Southampton host Wolves this weekend and Simon Mail is not expecting a high-scoring contest between two sides struggling for goals...
"Southampton have managed just four goals in five games while Wolves have only scored twice in the league."
Saints frustrate champions in hard-earned draw
Southampton take on Wolves this weekend with both teams struggling for wins early on in the Premier League season. The Saints are still searching for their first victory in this year's competition, although they have been hard to beat with four draws from five games. Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have been held in their two home games with Manchester United and West Ham both taking a point from St Mary's.
The Saints earned an impressive goalless draw at champions Manchester City last weekend but it could so easily have been a famous win.
Kyle Walker was sent off for fouling Adam Armstrong in the area during the second half but the penalty was overturned, after VAR intervention, and the City defender stayed on the pitch.
It was still a very encouraging performance from Southampton and the side progressed in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday after a penalties win at Sheffield United following a 2-2 draw.
Wolves struggling to find finishing touch
Wolves have made a slow start to the season, with their lack of ruthlessness apparent under new manager Bruno Lage. His team's performances have been better than the results but their misfiring attack has held them back. Raul Jimenez is back in the team after his recovery from his long-term head injury but the Mexican striker is still waiting to get off the mark this season.
After losing their first three league games, Wolves claimed a 2-0 win at Watford. But the side failed to back this up as they slumped to a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to newly-promoted Brentford last weekend to leave their fans disgruntled. Wolves were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday on penalties after a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham.
Southampton are the narrowest of favourites at 2.767/4 but their odds underline this is a match likely to be finely balanced. The Saints are still looking for a first win in the league and have beaten Wolves in just one of their last 10 clashes. Hasenhuttl's side are going to claim a victory sooner or later but there is no great urge to back them this weekend.
Wolves are available at 2.9215/8 to pick up a second win of the season on Sunday. Lage will rightly feel his team should have more than three points on the board but their lack of end product remains a concern. There is no interest in siding with the visitors at these odds with doubts surrounding their finishing.
The draw is the biggest price on offer at 3.39/4 and is the most tempting option in this market. Southampton have drawn a league high four matches already this season and the stalemate has to be considered. A fifth successive stalemate for the Saints is entirely feasible and at the odds has to be worth a small bet. It also looks a shrewd trading option with the chance to lay it back, at a shorter price, if the teams are locked together into the second half.
Anyone expecting a high-scoring contest may be disappointed with both of these teams' attacking limitations holding them back.
The Saints sold their best striker Danny Ings in the summer and their front line has understandably been weakened.
Southampton have managed just four goals in five games while Wolves have only scored twice in the league.
Wolves have been solid defensively though, leaking just five goals, while Hasenhuttl's side have shipped six goals. All five of Wolves' league games have seen under three goals scored and it would be no surprise if this followed suit. Southampton's two home matches have also delivered for under 2.5 goals backers. This bet is deemed most likely and there is still mileage in backing no more than two goals at 1.814/5 this weekend.
Despite being winless in seven Premier League games, Southampton have kept consecutive clean sheets in the competition, more than they'd managed in their previous 24 league games.
Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster
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