Bournemouth are scrapping for their lives as they host Southampton at Dean Court in Sunday’s south coast derby. The Cherries have a chance to take advantage of the fact that two of their relegation rivals play each other on Friday night, but their visitors here are in great form at present.
Where and when: Vitality Stadium – 19 July, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see Bournemouth vs. Southampton: BT Sport
Last time: Nathan Ake, Harry Wilson and Callum Wilson were on target as Bournemouth won 3-1 at St Mary’s back in September, with James Ward-Prowse netting a penalty for Southampton.
Bournemouth v Southampton Predictions and Preview
The Premier League’s Friday night fixture this weekend sees West Ham and Watford clash at the London Stadium. Those two teams are both on 34 points and lie 16th and 17th in the table. Bournemouth will have to reel in one of those clubs if they’re going to continue their stay in the top flight, but Southampton are in fine form right now.
The Saints claimed a late draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night, taking them to four games unbeaten ahead of their home game against Brighton on Thursday. That run also included a victory over Manchester City, as well as lots of exciting attacking football which has profited from some excellent high pressing.
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Southampton to win and BTTS
Bournemouth to win 3-1
Over 3.5 goals
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were superb against Man United, dispossessing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side high up the pitch on a number of occasions, including for the opening goal. If they can put Bournemouth’s defence under similar pressure here, Eddie Howe’s side could find themselves unable to get out.
That will be even more of an issue should Nathan Ake’s groin injury keep him out of action. Fellow defender Simon Francis is also out of this game, along with Charlie Daniels and Chris Mepham, although Adam Smith and Josh King should be fit to play.
Howe needs as many of his players available as possible for this game, which is difficult on paper at present and has been tough in the past. The Cherries may have defeated their south coast rivals earlier this term, but that was their first victory over the Saints in seven attempts. That said, four of those games ended in draws, with Southampton winning on two occasions.
A draw here wouldn’t be enough for Bournemouth, who at least injected some life into their survival bid with a resounding 4-1 victory over Champions League hopefuls Leicester City last weekend. That ended a run of nine games without a win for Howe’s side, including defeats in each of their first four games back from the restart.
That positivity leads Bournemouth to their status as slight favourites for the win on Sunday. The Cherries are 13/10 to pick up what could be a season-defining three points, while Southampton are 9/4 to continue their good run with a victory that likely prove terminal for their hosts’ survival hopes. If you think the game will end in a draw, that’s available at 3/1.
One to watch for Bournemouth: Callum Wilson hasn’t been in the sort of form that catapulted him to international recognition for the majority of this season. He could still have a huge impact on his club’s fate though, and is one of the favourites to break the deadlock in this game at 9/2.
One to watch for Southampton: Likewise Danny Ings, who’s approaching the magical 20-goal mark in the Premier League for the campaign. That’s the sort of form that could bring him into the fold for the national team, and he’ll be keen to showcase his credentials again here. He is 4/1 for the first goal.
Long shot: Bournemouth have scored six goals in their last two games against Southampton in winning 3-1 and drawing 3-3, both away from home. The Cherries put four past Leicester last weekend and are 15/1 to beat the Saints 3-1 for the second time this season. That rises to 104/1 with Wilson scoring first.