Results against top half will see Southampton defeat Spurs

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Tottenham Hotspur will welcome Southampton to White Hart Lane for their first match since missing out on the Premier League title.

Spurs players showcased their disappointment against Chelsea and as a result Mousa Dembele will miss this game through suspension, joining Dele Alli in the stands for this outing.

Losing two crucial cogs of their midfield at the same time is obviously going to be detrimental to Mauricio Pochettino’s men, but this is not the only reason the Saints should be backed to win at 29/10.

Ronald Koeman’s team do particularly well against sides in the top half of the table and are the fifth-best team in the division in this regard.

Tottenham are slightly better, ranked fourth against clubs in the upper reaches of the league, but their form in these matches has tailed off.

Indeed, they have only won two of their last six against said teams, while Southampton have managed four victories in the same run.

Even more impressively, three of the south coast outfit’s previous four against those in the top half have gone in their favour, with champions Leicester City the only side to defeat them, doing so with a narrow 1-0 win.

Doubters will point out that Spurs won 2-0 when they made the trip to St Mary’s earlier in the campaign, but one big absentee influenced that result.

Fraser Forster, who has kept six clean sheets since returning from that injury in January, was absent for that game, with Paulo Gazzaniga, who has let in three in his two outings this term, lacking the quality to adequately replace the England international.

Before that defeat, the Saints had only lost by one goal to Spurs since returning to the Premier League in 2012.

Their top-half-toppling credentials, coupled with suspended Tottenham players and the return of Forster, should be enough to see Koeman’s men emerge victorious.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.