We’re in for a real festive treat this weekend when Bournemouth host local rivals Southampton, with both sides currently level on points in the Premier League.
And while the Cherries and the Saints have impressed in patches this season, neither side has found any real consistency.
In fact, of their 32 games combined so far this campaign, we’ve seen back-to-back leagues wins on only one occasion – that coming from Southampton in September.
It’s no surprise then that this pair are occupying 9th and 10th in the table.
But Bournemouth head into this game knowing they can leapfrog Claude Puel’s men, and also boast a slight psychological advantage over their opponents, having defeated them 2-0 in this fixture last year.
Only Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have won more games than Eddie Howe’s men at home this year, while only Burnley and Leicester City have won fewer on their travels than the Saints.
That makes the 19/10 on Bournemouth look like excellent value, especially when you consider that they’ve just beaten reigning league champions Leicester at the Vitality Stadium.
Southampton, meanwhile, struggled to break down a 10-man Stoke City, with that being the ninth time they’ve failed to find the net in all competitions this campaign.
And they’ll be without Charlie Austin, who’s scored six of their 14 league goals this season. The striker has been ruled for up to four months – and many will be looking at the 15/4 on offer for Bournemouth to win to nil.
Goals have been spread evenly amongst Cherries players this season, with 11 players getting on the scoresheet in their opening 16 matches. That means it’s difficult to predict who’ll open the scoring in this one – although if recent form is anything to go by, we’re certain they’ll find the net at least once.
Howe’s men have had just two stalemates since the turn of the year, and only seven sides have scored more than them in the division this campaign.
With 6-1 and 4-3 wins to speak of at home, we reckon this could be another high-scoring affair for the Cherries, and that means there could be some value in backing Bournemouth to be the first team to score three goals at 15/2.
It’s a massive fixture for both sides in terms of what a win would do for either side heading into a hectic fixture list. But there’s also local pride at stake here, and we’re expecting a feisty affair.
We’ve seen three red cards shown in the last five meetings between this pair, and 11/4 says another player is sent off on Sunday.
Click here for a full list of Bournemouth v Southampton odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing