We return to London for a midweek treat from the English Premier League. With this weekend dominated by fixtures from the FA Cup, 10 top-flight games have been crammed into three days between Tuesday and Thursday. That’s great news for followers of the beautiful game as well as armchair fans. No less than five of the 10 will be shown live on BT Sports.
Bookmakers have responded to the expected increased levels of interest by offering a flood of thrilling betting markets. You can have your say on the winner of each match or play one of the many specials, such as both teams to score and first goalscorer. Live Premier League football is great, but it can’t compare to pulling in a healthy profit after placing a winning bet on the match. Our team preview Crystal Palace vs Southampton, analysing the odds before laying out our betting tips and predictions.
Eagles Hold Arsenal to a Draw
Crystal Palace began the season with the aim of beating relegation, a midtable finish seen as a positive. They have the players and squad available to them to spring the odd surprise and hold their own in the bottom half of the pile but there was an emphasis placed on keeping their head above water and holding onto their place in the top flight of English football. So far so good in that respect. In fact, Palace is performing above expectations.
They entered the year on a decent run of form that had them in the top 10, higher in the rankings than the likes of Arsenal, Everton and Southampton. For The Eagles to hold off the likes of neighbours Arsenal would be viewed as a massive achievement. They have learned the lessons taught from last season, sorting out their defence and making themselves difficult to break down and tough to beat, especially at home. Two games into 2020 and The Eagles had conceded 24 goals in 22 games. That’s not too bad.
The one thing that has let Palace down so far has been the attack. They scored 20 goals in 22 games and that isn’t good enough. It is holding them back. The home team scored a win over rivals, West Ham, at this venue late last year and followed it with draws against Southampton, Norwich and Arsenal. Palace vs Arsenal was a thriller on 11 January and showed just how far the home team have come since last season. Aubameyang scored first but was later sent off, Ayew netting an equaliser early in the second half. Another draw here has been priced up at 9/4 with Betfred. Fancy a home win? There’s value to be had with 888Sport handing out 2/1.
Saints on a Stunning Run of Form
Southampton is lower in the pecking order than their opponents and have the threat of relegation hanging over them. They spend much of the first half of the season battling to distance themselves from the bottom three but a lack of consistency stunted their progress. The Saints do appear to have turned the corner however and a recent unbeaten run saw them climb to midtable. Confidence is creeping back into the ranks and the players now believe they can achieve better.
The new year seemed to come at exactly the right time. Southampton handled the hectic festive period better than most, picking up 13 points from 15 at the tail end of 2019 and early exchanges of 2020. They began the decade with a superb 1-0 home win over Tottenham on 1 January and followed that with a 2-0 at the same venue when Huddersfield came calling in the FA Cup Third Round. They are a team going places, but there was better to come.
Outside of league leaders Liverpool, Leicester City for Brendan Rodgers have been the division’s surprise package. They occupy a top-four place and have a real chance of battling their way back into the Champions League. Southampton looked to be up against it when visiting the King Power Stadium on 11 January but left with a stunning 2-1 away win. Armstrong scored the first that day, hitting the net on 19 minutes before Ings rifled home a late winner to delight supporters. Will the good times continue with another win on the road for Southampton? Bookies believe so and offer the away day at 6/4. That price is available with most firms, including 888Sport. There’s enough there to merit a play as a super single.