the territory of an Everton win.
David Moyes’ boys are bubbling along in their usual unpretentious manner and could move to within one point of fourth-placed Tottenham with victory on the south coast.
The Toffees have lost just one of their last ten league games – drawing four – which was partially my catalyst for going for the draw against a Southampton side who have also finished all square in four of their last five league clashes.
However, upon closer inspection of Everton’s away form and with this Southampton debacle bound to end in dismal failure, I’m reassessing that opening gambit.
To put some meat on the bones, the Merseysiders have won their last three away from Goodison Park and lost only one of nine.
They’re also a dab hand at finding the back of the net on the road having notched in each of their last 11 games and I reckon they’ll be able to capitalise on the Saints’ self-inflicted turmoil.
A price of 91/100 for the Everton win is pretty lean but I’d skip straight past that and lump on Everton to win with over 2.5 goals in the game at 37/20, while 2-1 Everton is a massive 29/4.
I can also see Southampton registering so if you’re into your both teams to score bets, you can jump on that at 31/50 – but I won’t be wasting my time with that as there is plenty more value on offer elsewhere.
You can nearly double your money at 7/4 for Everton to score in both halves and it’s also worth an outside dabble at 4/1 that the Toffees begin the Pochettino nightmare by winning both halves at 4/1.