In a sentence: A classic South coast match up sees two sides fearful of their league status commence battle in what promises to be a tense affair at St Mary’s.
Last time: The last time the Seagulls travelled to face the Saints was back in 2011 during the sides Championship campaigns. Southampton took a comfortable 3-0 home win thanks to a Ricki Lambert hat-trick as Mauricio Taricco saw red for Brighton.
This time: Southampton are 8/11 to win with Brighton at 17/4 and the draw 23/10
You might remember: On the February 9 1980, Southampton gave their home fans one of their most impressive performances at the old Dell stadium as they hammered the Seagulls 5-1 on a bitterly cold day. The Saints went on to finish 8th in the first division that year with Brighton ending their campaign safely in 16th.
Southampton's Last Six:
Southampton’s last Six Games: Won: 2 Drawn: 3 Lost: 1
New big money signing Guido Carrillo is expected to fill the boots of injured star striker Charlie Austin and looks likely to be thrown in the mix immediately.
Head honcho Mauricio Pellegrino has no other notable absentee’s, but Shane Long is just one yellow card away from an automatic one game suspension.
Brighton's Last Six:
Brighton’s Last six games: Won: 2 Drawn: 2 Lost: 2
Much like his opposing manager, Chris Hughton has also been busy in January bringing in a striker as Dutch forward Jürgen Locadia has joined the Seagulls ranks and could be set to feature.
Veteran midfielder Steve Sidwell is the only long-term absentee but Hughton will have some thinking to do ahead of this tie after seeing his side beat Middlesbrough in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Betting Tips & Predictions
Just one point separates these two in the league but that single point is the difference between the Saints sitting in the dreaded drop zone and Brighton keeping their head above water in 16th. This battle by the beaches could determine who is likely for the drop with the home side coming into the game boasting the better form with only one defeat in January.
Southampton are 8/11 to win and recent form suggests that is a distinct possibility. Opta statistics say that a Southampton win is a 45% chance. However, the Saints have only won three times at home this season, but their cause is helped by the fact that of Brighton’s 17 goals this campaign, only 29% have come away from home, the lowest away goals percentage in the league.
Brighton are 17/4 to win for a very good reason, Chris Hughton’s side have lost eight times on the road (the joint highest with Huddersfield and Stoke City) and have only managed 5 goals in 12 road games. However, there is some hope as despite their awful scoring record, they have still managed to pick up eight points and two wins making 17/4 long, but not impossible.
The draw is 23/10 and this is where the value in the game lies. Southampton have drawn four of their last six Premier League games and coupled with Brighton’s eight draws this campaign, it means between the two there have been 18 draws this season. Also, when the two-last met in the reverse fixture, a 1-1 draw was played out.
For at least one team to fail to score in the game is at 4/6 and considering the troubles Brighton have in front of goal away from home and Southampton trying to bed in a new center-forward into the team, it is highly unlikely we are in for an evening of goal mouth action. Expect one, if not both to fail to find the back of the net with both keepers happy with their evenings work.
Under 2.5 goals is 3/5 and just like the reasons above, we fail to see an abundance of goals. At the most, a repeat of October’s 1-1 is the only likely goal mouth action we will see but with the spotlight on new strikers for both teams, few would be surprised if a cold Wednesday night was just too much to allow the new guys to set their boots alight.
Predicted Score: Southampton 0 - 0 Brighton
Look out for:
An over the top dependence and pressure on Saints new boy Carrillo. Mauricio Pellegrino’s future pretty much rests on former Monaco man Carrillo firing the Saints to safety.
Just by looking at the betting markets you can see the reliance on the Argentine but with under two goals in the game at 7/4, that may be a better place for Pellegrino to have stuck his £19 million.
Southampton to keep a clean sheet is 1/1 and that looks pretty good. If there is a side that is likely to go on and claim the three points, then recent form and statistics suggest that will be the Saints.
Brighton simply cannot score away from home and just five goals in twelve away games only goes to back that up.
It’s a long shot, but:
Guido Carrillo is 40/1 to bag a hattrick on his debut and perhaps we have been a little harsh in our assessment above.
He did after all manage 21 goals in 95 appearances for a decent Monaco side and perhaps another dose of sea air is just what the Argentine needs to go on a scoring rout.
Written by Ian Waterhouse
Ian Waterhouse is a sports, fitness and betting writer with extensive experience in all sectors of the gambling industry. When he’s not trawling through the odds, you’ll probably find Ian on the golf course – probably the bunker!