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Southampton and Bournemouth clash in a local meeting between two sides fresh off the back of important wins last weekend. Can Bournemouth continue their impressive start to the season or will it be the Saints leap from the Cherries? Have a read of our preview here:
It is still hard to believe
For those of us of a certain age, it is still remarkable to see Bournemouth plying their trade in the top flight of English football. For years the Cherries were synonymous with third or fourth tier anonymity but they are now a club seriously en-vogue.
The rise of the South Coast club from near oblivion to the riches of the promised land is something of a holy grail to fans of clubs in the lower leagues. After all, if Bournemouth can do it then anyone can, right?
Well, unfortunately, managers with the ability and class of Eddie Howe do not grow on trees and the talented Englishman has presided over one of English football’s most compelling stories of the last decade.
The Cherries have started the season well. They opened up with point against Sheffield United before beating Aston Villa. Back-to-back defeats followed against Manchester City and Leicester but a fine 3-1 win against Everton has seen them bag seven points so far.
It is no surprise that Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser were the key men in the win over the Toffees and the pair will be vital for Bournemouth if they are to have a good campaign.
Steady progress for Hassenhuttl
Southampton struggled last season until the arrival of German coach Ralph Hassenhuttl and they have started to make steady progress following back-to-back defeats at the beginning of the campaign.
They have now gone three unbeaten which includes an impressive draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford. They have scored in every game so far this season except the shock defeat at Burnley on day one and in Moussa Djenepo they have an exciting young winger who could have a big season.
Jannik Vestergaard has impressed at the back, helping the team to a clean-sheet against Brighton and Sheffield United while James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond have started the season well.
It could be a busy afternoon for the defence again with Bournemouth capable of scoring for fun as they showed against Everton. They will need to be organised and patient but with threats of their own, it is hard to see them not bagging a goal for themselves.
Southampton v Bournemouth betting tip
Bournemouth have not kept a clean-sheet all season but they have also scored in every single game too. Southampton are looking a lot better since the stutter in the opening two games which is why backing both teams to score at odds of 4/6 is worth a flutter here.