Ever since I was 6 years old and made the fatal mistake of asking my Dad: 'What's that on the TV?' I have been engrossed by football and many other sports have since had a similar impact upon me. Unfortunately I was never good enough to open the batting for England, or to don that number 7 shirt for Southampton, but my love for sport remains. Betting on sport only came into the equation fairly recently, when I realised that there really were avenues through which some extra money could be made. Of course the extra excitement added when a bet is in place was an added attraction. I also enjoy other forms of gambling such as a game of poker with friends. Southampton F.C. were my first love and I watch every game if I can. My dream would be to travel the world watching all kinds of sports in their birthplaces or in beautiful locations. The Monaco GP, the Ashes in Australia, Masters in Augusta or the French Open tennis. I have several on my list, and plenty of money to make in order to do this. Hopefully with the help of the good people at OLBG, I will get there eventually...! Follow me on Twitter @DanBradleyTips
Can Saints make it back to back EPL wins?
When will we see van Dijk in a Saints shirt?
Can Huddersfield make it 3 out of 3?
All good things must come to an end… And so must all bad things as well, so it seems, as Saints finally ended their goal drought at St Marys by putting three past West Ham on Saturday.
Even with those goals, the game nearly slipped away from Southampton, after giving away a two goal lead despite playing against ten men.
The resolve shown to get the penalty that sealed the win has to be commended, but it is another performance that was, in the main, impressive, but also filled with question marks that will leave doubts remaining in the minds of fans and pundits.
Next up for Saints is a cup game against high-flying Championship side Wolves, but after that, Premier League football returns for Southampton with a trip to newly promoted Huddersfield.
After performing well in their home openers, a tough away trip against a fired up Terriers side, still basking in the glory of Premier League football, offers a completely different challenge.
Huddersfield and their fans are jubilant after their win over Newcastle made it two wins out of two and a position of 2nd in the table after two games must make excellent reading for the Terriers and their fans.
Games against Crystal Palace and Newcastle might not look the toughest on paper, but it is those kinds of games that define a season for a team promoted to the Premier League, and to start off with two wins is a massive statement.
This is undoubtedly more of a test for Huddersfield, with Southampton impressive over the first couple of games, even if there are some doubts about the Saints and their game mentality. Huddersfield will feel they can take on the World at the moment, and will continue to play with the same verve and vigour of a fresh Premier League side.
UPDATE (24/08):Both teams lost pretty disappointingly in the cup in midweek and will be desperate to put that to bed with a good result here, although I'm not sure how disappointed either manager would actually be to write this competition off and be able to concentrate on Premier League football until the New Year.
|Southampton||4 - 1||Huddersfield|
|Huddersfield||2 - 0||Southampton|
|Southampton||5 - 0||Huddersfield|
|Huddersfield||3 - 1||Southampton|
|Huddersfield||0 - 2||Southampton|
D D D W W
W D L D W
Another injury and suspension free weekend means, prior to the cup match against Wolves, Saints have a clean bill of health and are able to pick their first choice XI, bar club captain Virgil van Dijk, who will presumably remain unavailable until the transfer window closes, even though it now seems obvious he won’t be leaving the club.
For Huddersfield, former Saint Martin Cranie, as well as Stankovic, Hogg and Nakhi Well all remain out for the time being, but there are no fresh injury concerns of yet. Although, again we need to await the result of the EFL cup in midweek.
Pellegrino gave record signing, Mario Lemina, his first start against West Ham, and he performed well, creating a good platform with Oriol Romeu, allowing the forward players license to attack without restraint.
There is still an EFL cup game to come before the next fixture in the Premier League, so plenty could change, and Pellegrino may rotate his side slightly over the course of those games, but I would expect him to stick mainly with the side that got that first win.
We will revisit once we know if there are any injuries, of if any players that are perhaps closer to the fringe of the first XI end up playing 90 minutes or potentially more against Wolves.
UPDATE (21/08): Saints are allowing young striker, Sam Gallagher, to move on loan to Birmingham, and although he wasn't really about to break into the first team, it shows faith in Shane Long, with speculation he could leave the club.
The other transfer news is of an arrival, with Lazio confirming to Sky Sports that Dutch central defender, Wesley Hoedt, will be joining the Saints. It gives a potential selection dilemma to Mauricio Pellegrino, with Yoshida and Stephens performing well together since van Dijk's injury, and with the idea being as well that van Dijk could come back into the side once the window closes.
UPDATE (24/08): After a pretty awful attempt to play 3-4-3 against Wolves, I'm fully expecting Pellegrino to revert to the 4-2-3-1 that worked far better against West Ham last weekend, with the majority of the personnel that came in for the game against Wolves likely to drop straight back out after failing to impress. Of the players from last week's win, perhaps Tadic is the most vulnerable after another uninspiring attacking performance.
Like with Southampton, I can’t see any great reason why Huddersfield would go changing the side after another good performance and result, and so I would expect the same lineup to be chosen.
Of course, if there are injuries, or perhaps extra time in the EFL cup in midweek, then we might see that change.
Van La Parra
The home team won every time they played in League One.
All of those wins were by two or more goals.
They won 5 of their first 6 games last season, and their first 5 at home.
Saints won once in their first 8 away games last season.
With Huddersfield keeping two clean sheets in their openers, they will prove a tough nut to crack for Southampton. I think a lot of this game will depend on the midfield battle and that makes Saints’ player of the season, Oriol Romeu a key player for the Saints.
One of the reasons why Romeu will be so important is that he will need to contain Aaron Mooy who has been Huddersfield’s key player so far, and will need to be shut down if Saints want to get a positive result.
Both of these sides will be on the up after positive results in their last game, but this will be far more prevalent for Huddersfield, who have been far more convincing in their two wins.
Southampton are unbeaten after two games, but their manner of victory against 10 man West Ham leaves plenty of questions, as did their inability to score goals after a Swansea team missing their only match winner.
I remember the amazing start that Huddersfield made to their season last year, and I think David Wagner has a knack of making his teams gel, and getting them working for each other from the first moment.
Add into that their amazing home record at the start of last season, and I think they can be a good match for Southampton - I don’t think you can underestimate the power of momentum, especially at this stage of the season where it is very rare.
So, probably to the dismay of Saints fans, I will continue to bet against us while our odds remain short.
Huddersfield @ 3.9 with Betfair.
Sep 18th, 2017, 0 comments
Sep 18th, 2017, 0 comments
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