Sheffield United v Southampton: Take on hapless Saints

These are two of the league's struggling sides so the smart move is to oppose the one who's much shorter in the betting, says Jamie Pacheco...

United past the point of no return?

It may be a case of too little too late but United got another win at last and this despite playing the last half an hour with just ten men. It was a little bit of a smash and grab job against Villa, with the bottom-placed club enjoying just 28% of possession but fair play to them anyway.

At this stage it's not mathematically impossible they could stay up if they went on some incredible run but it's highly unlikely. Still, this lot aren't a bad side to be facing when you're trying to make something happen.

Southampton on horrible run

Southampton will be pleased that they got plenty of points early on in the season because they really are on a horrid run.

It's hard to put your finger on what exactly is going wrong because it's not like the manager has changed or that they lost half their players to injury. The basic conclusion we have to come to is that they're not keeping enough clean sheets or scoring enough goals.

Mind you, the fixture list hasn't been particularly kind to them when they really need to catch a break: they've just played two away games (losing both) and are about to be on the road twice more starting with this one.

Danny Ings, Southampton.jpg

The really bad news for them is that midfield enforcer Oriel Romeu is out for the season. Theo Walcott is also injured and will be out for another month but he's arguably less of a loss than the Spaniard.

Saints far too short

It's 2.14 the Saints, 3.85 the United win and 3.6 the draw. What are we thinking?

The first thing I'm thinking is that however poor United have been in terms of results and performances, the visitors look way too short, given their own problems. They haven't won a league game since beating Liverpool on January 4 and it's now nine games and counting since their last win in the Premier League. And that included such results as a 9-0 loss at Manchester United and a 2-1 defeat against an out of sorts Wolves.

I can only think that the short price has a lot to do with the fact that the Saints have won their last three against Sheffield in the league but that's not reason enough for them to be just a shade above evens. I'll say it again: United are really struggling as we all know, but I can't be having a side winless in nine at that sort of price, irrespective of who they're playing.

This could be a really ugly and scrappy game but I think that will only play into the hosts' hands. Lay Southampton.

Goals likely to be in short supply

Given the way United in particular have been playing of late, it's hard to see that this one is going to have many goals.

The emphasis here will surely be on keeping a clean sheet for both sides and in addition to that, you could argue that neither side have any in-form attacking players so are unlikely to score many even if they were trying to be more attacking.

Chris Wilder, Sheffield United coach.jpg

Furthermore, three of the last four have gone under 2.5 goals between these two at Bramall Lane. Then again, a price of 1.75 on unders is telling you all that already.

Ref could be busy here

I said this could be scrappy and that could be reflected in the number of cards here. United had Phil Jagielka sent off in midweek and it's now six of the last nine at home for them that have at least four bookings.

It's also five of the last eight on the road for Southampton where there have been over 30 bookings points so the 7/5 on that happening again looks pretty decent.

Good option on the same-game multi-bets

If nothing else takes your fancy on the betting markets, then how about a same-game multi-bet?

If we think there will be few goals and want to go with under 2.5 goals (4/6) along with a half-time draw, quite likely if we think this could be a slow-burner, then that double comes to 2.66, which looks like a good punt.

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