Southampton may edge closer to Europe here

February 5th, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

It took an easy victory for Everton at Carlisle to limit the damage last week although there were times during the afternoon when I thought the draws might pay off. In the end Liverpool and West Ham played out a dire 0-0 but the bet was already down. Otherwise I feel we have been in very good form and I hope we can pick up again this weekend, though bets are small.

That is mainly because Tottenham are too short at 4/9 to beat Watford and the same remark applies when Liverpool host Sunderland. Spurs should win all right and have a very real chance of taking the title but I’d be careful with Liverpool, who have a long, long way to go to recapture former glories and may find Sunderland hard to break down. Big Sam is a canny old bird and I feel he will coax the Black Cats away from the danger zone, though only just. The bookmakers have had any number of surprise results letting down accumulators this season and I have a strange feeling about this game.

Southampton and West Ham both have a realistic chance of Europa League football next term and their meeting at St Mary’s on Saturday evening should be a highly competitive affair. The Saints showed tremendous resilience against Arsenal, though no one knows how the Gunners failed to score. Home games are very different and Southampton will take the game to the Hammers here, with Charlie Austin quite possibly starting and giving them more attacking options.

Funnily enough, I think the layers overestimate the Saints to a degree and the 8/11 (Paddy Power) is pretty skinny. They could cut loose and make a -1 handicap bet look attractive but West Ham are a very decent outfit under Slaven Bilic and I wouldn’t be tempted. SOUTHAMPTON may win but are not bankers and 20 units will do.

I have no ieal what to say about Newcastle. When they won at Tottenham they looked for all the world like a team about to climb the table without too much trouble but they fell away again after deservedly bearing West Han and are still in the mire.

So much depends on the spirit. If the players are happy under Steve McLaren and determined to put things right, they can beat a very ordinary West Brom team. But Tony Pulis has been in this position before and is the number one manager to get a vital away point. To be frank, I think the 21/20 about the Magpies is better value than the 8/11 about the Saints but they are a very hard team to assess.

I came away from the Both Teams To Score bet after one or two setbacks although we are ahead on that market this term. I see goals everywhere this time around but a small perm will do, four trebles and an accumulator to 5 unit stakes. The games are:

Aston Villa v Norwich

Fulham v Derby

QPR v Ipswich

Gillingham v Swindon

Plus SOUTHAMPTON 20 units at 8/11 (or 4/6) to beat West Ham

NEWCASTLE 15 units at 21/20 to beat West Brom