Simon Mail previews the midweek derby clash between Bournemouth and Southampton which could go the way of the visitors...
"The Saints have based their recent success on keeping clean sheets and their last eight victories have all seen them win without conceding."
Bournemouth 3.02/1 v Southampton 2.6813/8; The Draw 3.3512/5
Live on BT Sport 1
The Cherries have given themselves a decent chance of staying up in their first season in the Premier League. Eddie Howe's side understandably struggled early on in the campaign, following promotion from the Championship, with just one win home victory in the first four months of the season. But Bournemouth have found their feet since the end of last year with an improvement in their results.
Bournemouth have picked up notable scalps along the way with wins over champions Chelsea and Manchester United. But one point from three games has left the Cherries far from safe in their battle to avoid relegation. The team were held 0-0 at Watford on Saturday and are just five points clear of third bottom Newcastle having played a game more.
The Saints have improved over the course of this season and once again find themselves in contention for European qualification through the league. It was a sluggish start to the campaign for Ronald Koeman's side after winning just one of their first six Premier League games. But their form has progressed nicely with the team climbing up to seventh in the table.
Much of their success has been based on their defending with the return of goalkeeper Fraser Forster from injury helping secure a club record of more than six consecutive league games without conceding. Southampton were beaten 2-1 at home to Chelsea on Saturday but prior to that had taken an impressive haul of 16 points from a possible 18.
With their recent form and position eight places above their opponents, it is no surprise Southampton are the favourites for this derby clash. The Saints have won five of their last seven games and also have a strong record against their rivals winning the last four meetings including the 2-0 victory in November.
This underlines the visitors deserve their status as favourites and there will be some takers at odds of 2.6813/8. I wouldn't put anyone off that bet but there could be a better value way of supporting Southampton for victory. Bournemouth are currently 3.02/1 outsiders for a victory but their home form has to be a concern.
The Cherries have won just three of their 13 home league games and have lost their last three matches at the Vitality Stadium in all competitions. This is more than enough to discourage a bet on the hosts. The draw is available at 3.3512/5 but only one of the last eight clashes between the teams has finished level.
Southampton Win to Nil
Southampton can justify favouritism with three points at their rivals but there is a strong betting angle which could offer a generous winner. The Saints have based their recent success on keeping clean sheets and their last eight victories have all seen them win without conceding. With Forster and the defence looking extremely solid, it is worth backing Southampton at 3.7511/4 to continue this superb record by winning to nil.
Back Southampton to win to nil at 3.7511/4
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Simon Mail 2015/16 Season P/L
Staked: 30 pts
Returned: 20.45 pts
P/L: -9.65 pts