Southampton v Arsenal: Bank on at least one clean sheet

It's too close to bet on the winner of Saints v Arsenal but the stats suggest there won't be goals for both sides so wager accordingly, says Jamie Pacheco.

  • Southampton v Arsenal
    Tuesday January 26, 20:15

    A really good season on the cards at St Mary's

    Life is looking good at St Mary's. A 10th place position in the league means that they're sitting comfortably and after the weekend win against Arsenal, can have a real go at going deep in the FA Cup.

    This is a team with few stars but lots of hard-working and disciplined players who know their job and give it their all.

    Two such players, albeit two of the bigger names, are James Ward-Prowse and Danny Ings. There might be a temptation from slightly bigger clubs to try and buy them in the summer but the players should have a long think about whether they'd be any better off than being automatic starters at such a stable club. Ings already had one big move in his career when he went to Liverpool and it didn't work out for him.

    Danny Ings, Southampton.jpg

    FA Cup exit not a big problem

    The recovery is well under way at the Emirates where the faith in Mikel Arteta is paying off.

    They've won five of their last six in the league, drawing the other and you can feel and see the difference in confidence and momentum. They did however lose to this lot at the weekend in the FA Cup but that might not be a bad thing. With a battle under way for a top six finish in the league - Arsenal are 4.8 to end up in the leading sextet - and a big game against Benfica coming up in the Europa League, they can probably do with not having to worry about a third competition.

    An important part of their improvement has been the form of youngster Emile Smith-Rowe. In the week that Mesut Ozil leaves Arsenal for good, they may just have found his successor and without it costing them a penny.

    Gunners on the short side

    Exchange odds have Arsenal as 2.4 favourites and that looks too short. It's the Saints who are two points better off in the league (with a game in hand by the way) and who are at home. They'll also feel better about things after that win in the Cup at the weekend.

  • There are, of course, good reasons for Arsenal being favourites. They've won their last two games on the road, have won four of their lasty five and will have noted that Southampton have failed to score in each of their last two games. All stats from Opta.

    It's 3.25 the home win and 3.5 the draw and some will feel either of those prices are decent.

    But if anything, it's a lay of Arsenal that looks the right call.

    BTTS provides the game's best bet

    But now to the bet I really like. My instinct ahead of this one would be that it would be low-scoring but I had no real inkling as to who might nick it if there was a goal. So the perfect market to play might be the 'both teams to score' one where 2.14 on 'no' looks a standout wager.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates 1280.jpg

    Remarkably, just 22% of Arsenal's away games have seen goals at both ends and for Southampton home games, it's also just 22%.

    So it's very surprising that you can get an odds-on quote about 'no' in light of those stats. There is of course a decent chance that this could finish 1-1, the score when they played at the Emirates. But under 2.5 goals is a fair bit shorter than the 'no' option and we prefer the latter not just on price but because the stats are on our side.

    Decent same game multi-bet option

    There's always the same game-multi bet for those who are in that way inclined. If I was to sum up my idea the Saints shouldn't lose (4/7 on the Double Chance market) and that it should be low-scoring (4/5 on under 2.5 goals), then the double would come to 2.49.

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