Bournemouth v Southampton: Cherries tipped for derby success
The last time Bournemouth beat Southampton in a competitive fixture Rick Astley topped the UK charts with ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ and the Cherries will need to show similar determination if they are to end a run dating back to 1987 when the Saints travel to Dean Court this week.
Of course with just one of those fixtures coming in the last five years much of the history can be ignored going into this game.
The Cherries ended a three-game losing streak in all competitions at the weekend claiming a point against Watford at Vicarage Road.
However, but for an inspired performance by Hornets goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes the Cherries would surely have picked up a win and a repeat performance could see Eddie Howe’s men make a mockery of odds of 19/10 for victory here.
Southampton go into the tie as 13/8 favourites, with the draw on at 11/5 but with just two wins from their last five on the road and a derby day atmosphere in the offing Ronald Koeman’s side could be more susceptible than the betting suggests.
Bournemouth haven’t gone three games without a point at home all season and after losing to Arsenal and Stoke in their last two in front of their own fans they will need that trend to continue if they are to avoid falling further into the relegation mire.
Last year’s Championship winners are just five points above the drop zone and with Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United all to come before the end of the season chances to extend that gap are looking few and far between.
It is this pressure that could see the hosts elevate their game and upset the odds tonight and one man looking to reignite his season is Benik Afobe.
The January signing hit the ground running with three goals in his first four games for the Cherries but the former Arsenal youth has drawn a blank in three matches since.
As such the 22-year-old can be backed a decent odds of 6/1 to open the scoring and 5/2 to net at any time.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.