AFC Bournemouth vs Southampton Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

AFC Bournemouth vs Southampton Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

D-day looms for Bournemouth
Bournemouth’s five-year stay in the Premier League could finally come to an end on Sunday when they meet an in-form Southampton outfit at the Vitality Stadium.

The Cherries, sitting 3rd from bottom with two games left to contest, are just three points from safety, however, if relegation rivals West Ham and Watford draw on Friday night, and Bournemouth lose their Sunday fixture, Eddie Howe’s underdogs’ relegation would be confirmed.

Bournemouth will be doing everything in their power to avoid that scenario playing out however, and after a trio of promising showings in a string of difficult games, the Cherries’ form suggests they can take something from the game.

Howe’s charges showed admirable grit in their 0-0 draw with Spurs on July 9, before they cut loose in superb fashion in a 4-1 win over Leicester City three days later, while plenty of positives could be drawn from their most recent performance at Man City, despite their eventual 2-1 reverse on Wednesday evening.

Southampton extend unbeaten run
12th placed Southampton meanwhile, warmed up for their trip to the Vitality Stadium, with somewhat disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Brighton.

The tie, which was the Saint’s third on the spin, did at least allow Southampton to extend their unbeaten run to five top flight matches, but having racked up 21 attempts on goal at St. Mary’s, they will feel they let three points slip through their fingers.

Away from the south coast, Southampton have shown a much more clinical edge in the final third however, hitting two or more goals in three of their last four away assignments, including a brace in an impressive display at Old Trafford where they held United to a 2-2 draw.

Goals likely on Sunday
With their need for points stark, Bournemouth have been chasing games and attacking with much more purpose in recent weeks – something that has been reflected in the number of high scoring encounters the Cherries have been involved in since the restart.

Four of Bournemouth’s last five Premier League fixtures produced over 2.5 goals and saw both teams score, in fact, the net bulged an average of 4.0 times per 90 minutes across that quintet of action-packed contests.

We expect Eddie Howe’s relegation threatened charges to go for the jugular again on Sunday, and that should in turn lead to a high number of chances created at both ends.

It’s worth noting, that even without the pressure cooker situation of a relegation battle acting as a goal-scoring incentive, fixtures between Bournemouth and Southampton have been hugely entertaining affairs over the past year.

The Cherries counter-attacked their way to a surprise 3-1 win at St. Mary’s Stadium in the reverse league clash between the teams in September last year, while the clubs shared the points after a thrilling 3-3 draw when they last faced off at the Vitality Stadium in April 2019.

With Bournemouth showing fight and Southampton in the midst of a fine unbeaten sequence, we think another high scoring draw looks a likely outcome between the teams in their latest skirmish, making the over 2.5 goals and both teams to score combination well worth considering at the prices available, while our correct score prediction forecasts a 2-2 draw.

Key Battle: Lloyd Kelly vs Danny Ings
21-year-old Cherries centre-half Lloyd Kelly has shown plenty of promise in recent weeks and what has been something of a baptism of fire since making his Premier League debut just after the restart.

On Sunday, the ex-Bristol City starlet faces one of the division’s most prolific and wily operators in Saints poacher Danny Ings in what should prove a huge test of this burgeoning potential.

Danny Ings bagged yet another goal for Southampton in mid-week, pushing his total for the campaign to 20 in the Premier League, and the 27-year-old will be targeting a late flurry of strikes inside the last two games of the season to wrangle the Golden Boot away from compatriot Jamie Vardy in the campaign’s final throes.

AFC Bournemouth vs Southampton team news
Eddie Howe will still be without key defensive quartet Charlie Daniels, Nathan Ake, Simon Francis and Chris Mepham for the weekend, while Adam Smith is also a doubt at right back.

David Brooks and Callum Wilson, who both started on the bench in the Cherries’ last game against Man City, look certain to slot back into the starting XI against the Saints.

Bournemouth predicted line-up: Ramsdale – Stacey, S. Cook, Kelly, Rico – Lerma, Gosling, Brooks, Stanislas – King, Wilson

Sofiane Boufal, Yan Valery and Moussa Djenpro are Southampton’s only injury concerns ahead of their trip to the Vitality Stadium.

Jack Stephens should come back into central defence in place of Jannik Vestergaard, while Kyle Walker-Peters should also return at right back having been replaced in the Saints draw with Brighton.

Southampton predicted line-up: McCarthy – Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand – Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Armstrong, Redmond – Long, Ings
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