Alan Dudman is backing Norwich City this weekend at the expense of the inconsistent Southampton....
"Farke's team showed enough against Sheffield United and were excellent on the counter-attack when beating Leicester 1-0 recently."
Canaries still need a miracle according to Farke
With nine games to save themselves, Norwich are gradually running out of time (and games) to pull off survival. Manager Daniel Farke admitted recently that "maybe a miracle is needed" to avoid the drop.
They are still fighting. Just.
Farke's men are six points adrift from West Ham, Watford and Bournemouth, and that means that the [1.11] on offer in the Relegation market is about the best you'll get. However, [1.11] shots get beaten, as only I know too well having seen one of my horses at Cheltenham travel all over the field and not get home.
Farke has a poser here; does he maintain the pleasing style with the neat passing, or does he go braver and change the philosophy and mix it up a bit? To survive, they'll need to do the latter. The flowing game doesn't deliver enough and there's been no end product. Farke went far more direct in the second half recently against Sheffield United, and they posed questions to a good defence.
Facing a Southampton backline this weekend should in theory be easier than that Sheffield United one.
Saints not helping themselves with inconsistencies
The Saints themselves have a seven point buffer on those red zone teams that have accrued 27 points. So they are not totally out of the woods either.
With Ralph Hasenhuttl's side, you never quite know what you are going to get. Poor losses can be interspersed with winning runs. Then there's the comical defending. That reared its ugly head in a poor performance at West Ham. They were well beaten 3-1 at the London Stadium depsite controlling all of the possession, but they were awful at the back. Hasenhuttl reacted by saying that the players had a problem if they thought they were safe.
Their recent run of results includes a 4-0 defeat, 1-2 and 1-3 losses, and a win against Aston Villa. I would be very wary of trusting that result. Dean Smith's side can't defend either, but that game was prior to their Carabao Cup fixture against Manchester City - which proved to be a bit of a distraction.
A recent 0-1 loss to Newcastle highlights how hard it is for this team to win. The run of four successes in five back in December seems a long time ago now.
Attitude can win the day for outsiders of two
Picking up on Hasenhuttl's comments about attitude, the [2.56] on offer for an away win here doesn't get me excited at all. In fact, it's a price I want to run a mile from. Their up-and-down nature certainly could back up what the manager has said. If they play like they did against West Ham, they'll get beaten here.
It's certainly an option to lay at that price, despite the fact only the current four top clubs have won more Premier League games away from home than Southampton (six).
I prefer the run of five losses from their last seven, which makes backing the Saints a complete no-no.
If it comes down to attitude, I would rather be with the Canaries here. They have won two of their last three home games, which is as many as they had in their first 11.
They've got a decent record in Norfolk too against the Saints with one defeat in their last seven on their own patch.
I really hope Norwich go a bit more direct and the [2.94] makes more appeal. It's probably big enough to go Draw No Bet to get two running for you, but likewise, the lay
of the away side here is also an option.
Farke's team showed enough against Sheffield United and were excellent on the counter-attack when beating Leicester 1-0 recently.
Go for low in terms of goals
The trading options for me could focus around the 1-0 for Norwich on the Correct Score market, and the [12.50] on offer with the possibility of a very tight first 20 minutes to get us to single figures for a trade.
Norwich have been in involved in some recent low-scorers. The 0-1 home loss to Liverpool was a game of very chances, and the aforementioned victory against Leicester saw Jamal Lewis score - which was the first Norwich goal from open play since New Year's Day. Another one of those goals and performances wouldn't go amiss.
The Under 1.5 at [4.0] is also worth a look.
Alan Dudman's Premier League P&L
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Back Norwich City to beat Southampton @ [2.94]
Back Under 1.5 Goals @ [4.0]