Sports Betting Weekly

Southampton v Crystal Palace

When: Saturday, 24 January 2015 @ 21:00 (FINISHED)
Where: St Marys Stadium
Our preview of the weekend’s F.A. Cup fourth round action begins on Saturday with a meeting between two of the Premier League’s in-form sides as Southampton take on Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at St Mary’s Stadium.

The hosts are currently the #1 ranked team on the Barclay’s Premier League form table with five wins, one draw and 16 points from their last six fixtures, while Palace haven won all three of their league and cup games since Pardew took over from Neil Warnock at the start of the month.

As such, it looks likely that something will have to give when the two teams meet on Saturday; and with the Saints conceding just two goals in their last three games at home during a seemingly difficult run that included Chelsea, Arsenal and Ipswich Town, it should come as no surprise that they’ve been chalked up as 4/6 favourites to get the victory, with Palace out at 5/1 in some places.

When a club appoints Tony Pulis as manager, an up-turn in defensive form is expected, but in the case of Pardew, it is perhaps the opposite that is true. The London club had failed to score in their previous two games prior to his appointment and now have nine goals in three matches, including four for striker Dwight Gayle and two each for Jason Puncheon and veteran centre-back Scott Dann.

With that said, there remain concerns at the other end of the pitch – Palace had to come from behind against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley in their last two games – and given Southampton have conceded just seven goals at home (averaging only 0.64 a game) in the league this season, it looks highly unlikely that the hosts will be as accommodating if they do manage to get in front here.

As such, we may be better off backing Southampton to win the game to nil at slightly improved odds of 13/8 – something they have done in six of their seven home wins in the league this season – while the statistics suggest that 2-0 looks the most likely scoreline at 11/2. Furthermore, those looking to bet big on an odds-on proposition may find some joy in backing the Saints to score first at 8/15.

While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, those who fancy Pardew’s side will probably be best served by backing the visitors to again get something from behind – but with Southampton unlikely to concede more than a goal at home, a draw looks the more sensible bet at odds of 7/1.