Sports Betting Weekly

Southampton v Liverpool

When: Sunday, 22 February 2015 @ 22:15 (FINISHED)
Where: St Marys Stadium
This weekend’s action-packed bill of Premier League fixtures signs off with a bang on Sunday afternoon as Brendan Rodgers ever-improving Liverpool side travel to Southampton for a game that could potentially have a massive bearing on which of the two clubs make it into this year’s top four.

While Liverpool’s recent run of form has been hailed by fans and pundits alike as the Reds gain momentum in the race for a Champions League place, it should be noted that of the teams they’ve actually defeated in their nine-game unbeaten run, only Swansea, West Ham and Tottenham have been in the top half of the table – and all three of those games have taken place at Anfield.

As such, Sunday’s trip to the South Coast will represent a real barometer of just how far Liverpool have come in recent weeks – and the bookmakers are predicting that it will be a real test of their league credentials given the hosts are priced as 13/8 favourites ahead of the visitors at 19/10.

When it comes to assessing their chances of claiming all three points, it should be noted that while Southampton’s defence remains as resolute as ever, the goals have rather dried up for Ronald Koeman’s team and this is reflected by the fact that they have scored just once in their last three games. Of equal concern is the form of their leading scorer, Graziano Pelle, who has now gone eight league games without a goal and should not be backed at odds as short as 5/1 to find the net first.

Of far more value at present is the 13/2 available on Saido Mane, who himself has scored four times during the Italian’s goal drought and is certainly the in-form Saints player going into this one. For the visitors, meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge’s sharpness is improving with every game and he looks a far more appealing 5/1 shout than Pelle, although this should be tempered by the fact that Southampton have kept clean sheets in just under half of their Premier League games this season.

With the vast majority of their wins this campaign coming by a 1-0 or 2-0 scoreline, you can get a decent-looking 10/3 on the hosts to win to nil, while 4/5 is the price on the game featuring under 2.5 goals and “both teams to score – no” is strangely available at odds-against quotes of 21/10. All three of these bets look to represent fairly good value given Southampton’s form at St Mary’s, but if you do fancy Liverpool to nick something, the 17/2 available on a 1-0 win looks to be your best bet.

Although the bookmakers have 1-1 down as their preferred scoreline at 6/1, it should be noted that Southampton have only drawn four games this season – the joint-lowest in the league along with Tottenham and QPR – and half of those games have finished 0-0, making the 9/1 available on that outcome easily the superior option if you are going to back the game to finish honours even on Sunday.