UEFA Europa League: Southampton vs Hapoel Beer Sheva preview


Southampton host Hapoel Beer Sheva at St Mary's on Thursday in their final Europa League group match, a game that will decide which teams qualifies from Group K along with runaway leaders Sparta Prague. The reverse fixture in September ended in a goalless draw, a result that was good enough for both teams after having enjoyed a winning start to the group campaign. Since then, both teams won just one of three matches, losing the other two and allowing Sparta Prague to build a five-point gap at the top of the group table.

Southampton are getting close to qualifying for the knockout phase of the Europa League for the first time in their history, but they will need to beat Hapoel as a scoring draw would put the Israeli side through. However, in the case of a 0-0 draw, it's Southampton who would qualify as they have a superior goal difference overall. The Saints have been strong at home this season, winning seven of their eleven matches at St Mary's in all competitions. Dusan Tadic could make his return after having broken his nose on international duty, but Matt Targett and Alex McCarthy remain injured, along with Jeremy Pied and Jake Hesketh.

Hapoel Beer Sheva had a great campaign so far, certainly above expectations. They have reached the group stage of a European competition for the first time, and now they can improve on that record by pulling through to the knockout phase. They need to score at St Mary's to have any chance of achieving that. They are quite confident after six consecutive wins in all competitions, including a spectacular 3-2 Europa League victory over Inter Milan last time out. They are dominating the Israeli top flight, so they don't need to worry about resting players for the domestic competition.

Probable line-ups:

Southampton: Forster - Martina, Yoshida, Van Dijk, McQueen - Clasie, Romeu, Davis - Sims, Long, Boufal

Hapoel: Goresh - Bitton, Taha, Vitor, Tzedek, Korhut - Buzaglo, Radi, Ogu, Nwakaeme - Maranhao

My prediction: Southampton to win 2-1.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Southampton win - 1.44
Draw - 4.50
Hapoel win - 9.00

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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe

    16/12/16

    I've saw biggest part of that game and I was ready to risk some money staking at the visitors win, the odds for that were quite good and I thought it worth it because Sutton are not in perfect shape lately.
    In the end it happened like in the majority of my bets lately - I lost the profit in injury time, what can I say it just the way things going for me right now.

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