26th of April 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Southampton play a decisive match for their survival in the Premier League on Saturday, when they host mid-table side Bournemouth at St Mary's. The reverse fixture was played at the beginning of December and it ended 1-1, Charlie Austin made it all square after Ryan Fraser had opened the scoring for the Cherries. That was the second consecutive draw between the two sides, after Southampton had won two of the previous three meetings in the Premier League. Bournemouth have never managed to win an away match at Southampton.
Southampton are in a very dangerous position, they have four Premier League matches left to play and 17th-placed Swansea are four points ahead of them. In theory, the Saints could reach salvation with at least two wins out of these four matches, but they have not won a Premier League game since the 3-2 victory at West Brom at the start of February. Steven Davis is the only injury concern for the home side, while striker Sofiane Boufal reportedly had a disagreement with manager Mark Hughes and might be kept out of the squad for the rest of the season.
Bournemouth have secured their Premier League status for another season, now they can enjoy the three matches that they have left until the end of the campaign. The Cherries have lost their last two Premier League matches and have not won any of the last four, but with nothing to lose they could just bounce back to winning ways at any moment. Adam Smith and Junior Stanilas are injured, while Tyrone Mings is lacking match fitness and will most likely not be employed by manager Eddie Howe.
Southampton: McCarthy - Stephens, Yoshida, Hoedt - Soares, Lemina, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Bertrand - Long, Austin
Bournemouth: Begovic - Francis, S. Cook, Ake - Fraser, L. Cook, Gosling, Daniels - Ibe, King - Wilson
My prediction: Southampton to win 2-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Southampton win - 1.64
Draw - 3.79
Bournemouth win - 5.00
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Thanks to a Swansea bad run Southampton still have their chances of survival but this a must, must win game for them.
If they don't win that one I don't believe they would make it.
Southampton played decent football second half of the FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea but were a bit unlucky, they would need all that good luck in that game though and I think they should win.
2-0 to the home side I think.
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