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Premier League betting preview: Southampton FC

by Rob Dore | August 13, 2012

AD-ING UP NICELY: Can Nigel Adkins guide the Saints to safety after back-to-back promotions?

Southampton FC

Summer Summary

It’s been a summer of consolidation for the Saints after booking their return to the cash cow of the top flight. They’ve so far managed to hold on the main players responsible for getting promotion and they’ve made some interesting moves in the transfer market. They’ve paid big money for Jay Rodriguez, but the fee could end up looking very good value if the highly-rated youngster delivers on his potential. Getting Steven Davis for free from Rangers Old Co. is less of a risk and less spectacular but it brings more depth to an already useful squad. It’s not been a bad close-season.

Something to be positive about

There was a real swagger to Southampton’s play last season and they should approach their return to the top flight feeling confident. Swansea and Norwich have shown that trying to play football isn’t a recipe for relegation and the Saints are cut from a similar cloth to last year’s promoted teams. Back to back promotions have already made Nigel Adkins a hero at St Mary’s and although it’s his first bite of the top flight cherry, he’s also unlikely to be overwhelmed by the step up. He has held on to his key players, added a couple of interesting acquisitions (see below) and overall, the squad looks capable of survival.

Something to be a bit worried about

They face a very tough start to the campaign. Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal are amongst the opponents in first four weeks of the season and mixed with a few other less high profile, but equally tricky games in September and October, they may find points hard to come by early on. There’s no shame in it, but a poor start would seriously undermine the players’ confidence and the manager’s vision. If they lose faith in their approach, they could find themselves in trouble – the ‘thinking Terry Connor is a decent managerial option’ kind of trouble.

An optimistic season bet

Southampton to be the Top Promoted Team at 15/8. Granted that might just mean they finish third from bottom and still get relegated, but as long as it’s ahead of West Ham and Reading, you’ll win your bet and at the end of the day, isn’t that really all that matters?

A more realistic season bet

It’s all about survival and it can be done. The Saints are 4/7 to avoid relegation and that would constitute a successful season.

New Arrivals

Jay Rodriguez (Burnley, £7m)
Steven Davis (Rangers, free)
Paulo Gazzaniga (Gillingham, undisclosed)
Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace)

Packing Their Bags

RadhiJaidi (retired)
David Connolly (released)
BartoszBialkowski (released)
Lee Holmes (Preston)
Ryan Doble (released)
Aaron Martin (Crystal Palace, loan)
Dan Harding (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed)

 

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