Southampton are supposed to be the blueprint for most clubs outside the Premier League. They play in a shiny facility, get good crowds and, regardless of who manages them it seems, they finish mid-table pretty much every season.
The latter is mighty impressive and is indeed the future. The club picks the system, ethos and the players. Then the manager. So what you have is a constant way of playing instead of everything been thrown up in the air every time a new boss is appointed.
Still, this lot can’t win at home. Which is not in the blueprint. It is one of the more extraordinary statistics from the season that only Sunderland (down), Middlesbrough (almost certainly down) and Crystal Palace (likely to escape from going down) have won fewer games on their own turf.
They are 3.75 with Bet365
and William Hill
to win against Arsenal on Wednesday night. That is a not a great price about a team with their record. And it’s a not a great price about a team with their recent record, too. It’s just two wins in eight for the Saints now as they end the season with a whimper.
During that sequence they have only scored seven goals, failing to score in four of them. They drew a blank against Bournemouth, who have a habit for conceding goals at will. Last time out against Liverpool – a 0-0 stalemate – they didn’t really bother to attack.
They could be more gung-ho against Arsenal but that should play into the Gunners’ hands. They are 2.1 (Boylesports) for victory and although the draw will see interest at 3.75 with Bet Victor
and Paddy Power
we happen to think that the visitors are a treat.
Arsenal are on a good run. They have three wins in their last four and although they blotted their copybook with a loss to deadly rivals Tottenham Hotspur, they appear, for the first time this term, to have some gumption. They are hunting down that final Champions League spot.
It could well be that it is all too little too late. And one wonders if they had shown a bit more intensity earlier they might not be in this situation.
The turning point was perhaps the 3-0 hammering at Crystal Palace. It was a nadir which, Wenger in or out, the players must have decided was a performance too far.
Arsenal won 5-0 at St Mary’s in the FA Cup earlier this season and although we don’t expect a repeat, punters who want bigger prices than the 2.1 might like the 3.3 (Boylesports) about Arsenal-Arsenal on the half-time/full-time double result or a 2-0 success at 12 with green listed bookmaker