Is this the bet of the season?
The Saints are far too big at 50/1 to go down.
Thanks to an outstanding first half of the season last year Southampton and are as short as 7/4 to win the “Without the big six” market, but did that great start blind people to reality?
Thankfully for us the bookies have also been blinded because Southampton had a pretty disastrous end to the season from February onwards The Saints only won 5 of their last 16 games and four of those victories were against the bottom 4 teams, the other win came against Palace. The Saints only won one of their last 8 games and lost 4 of their last 6 games, including defeats to Sunderland, Leicester and Stoke. Southampton picked up 7 points from their last 8 games and that is relegation form. They have since lost Morgan Schneiderlin, Toby Alderweireld and Nathaniel Cline.
Fraser Forster was in outstanding form, but is possibly out until the New Year and the inspirational Ryan Bertrand, who made the PFA team of the year is also out injured.
Southampton’s early success was based around their great defence, they conceded 2 goals against Liverpool on the opening day of the season and then didn’t concede 2 goals in a game until they met Liverpool again on the 22nd of February. Contrast that with their end of season form when they conceded two goals in four of their last five games. They only scored 54 goals last year and 14 of them came in two games. They only managed a mere 17 away from home and unless Pelle regains his early season form they look like they will struggle to find the net again.
They will start the season without any of the defenders who were so resolute in the first half of the season and go into the new season with a defence that looks even weaker than the one that was leaking goals at the end of the season.
The elephant in the room,
The Europa league. Saints had no cup distractions last year, their squad is paper thin, the replacements look inferior and the best thing that could have happened to the Saints is to be beaten by Vitesse in the qualifying round. If Southampton get through to the group stages of the Europa league, which now looks like a formality following last night’s 3-0 win I can foresee nothing but a season of misery for Saints fans. Last night’s win may have looked impressive but Vitesse have had the guts of the side that qualified for Europe ripped out, a penalty and a bad defensive error made the score line look more impressive than the performance.
Newcastle, Everton, Watford, Norwich and West Brom the fixtures computer couldn’t have been kinder. Another way to look at it though is that it couldn’t have thrown the club more of a poisoned chalice, if they are unable to take advantage of that soft looking start it is only going to get far harder from there on in.
Southampton are 50/1 in places to be relegated and widely available at 40/1. At the odds they are certainly worth a small dabble. (Bet 365 go 40/1 EW ¼ the odds 3 places) A better bet if you want to go in big may be to lay them on the W/O the big six market on the exchanges at around 3.00, if Southampton win that market now they are virtually guaranteed European football quite honestly I will be amazed, even given their dream set of early fixtures.
Will Southampton be relegated?
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