Southampton v Bournemouth Betting Predictions | Back Home at 7/2 with Betfair

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Betting Tip: Backing Southampton to win and Shane Long to score first at 7/2 with Betfair

After a horrible run around Christmas and New Year, which saw Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth plummeting towards disaster, with no wins in seven games and 23 goals conceded, they have since recovered and gone three games unbeaten, including two wins.

Southampton have won three of their last ten, but lost the other seven. Their saving grace of late has been striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who joined the club from Napoli in January before going on to score six goals in his first few games. An injury suffered in defeat at Tottenham Hotspur before the international break meant he could not be called up by Italy and is subsequently a doubt for this game. It will be an interesting challenge for Southampton to find the net without him.

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But Claude Puel does have the perfect replacement for facing a defence like Bournemouth’s. Shane Long is a striker who thrives off space in behind and playing on the shoulder, while he chases almost every seemingly lost cause. Howe likes his teams to play with a high line, but will be pushed back by the Irishman’s propensity to never give up.

Southampton have moved away from the principles of previous managers Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman under Puel. The Saints no longer look to suffocate teams high up the pitch while keeping the ball and controlling the tempo, instead looking to get the ball up the pitch quicker, relying more on the counter attack. This is why Gabbiadini thrived so much and why Long could be a huge asset, too.

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It also shapes the game perfectly. With Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels enjoying freedom to attack, the high line and the lack of a midfield enforcer, they could play more into Southampton’s hands. But with Jack Wilshere on the pitch, thr Cherries have the ability to dictate the tempo of the game.

Josh King’s recent hattrick against West Ham means he comes into this game in great confidence and will look to get in behind and stretch the game. But Oriol Romeu will be sat just behind him, looking to cut the supply lines as he has done many times this season.

Despite Gabbiadini’s expected absence, we are backing Shane Long to step up and get the points for Southampton.

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