Southampton beat Liverpool at Anfield six months ago but one would rather back the Reds than the Saints when the teams meet in their English Premier League reverse fixture.
Dejan Lovren scored the only goal of the English Premier League game as Southampton beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that the Reds were subdued on the day and admitted that he was looking forward to the impending return of Luis Suarez from his eight-match suspension. Since losing 0-1 to Southampton, Liverpool has taken 31 English Premier League home points from a possible 33 and Suarez has been central to that.
Southampton is heading for a top-10 English Premier League finish as the Saints are nine points ahead of Hull with 11 rounds remaining. But Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino must be alarmed at the difference between the results of the Saints against top-half and bottom-half sides. To cut a long story short, Southampton has won only one English Premier League game versus a top-half team this term and that was when the Saints went marching in at Anfield in September.
Liverpool is trading at odds of 2.05 with many bookmakers, including Bet365, Coral and Paddy Power, to win at St Mary’s and stay in touch with the English Premier League leaders. Southampton has done well to stay clear of the English Premier League relegation zone but the non-Liverpool sides that the Saints have beaten across all competitions this season – Barnsley, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Fulham (twice), Hull (twice), Swansea, West Bromwich (twice) and Yeovil – do not make pretty reading for them.
Aston Villa and Norwich is an English Premier League grudge match because of the Paul Lambert factor and, while there will be great tension inside Villa Park, the paying public are unlikely to see lots of goals. Aston Villa beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road earlier this term and both the Villans and the Canaries have been boring to watch all season.
Under-two-and-a-half-goal punters have grown to love both Aston Villa and Norwich. Aston Villa’s 27 English Premier League games have featured an average of 2.37 goals and 15 of its matches have gone under two and a half goals. And Norwich is even less exciting than Aston Villa. Norwich’s 27 English Premier League games have produced an average of 2.19 goals and 18 of its matches have gone under two and a half goals. Both Aston Villa and Norwich should be paying people to watch them rather than the other way round.
BetVictor is offering odds of 1.78 that Aston Villa and Norwich improve their under-two-and-a-half-goals numbers irrespective of how the game impacts on their English Premier League survival prospects. One would want odds considerably bigger than 2.15 to bet on the over.
Finally, like the English Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool, one is willing to turn a blind eye to the reverse fixture between Hull and Newcastle that ended 3-2 in favour of the Tigers at St James’s Park.
The play that appeals when Hull entertains Newcastle in the English Premier League is under two and a half goals at odds of 1.67 with Stan James. Hull’s 27 English Premier League games have featured an average of 2.22 goals and 20 of its matches have gone under two and a half goals. Strictly speaking, Newcastle is not an under-two-and-half-goals team, with English Premier League games including the Magpies averaging 2.63 goals and going over 16 times out of 27.
However, Newcastle changed overnight when Yohan Cabaye left to join Paris Saint-Germain. Since then Newcastle has won one and drawn three, scoring only one goal and that was as last weekend’s English Premier League match versus Aston Villa entered stoppage time. Newcastle is a pale shadow of the side that it was when Cabaye was pulling its strings.