EPL Picks: Southampton in Poor Form Ahead of Aston Villa Match

Marc Lawrence

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 7:47 PM GMT

Before locking your soccer picks for Premier League Match Day 15 make sure you check Southampton & Aston Villa's odds offerings to increase your profit this weekend.

Southampton will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat against league leaders Man City by beating bottom club Aston Villa. The Villans have been mainstays of the Premier League since its inception in the early 1990s and have not suffered the ignominy of relegation since 1987, but they are now heavy favorites, priced as low as -600  with Boyle Sports for the drop and look certainties to go down. Last season they just about survived when they sacked Paul Lambert, brought in Tim Sherwood and saw him galvanise the side. This time they sacked Sherwood after a miserable start, brought in Remi Garde and watched him continue to lose. Garde had been relatively successful in France, and had played in England with Arsenal, but you couldn’t help but think Aston Villa would have been better off bringing in an experienced Premiership manager to drag them to safety. Sunderland did just that with Sam Allardyce and have since climbed out of the relegation zone. 

In his first game in charge, Garde led Villa to a very credible 0-0 draw with Man City, but since then it has been business as usual as they were thumped 4-0 by Everton and then lost 3-2 at home to fellow relegation battlers Watford. Team must relish the prospect of facing Villa as their defence is so leaky and their attack is so toothless. They have become the perennial whipping boys of the Premier League. Most of the squad is young and inexperienced, and they have really struggled after losing last season’s star players Christian Benteke and captain Fabian Delph. Southampton will see this as the perfect opportunity to get their season back on track. 

They have lost back-to-back in the Premiership – the 3-1 reverse at Man City followed a 1-0 defeat by Stoke – but before that they beat two of the other teams battling relegation, Bournemouth and Sunderland, with ease. They are 10 places and 15 points above Aston Villa in the league, they are by far the better side and they should win this one easily. Southampton are -200 with Coral, Sky Bet and various others to win this and that looks a great bet for a team with home advantage and with a vastly better starting 11. 

Aston Villa have conceded seven goals in their last two games, but you would imagine them to fare slightly better here. Southampton won’t exactly be brimming with confidence after losing their last two games, so they will start cautiously, while Aston Villa will defend for their lives as they seek to close the floodgates somewhat. You can get +600 at Bet365 and various others on a 2-0 win for Southampton, which looks a good bet. Aston Villa have the lowest goal tally in the Premiership – just 12 in 14 games – as they never replaced Benteke and have such little firepower. You could well see Saints keeping a clean sheet, with their strong central defenders keeping the likes of Rudy Gestede at bay. Villa’s chief creative spark Jack Grealish has been dropped by Garde for visiting a nightclub after the last defeat, so that will damaging their attacking impetus even further. If Southampton are not being tested too sternly at the back, they may conserve some energy and simply see the game out, which is why 2-0 looks a good bet. But it could also be worth hedging your bets and going for 1-0 to Southampton as well, which is +550 at bet365 and various others. 

Under 2.5 goals is -120 soccer odds at Coral, which looks a decent soccer pick too. For first goal scorer, look to Sadio Mane, who is +450 with Paddy Power and has the pace and ability to cause this Aston Villa defence all sorts of problems. 

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