The EPL season is heading towards its inevitable end, so I intend to take full advantage of every single round left.
This next one features some great matches and a lot of opportunities to make some money. For my weekly EPL pick, I decided to go for the clash between Southampton and Wolverhampton.
On the surface, the match is hard to predict for various reasons. However, after digging a little deeper, I’m not so sure that’s the case.
Naturally, I will start this Southampton vs. Wolves betting preview with the odds from one of the top soccer betting sites.
Then I will check the leading markets, analyze both teams, and share my final pick. Let’s go!
Southampton vs. Wolverhampton Odds
Let’s take a look at what BetOnline has to offer for the popular betting markets of this EPL clash.
The match results market suggests that the bookies see this game as extremely close. While I would be inclined to agree to an extent, I feel that some factors are underestimated. I will talk about them when I start analyzing each team.
For now, let’s say that I see Southampton as a slight favorite here, so there might be value in the odds for the home side.
As for the total goals market, I don’t think there’s anything unusual there. The expectations for a rather tight game are reasonable. Both teams are focused on defending well and are hardly the most prolific in the EPL. I believe there is no point in going after the over/under options because the prices are fair.
With that said, let’s dig deeper and look at both teams.
Southampton Team News and Analysis
Up to a couple of weeks ago, Southampton was in huge trouble and a main relegation candidate. While the team is not safe yet, the gap of five points above the relegation zone with only six games left is solid. A couple more points would be enough for the Saints to stay in the English Premier League.
What’s even better is that the recent performances of the club suggest that the goal is completely achievable. The team won three of its last five games in the league, and the two losses came in close matches against Manchester United and Liverpool.
I would say that pushing teams of that caliber to the limit is actually a sign that Southampton is in a great spot right now. The side was able to defend well and not let the opposition create too many chances for most of those games.
At the same time, the Saints found the net eight times and have been efficient up front. The goals are coming from all sources because the attack is working well as a whole. If I must highlight one single player, though, that would be James Ward-Prowse.
The young midfielder has scored three times in the past five games and is becoming a real leader for Southampton. He is a creative force that can also score goals, but Ward-Prowse is not afraid to work hard either.
I think he will be the key to unlocking the compact Wolves defense. The battle in the middle of the park will be crucial. The Saints are not a team that relies on possession, so the visitors will probably have more of the ball.
That won’t bother Southampton as long as the defense is protected. I expect to see the home side do exactly that, using every opportunity to steal the ball high up the pitch and transition quickly to the other end.
This direct approach has been working for the Saints recently, and Wolverhampton is a team that could struggle to find an answer. In my opinion, the style of the home side is designed to counter sides like Wolves.
Furthermore, Southampton has no injuries or suspensions for this match. The manager Ralph Hasenhüttl can count on his full squad, and I expect to see the best of the Saints. A win here would be a huge step towards staying in the EPL, so the players and the fans will be pumped.
Wolverhampton Team News and Analysis
Not many EPL newcomers have managed to break into the top table of the league recently. Wolverhampton is one of the few exceptions after a remarkable season so far. The Wolves were strong against all kinds of teams, including some of the leading clubs in the EPL.
The fans, the players, and the manager Nuno Espirito Santo can be proud of this campaign. And yet, they certainly are extremely disappointed at this particular moment.
The Wolves were 2-0 up against Watford and on their way to the FA Cup final last Sunday. It could’ve been a glorious end of the season and a real chance to win a trophy. Unfortunately for the club and its supporters, a late comeback saw them lose 3-2.
The heartbreak from this match will most likely impact the whole squad. Wolverhampton has been safe from relegation for quite a while and has been lacking motivation recently anyway. A drama of this magnitude would make it even harder for the team to stay focused.
On top of the shock from the FA Cup exit, I feel that the Wolves will struggle against Southampton’s tactical approach. Recent defeats against Burnley and Huddersfield away from home suggest that the team is finding it hard against compact sides that are willing to surrender possession and play a direct style of soccer.
Wolverhampton doesn’t create many chances when the opposition defends in numbers, while the team makes the occasional mistake that allows the opponent to find some goals.
On the bright side, the squad will be full for the visit against Southampton, as there are no injuries or suspensions.
Southampton vs. Wolverhampton Predictions and Betting Pick
You probably sense by now that I see Southampton as the more likely winner of this match. There are a couple of reasons here, so let’s sum them up.
For a start, the team is pushing for survival, and their motivation will be higher compared to the Wolves that are playing for nothing and are coming after a devastating Wembley defeat in the FA Cup.
On top of that, the Saints are in great shape recently and have a playing style that should trouble the visitors. Everything is pointing at the home side, in my opinion, so I will back Southampton.
However, Wolverhampton is a strong team that should not be underestimated. Going for the straight Saints win is risky, especially since you can get a price of 1.84 for the home side +0 AH or pk. The odds are high enough, and you get your money back if the game is tied, so this is my final EPL pick for this week.
I think that the Wembley loss will plague the rest of the season for the Wolves, but can they actually bounce back and perform even better after this match?
What do you think about the side and the remaining games? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below.
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Southampton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers Betting PreviewApril 8, 2019