The race for top 10 places hots up as in-form Southampton play host to eighth-placed West Brom at St Mary’s. The Saints are just three points behind top table positions after a goalless draw at Swansea and they hope to extend their unbeaten run to seven games. The Baggies need to get something from this game if they are to remain in the eighth place in the standings.
Southampton gaining momentum
Many people were sceptical when Southampton chiefs decided to sack Nigel Adkins at the time when his side had finally escaped the drop, but the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino changed everything for the better. The Saints were able to realize their full potential under the Argentine manager, and climbed away from the relegation positions thanks to some scintillating showings both home and away. While the team obviously lack some quality at the back, they boast some excellent players in the centre of the park and attack, which has allowed them to outclass some of the best sides in England over the last couple of months. With Mauricio Pochettino quickly finding the right balance in the side, Southampton have been absolutely amazing of late, and they are currently on a six-match unbeaten run. Following back to back draws against West Ham and Swansea, the Saints will be very motivated to return to winning ways, and this could be a great opportunity for them to finally climb to the top half of the standings. With the likes of Lambert, Lallana, Rodriguez and Ramirez all playing well at the moment, the hosts should have enough in them to hurt out-of-sorts West Brom.
Key midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is back in contention, but James Ward-Prowse misses out through injury.
Problems for West Brom
West Bromwich may be on the road towards their most successful Premier League campaign ever, but nobody at the club can be too happy about how this season is going to end. The Baggies started the league campaign brightly and were even tipped to join the race for European places, but it has been all downhill from the turn of the year. While also losing quite a few matches against relegation strugglers, it was in games against top table sides that the Baggies failed to prove they deserve a better league position. The team are clearly going through a very rough patch at the moment, having picked up just two points from last four league fixtures and it is pretty clear West Brom’s latest displays don’t give them much to hope for as they prepare for the clash with in-form Southampton. On top of that, Steve Clarke will be without no less than three very important players at St Mary’s, which is going to further damage team’s chances of getting something from this match. The Baggies are not exactly a force to be reckoned with on the road, and they look to be in for yet another disappointment.
Youssouf Mulumbu serves the final game of his three-match ban, while captain Chris Brunt is out injured and Billy Jones is a major doubt.
Having already beaten City, Liverpool and Chelsea at St Mary’s and being in such a good form, Southampton can be trusted to see off struggling West Brom as well. The Baggies will have problems matching the Saints with three key players missing, and they don’t look they can get something from this game.
Top pick: Home win 1.91 (10/11) @ Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 1.83 (5/6) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Southampton to score two or more 1.91 (10/11) @ Stan James
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