The less-heralded race for the Europa League spots may not captivate like the top-four tussle, but in terms of entries into the continent’s second-tier competition for next season, there’s a blockbuster in store at St Mary’s.
Southampton, who are currently seventh on 56 points host Tottenham in sixth, with the chance of leapfrogging the Lilywhites in the offing as only a point separates the sides.
Then there is the return to the south coast of Mauricio Pochettino, which forms one of those soap opera subplots BT Sport will devote plenty of coverage to, no doubt.
Although seventh position in the Premier League could yet yield a third route into the Europa League should Arsenal successfully defend the FA Cup, both clubs will want to avoid this potential jeopardy.
It’s the latter of the three match betting options which arouses the most interest given the recent history of meetings between the clubs.
Pochettino has already harmed his former club’s ambitions once this season, when pulling off a 1-0 White Hart Lane triumph, a result fully in keeping with the tale of this fixture’s tape in recent times.
That was the Saints’ fifth consecutive loss to Spurs since making a return to the big time, placing the north Londoners firmly in bogey-team territory and rendering the away win a very appealing option indeed.
For all their apparent overachieving this season, Ronald Koeman’s side haven’t actually beaten a team currently in the top half since leaving Old Trafford as winners way back on January 11th, losing 2-0 to Liverpool at St Mary’s in that time.
A dearth of goals is largely to blame, with only eight registered in the last 11 top-flight outings for the Saints, so the 19/4 on an away win to nil also looks glossy, as does the one-goal margin of victory for Spurs paying out for a sixth time on the bounce at 21/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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