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Southampton vs Preston predictions: Another home win for Saints
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Aidan Perkins
Southampton still have hopes of finishing in the automatic promotion places
Southampton still have hopes of finishing in the automatic promotion places

- Southampton are fourth but have two games in hand on teams above
- Preston are 10th, eight points off top six
- Recommended bet:
Southampton to win to zero

Southampton still have hopes of muscling in on the top two in the Championship and they should be too good for Preston at St Mary's.

Saints are six points behind third-placed Leeds, seven off Leicester in second and eight adrift of leaders Ipswich but with all three teams above them slipping up again over the weekend, suddenly a late door has opened.

They have two games in hand on both Leeds and Ipswich, and one on the Foxes, so it is not out of the question that they can yet finish in the top two, especially as the rest of their promotion rivals are showing serious signs of end-of-season jitters and they have, in contrast, put together two successive wins.

Saints head into the clash with PNE in good shape on the back of those victories over Coventry and then Watford at the weekend, the latter three points sealed thanks to a late Flynn Downes goal.

Team news

Southampton striker Ross Stewart and winger Juan Larios are both still out injured. Boss Russell Martin could make changes from the side that beat Watford with Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Fraser among those pushing for starts.

For Preston, on-loan Liam Millar has been ruled out, as has Ben Whiteman, while Brad Potts is a major doubt ahead of the trip to St Mary's.

The stats

Southampton have only lost one of their last seven Championship games as they have attempted to keep pace with the leaders at the top vying for automatic promotion.

Preston have only won one of their last five as their bid to reach the play-offs has faded in recent weeks.

Ryan Lowe's Preston side look to have lost the chance to finish in the play-off places
Ryan Lowe's Preston side look to have lost the chance to finish in the play-off places

PNE have scored the fewest goals of all the teams in the top 10 with 56 from their 42 games played.

Southampton have scored 51 goals at home in the league this season, with only Ipswich (57) managing more in front of their own fans in the division.


Southampton might just sense an unexpected opportunity to take the fight for automatic promotion right down to the wire after all three teams above them again failed to win at the weekend.

With Ipswich, Leicester and Leeds all appearing to be showing nerves at the worst possible time, Martin's side have an outside chance of sneaking into at least second place due to the fact they have games in hand.

One of those comes on Tuesday at home to Preston and a win would move them three points behind Leeds to put more pressure on the Whites directly above, who have now lost two of their last three games.

Preston did have hopes themselves of getting into the play-offs but their 1-0 defeat at home to Norwich at the weekend leaves them eight points behind the Canaries in sixth and that looks too big a bridge to gap when you consider there are three other teams, Hull, Coventry and Middlesbrough, currently above them in the table and also in the equation.

Ryan Lowe's side have been struggling for goals somewhat of late. They have failed to find the back of the net in their last two on the road and in three of their last four matches overall and they are set to come face-to-face with a Saints outfit desperate to maintain their automatic promotion hopes.

Saints have won three of their last four games at St Mary's and they can pick up another vital three points at home, this time without conceding.

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