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Warning signs continue to grow for Southampton as they travel to in-form Bournemouth
Bournemouth to win 1-0
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Bournemouth, Vitality StadiumBet Now
Bournemouth’s Gary O’Neil has done his chances of securing the manager role on a permanent basis no harm at all over the past couple of months.
Over those six matches, since the 9-0 thrashing by Liverpool and the departure of Scott Parker, Bournemouth have steadied the ship in a dramatic fashion. Most importantly, they’ve gone unbeaten.
This wouldn’t have been predicted by too many after that defeat to Liverpool, with many feeling that Bournemouth were favourites for relegation. Now, sitting in midtable, they can turn their attentions here.
In fact, it is Southampton that are struggling right now, slipping into the bottom three with a lacklustre draw at home to West Ham.
While the Saints scored first in that game, they didn’t look in control of that game for long spells and it seemed an inevitability that their opponents would score.
It seems as though Ralph Hasenhuttl is moving close to the sack. Another defeat or two could seal his fate, starting with this one.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Four goals scored in their last two games
Six games unbeaten is fantastic for a promoted side
Reasons to be fearful:
Won just two of their last 10 against Southampton
Fewest number of shots on goal of any Premier League team
While you can never become complacent as a Premier League team, this is a pretty good time to be a Bournemouth fan right now.
After the rockiest of starts to the season, things are looking good for a team that made very few first-team signings in the summer.
Between now and when the season pauses for the World Cup in November, they face a run of fixtures that, apart from Tottenham, they will feel they could get something from.
After Southampton comes West Ham, Leeds and Everton – all teams in the bottom half of the table.
The Cherries will want to be more active in front of goal, of course. They currently sit bottom of the league in terms of attempts on goal, although their shot conversion rate is much better.
They’ll have every chance of taking all three points here.
Star Man – Dominic Solanke
The striker is really starting to look like a Premier League player upfront for Bournemouth. He opened the scoring for his team against Fulham and has been lively for several weeks now.
Reasons to be cheerful
Unbeaten in their last four away games to Bournemouth
Draw against West Ham halted their losing streak
Reasons to be fearful
Have the lowest win rate against promoted sides
Players seem completely lacking confidence
The writing could be on the wall for Ralph Hasenhuttl should he lose here, especially with Arsenal to follow at the weekend.
You feel they need to win to really begin the recovery process on what has been a terrible hangover from last season.
The stats talk for themselves – they’ve now slipped into the bottom three, with the third-worst goal difference in the league, with four defeats from their last five games.
They need to play better against Bournemouth, that much is obvious. Their frontline just isn’t clicking at all, having scored just twice in their last five games – none of which have come from their strikers.
They do have a good record against Bournemouth to fall back on, but you feel that it was a different Southampton in those days – this one looks desperately short on confidence.
The Saints need a huge performance here.
Star Man – Joe Aribo
Aribo is playing as well, if not better, than any other Saints player right now. He scored in the defeat to Everton a few weeks back and is one of the more promising players currently.
Bournemouth should have the extra spark
Saints’ forward players must click better
Will be a low-scoring game
When teams play without fear of losing, you often see them bring their best performances.
This is what we’re seeing from Bournemouth right now, a side that are playing without the shackles they showed under their previous manager.
Southampton don’t have that right now – they look as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Lose here, and they could sink even deeper into the bottom three.
This won’t be an easy game for either team, but you feel that Bournemouth are riding the crest of a wave right now. At home, they should be slight favourites.
Bournemouth to win 1-0
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