Southampton vs Brentford predictions: Bees can bounce back at St Mary’s
- Southampton have picked up a league-low nine points at home
- Brentford were unbeaten in 12 league games prior to losing at Everton
- Recommended bet: Brentford to win
Southampton have picked up a couple of important results recently to revive their flagging survival hopes, with last weekend’s point at Old Trafford arriving in the wake of victory over fellow strugglers Leicester.
Brentford are equally desperate for points, with a debut European campaign in sight but under threat after a disappointing setback at Everton.
With the race for the European places wide open and a number of tricky matches to come, manager Thomas Frank will know that his side must start taking maximum points in the easier assignments if he is to create history with his impressive Brentford team.
Southampton full-backs Juan Larios and Valentino Livramento both remain out with lengthy lay-offs but Ainsley Maitland-Niles could recover from a knock in time to fill in at right-back.
Brentford head south with only reserve goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha and attacker Keane Lewis-Potter unavailable through injury.
Brentford would move to within a point of sixth-placed Liverpool if they win their game in hand at St Mary’s but their away record and their record in seeing off the lesser teams is cause for concern away at bottom-of-the-table Southampton.
Frank’s men have collected an impressive 1.7 points per game when facing teams above them, beating both Manchester clubs and Liverpool, but have averaged just 1.4 points per game against teams below them — including just one win out of eight trips to bottom-half teams, with five draws.
However, Southampton have generally been poor against the better teams, with their only results against those outside the bottom six coming in Sunday’s draw at United, a point against Arsenal and, surprisingly, home and away victories over Chelsea.
They have lost the other 14 of their 18 meetings with teams outside the bottom six.
While Saints’ point at Old Trafford was well deserved, it came against a team playing with ten men for an hour.
And their 1-0 victory over Leicester the weekend before saw Foxes striker Kelechi Iheanacho spurn three outstanding chances and Leicester hit the woodwork as they produced 1.9 expected goals to Southampton’s 1.4.
Prior to that, Saints had lost their last five league home games, with struggling Wolves and Nottingham Forest winning at St Mary’s.
Only Erling Haaland (28) and Harry Kane (20) have a better goalscoring record than Brentford's Ivan Toney (15) in the Premier League this season.
While Ruben Selles has got Southampton playing better, there has been more luck than judgement about each of their three positive league results since mid-January.
Selles’ men were fortunate against both Leicester and Chelsea and while Southampton deserved a point at Old Trafford, that had more to do with United playing with 10 men than any clear sign of Southampton progress.
Brentford have been a hard team to get right this season, with Frank’s men frequently impressing against the top teams and then often missing out on the easier points on offer.
However, they should have netted against Everton in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat and prior to that had scored two or more goals in eight of their previous 11 Premier League matches, so adding over 1.5 goals to Bet Builders looks a decent move.
The Bees are by far the better team and, given a bit more luck on their part — and no further good fortune for Southampton — the visitors look a big price to claim an important win.
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