COURTESYFOOTBALL FORM LABS
Southampton v Spurs – Sunday 16:00, Sky Sports
Southampton were cruelly denied a much-needed three points at Watford after the officials failed to notice a blatant Doucoure hand ball in the last minute. It’s just the sort of bad luck manager Pellegrino doesn’t need with his side one point off the relegation zone and on a winless run that now stretches to 10 games. Things don’t get any easier on the south coast though as they welcome an in-form Spurs side that have enjoyed visiting St Mary’s in the past, netting 13 goals in their last five visits.
Inspired by the talents of Heung-min Son and Harry Kane in a 4-0 win over Everton, Spurs have now led at both half time and full time in six of their last eight with the sole defeat in that run coming away at City. Pocchetino’s charges have scored 22 times in that run and they’ve won back-to-back away games for the first time since September but their latest at Swansea was the first bottom-half club they’d visited in that run. Travelling to last season’s bottom-half finishers and the current bottom-half Spurs have a terrific record, winning 12 of 14 such matches, averaging 2.9 goals a game with nine of the victories by at least a two-goal margin.
Saints, meanwhile, have lost five of eight winless matches hosting the ‘Big Six’ since the start of last season where they’ve netted just twice. Four of these defeats were by at least two clear goals and we fear the worst for them again- we’re siding with the visitors -1 on the Asian Handicap at 2.2.
Harry Kane netted twice versus Everton to make him Spurs’ all-time Premier League top scorer. He now has eight in as many league games and has enjoyed playing the Saints in recent times, bagging a hat-trick against them on Boxing Day as well as finding the net in his last two trips to St Mary’s. The hosts have recorded just one clean sheet in their last 14, and with Kane on the pitch they’re unlikely to do so again and so we’re backing the Englishman to find the net at 1.83.
Weekend Team News Analysis
Villarreal v Levante – Saturday 17:30, Sky Sports
Cedric Bakambu (FW) and Carlos Bacca (FW), Villarreal
With Bakambu out of the side while he waits for his transfer to go through Villarreal’s attack already looked significantly weakened, but with Carlos Bacca also suspended this weekend they’re going to have to try something new up front. The last 13 matches that Bakambu has missed have all had fewer than three goals – there have been just 16 in total in that run – and that’s contributed to five of the matches finishing all-square. Furthermore, Bacca has missed just four games this term and two of those have resulted in Villarreal firing a blank, while none of their fit players have scored more than twice this season. Promoted Levante have failed to score in five of their eight away matches this term but they’ve still lost just two of those as they’ve drawn at the likes of Real Madrid and Sevilla. Villarreal, meanwhile, have already drawn here with Deportivo and Espanyol and another stalemate looks great value at 4.6.
Sampdoria v Fiorentina - Sunday 14:00
Davide Astori (CB) and Jordan Veretout (CM), Fiorentina
Fiorentina have their two most important players suspended. The captain, Astori, has missed just five games since the start of last season, including none this term, and they’ve conceded an extra half a goal per game more compared to with him. He’s made more interceptions, more blocks and more clearances than any of his teammates this season while he also leads the team for most passes. Next on that list is Veretout, whose started all 20 matches this term since joining the club in the summer, and they’ll miss his energy at both ends of the pitch. Sampdoria have won seven of nine at home this season and look a massive price to win again at 3.0.
Juventus v Genoa - Monday 19:45, BT Sport 1
Miguel Veloso (DM) and Ervin Zukanovic (CB), Genoa
As if going to the champions wasn’t a tough enough challenge Genoa will have to do it without two key first team players. No one has played more passes for them this season than Veloso while Zukanovic has made both their most interceptions and most clearances. Zukanovic missed their opening three games but has started every game since. One of those he missed was the reverse fixture between these teams, when they conceded four goals for the only time this season. Meanwhile, they’ve lost 10 of their last 15 without Veloso, who has missed just two matches this season. Juventus are without Paulo Dybala but they’ve scored at least three times in 12 of their last 17 home matches against bottom-half teams (at least twice in all 17) and are great value to do so again at 2.25.
Putting these three in a treble gives you a massive 28/1 shot
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