A summer of enormous upheaval has left Southampton with a fractured core and completely friendless ahead of their trip to Liverpool.
Ironically, it was the Reds’ thirst for St Mary’s stars that did most of the decimating in the Saints’ ranks, forking out over £50m to sign Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren from the south coast club.
With their much-changed outfit, Southampton can be backed at meaty 13/2 to repeat last season’s heroics and win at Anfield, while the hosts assume microscopic 2/5 favouritism and the draw rates as a 9/2 alternative.
There’s been more than enough change in the home camp to expect teething issues from Liverpool too, which detracts from both their odds-on price and the value in the match-betting stakes too unless, of course, you’re brave enough to back the visitors.
If that’s an approach that doesn’t suit, try these three punts on for size:
Both teams to score – No @ 91/100
Given that the numbers come desperately close to even money, this is a bet well worth undertaking.
It would’ve rewarded backers in seven of the previous nine renewals between the pair, including both encounters last term, which ended 1-0 and 3-0 to the respective travelling parties.
Further encouragement is offered in the form of the trend being prevalent in four of Saints’ last five competitive outings.
Under 2.5 goals @ 5/4
Spectators tuning into this one are going to be told that both factions need ‘time to gel’ on numerous occasions and a lack of goals here will strengthen this argument.
But, statistically speaking, there was a good chance the line would fall short of the 2.5 mark anyway.
Five of the past eight Saints away days ended with fewer than three strikes on the scoreboard.
This was the case in four of the final six road games for Feyenoord last term too, the team managed by new Southampton supremo Ronald Koeman.
Rickie Lambert to score any time @ 11/10
The Scouse striker will be lining up against his former wage-payers for his Anfield bow and back him to spark unbridled use of the ‘it was in the script…’ cliché with a goal.
He finished the previous campaign by notching in four of Saints last five in which they didn’t draw a blank and rates a good price at odds-against.