West Brom host Southampton on Monday night in desperate need of another three points and Mike Norman believes the Baggies might just get them...
"Hasenhuttl could well name a full strength team, but then I'd question just how committed some of those players will be, not wanting to risk an injury that would rule them out of a Wembley FA Cup semi-final."
West Brom v Southampton
Monday 12 April, 18:00
Live on Sky Sports
Remarkable win gives Baggies a tiny bit of hope
You don't need me, or anyone else for that matter, to tell you that West Brom remain in huge relegation trouble, sitting 19th in the table, eight points - effectively nine with their inferior goal difference - from safety. As the odds suggest, West Brom - 1.071/14 in the Relegation market - have a massive task on their hands if they're to avoid the drop.
But what we do know is that if the Baggies perform anywhere near like they did in Saturday's incredible 5-2 win at Chelsea for the remainder of the season then they'll go down fighting at the very least.
It's hard to know where Saturday's performance came from though to be fair to Sam Allardyce's men they have lost only two of their last seven games (W2-D3-L2), and even those were by single-goal margins.
The problem West Brom have is that they're likely going to need to win at least five of their remaining eight matches to stay up, and when you consider that they've won just four league games all season then the enormity of their task becomes clear.
It also doesn't help that the Baggies have to face the likes of Arsenal, Leicester, Liverpool and West Hamm in the coming weeks, meaning a win against Southampton on Monday night is almost imperative.
Will FA Cup semi-final take precedence?
I've previewed games involving Wolves twice in recent weeks, and on both occasions I mentioned how Nuno Santo's men are basically in no man's land, with nothing to play for, and therefore it's hard to know just how much incentive they have. They lost both games.
So I could be accused of contradicting myself if I didn't say exactly the same about Southampton given that they're just one place and one point ahead of Wolves in the table.
There's one big difference however, and that's that the Saints have an FA Cup semi-final on the horizon and therefore Ralph Hasenhuttl's men 'should' be fully motivated to perform well, knowing that places in a Wembley starting XI are up for grabs.
That theory isn't really backed up by their recent results however. Southampton have won just three of their last 18 Premier League games, and their last 13 matches read W2-D1-L10 though it's perhaps telling that those two wins came in the last month and the Saints players looked fully motivated in coming from 2-0 down to beat Burnley last week.
Hasenhuttl has no fresh injury worries so there's a chance that he might rotate his starting XI on Monday night with that FA Cup semi-final against Leicester coming just five days later.
Baggies worth supporting
I was initially going to swerve the Match Odds market, but mainly because I thought it was too close a game to call and that the odds would reflect this.
But that's not the case, Southampton are quite strong favourites at 2.35/4 while West Brom are the outsiders of all three options at 3.711/4 with the Draw being available to back at 3.412/5. I'm definitely siding with the Baggies at those odds.
And with a little more thought I became increasingly happy to side with Allardyce's men given that there is absolutely no question about their incentive to win. I can't really say with 100% conviction the same about Southampton.
Hasenhuttl could well name a full strength team, but then I'd question just how committed some of those players will be, not wanting to risk an injury or sending off that would rule them out of a Wembley FA Cup semi-final. And then if the Saints boss doesn't name a full strength starting XI then the odds start to swing in West Brom's favour.
I could well end up with egg on my face, but you have to form an opinion in betting and on this occasion I fancy the Baggies to win at 3.711/4 much more than I do Southampton at 2.35/4.
Two to keep an eye on for your Same Game Multis
If you're dipping into the side markets for this one, Opta have some interesting stats on two players who have hit a bit of form.
Matheus Pereira had a hand in four of West Brom's five goals in their victory against Chelsea last time out (two goals, two assists), as many as he had in his previous 14 appearances in the competition (four goals). Pereira is 10/3 to score at anytime on Monday.
Nathan Redmond has been involved in five goals in his last two games in all competitions for Southampton (three goals, two assists), as many as he had in his previous 30 appearances (one goal, four assists). Redmond is 7/2 to hit the net at anytime.
*You can follow me on Twitter: @MikkyMo73
Mike's 2020/21 Profit & Loss
Staked: 30.00 pts
Returned: 32.91 pts
P/L: +2.91 pts
*Based on 2pts main bet (first listed or only bet), 1pts all other bets
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