With five points and four league positions separating the pair, the battle to finish the highest-placed of the promoted clubs has become a two-horse race between West Ham and Southampton.
Whilst Reading languish second-bottom of the table, the possibility of them making up a 10-point deficit on the Hammers looks extremely far-fetched, hence their 28/1 odds in this market.
But the Saints look overpriced at 4/1, considering a number of factors heading into the remainder of the season.
Although they possess a five-point advantage over Mauro Pochettino’s men, and have a game in hand, West Ham look far too skinny at 1/6 in this market.
With trips to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Everton still to come, Sam Allardyce’s men are likely to have many a fruitless journey, considering they have yet to beat a top-half side away from home this term.
In fact, the Hammers have collected only a solitary point on the road to top-10 teams, whilst only three top-flight outfits have worse complete records on their travels this season.
As such, Southampton will welcome the Upton Park outfit to St. Mary’s full of confidence later this year, in what is a direct opportunity for Pochettino’s side to take points from the Hammers.
Should they avoid defeat in the game, as they have in over half of their home matches against lower half opposition, the Saints will look well-positioned to overhaul their London rivals’ points tally.
And considering the nature of the Hammers’ next three league outings, the meeting of this pair could actually represent a chance for Southampton to leapfrog Allardyce’s charges in the table.
Upcoming home ties against Chelsea and Liverpool will not prove easy for the Saints, but they will take heart from avoiding losses in five of the seven games they have hosted top-half opposition this season.
And their home triumph over Man City will also be a boost to their confidence ahead of West Ham’s visit.
All things considered, now looks the best time to back Southampton to finish as the top promoted club, with 4/1 odds likely to be long gone by the time they welcome the Hammers to St. Mary’s.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.