Author Archives: Ollie Price

Saints have the lowest injury outlay in the Premier League

Injuries cost the likes of Manchester Utd £12million, Arsenal £12.9 Million but Saints managed to keep their injury wage outlay to 3.9 Million – The lowest in the Premier League.


A new tool from FreeSuperTips analyses official 2017-18 Premier League data and reveals the dirtiest team and players, as well as those who were unluckiest with injuries – and the impact that this had on each club.


West Brom were the dirtiest side, racking up 73 yellow cards and several missed games through suspension in a campaign that ultimately saw the club relegated to the Championship.


West Ham were among the unluckiest teams when it came to injuries, with their injury bill totalling a whopping £12.6 million. The calculator reveals that they would have finished ten league places higher and been in the Champions League next season, if not for injury.


The True Cost of Injury and Ill Discipline allows users to compare injury statistics for all Premier League clubs last season, including the total number of games missed, the average score when a team’s top scorer is injured, the cost to the club in paying injured players, and their estimated league position with no injuries.


Saints had the lowest outlay of all Premier League teams when it comes to paying injured players, however, this did not stop injuries having an effect on the team. Saints could have been sitting comfortably at 10th in the table if they and their closest competitors had better injury records.

Name

Team Name

Reds

Yellows

Fouls

Points

Wilfred Ndidi

Leicester

2

6

60

280

Oriol Romeu

Southampton

0

11

53

273

Granit Xhaka

Arsenal

0

10

57

257

Ashley Barnes

Burnley

0

10

53

253

Abdoulaye Doucouré

Watford

0

10

44

244

Jonathan Hogg

Huddersfield

1

8

32

242

Glenn Murray

Brighton

0

9

60

240

Simon Francis

Bournemouth

1

8

24

234

Luka Milivojevic

Crystal Palace

0

8

69

229

Idrissa Gueye

Everton

Southampton to Battle with Everton over Middlesbrough Defender

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According to Yorkshire Post, Premier League contenders, Southampton and Everton are going head to head in the bid to sign Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson.

Following their failure to climb back to the English Top Flight last season following the defeat to rivals Aston Villa during the Playoff finals.

The reports are currently stating that the Boros will be willing to let their Nunthorpe-born defender out of the Riverside Stadium and will cash on him this summer.

Middlesbrough boss, Tony Pulis has slapped an asking price of £25 million on the defender as the manager is looking to get his club prepared for the summer.

Gibson has been very prolific for the Boros, since his breaking into the first team of football back in 2013 after a loan spell with Tranmere Rovers, and also helping his club to earn a promotion to the Premier League in his third season as a regular.

Gibson has appeared 203 times for his boyhood club and bagging four goals in the process, playing every single game for Boro while at the English Top Flight during the 2016/17 campaign.

The 25-year-old defender has only been able to appear for his country England in youth levels and just once for the Three Lions, coming on as a substitute for Chris Smalling during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers match against Lithuania.

However, with Everton and Southampton interested in signing the defender, which could ultimately open up his chance in the England national team.

According to the Sun, the Saints are said to be tabling a bid of £20 million for Ben Gibson, who could fill up the space left by former player Virgil Van Dijk, on the other hand you can check out the Premier League odds for the summer.

The Boros will be keen to hold down their English defender in a contract extension as they will be keen to return to the English Top Flight in a second season at the Championship.

The Day Saints Became Odds On for Relegation

If you talk to fans of other teams about the Saints plight this season, almost everyone will express some kind of surprise at the position Southampton find themselves in with just six games remaining. Indeed, a flick through the websites of major newspapers and you will find no record of journalists tipping Saints to struggle when they made their early season predictions. Put it this way, Mark Lawrenson’s prediction column for the BBC has Saints in 8th position in his predicted league table. It’s clearly been a shock to everyone outside of St Mary’s.

Bookmakers were also caught on the hop with Southampton this season. An average of bookmakers’ odds at the start of the season put them at around 25/1 to be relegated, as a comparison Burnley – currently 11 places and 21 points ahead of Saints – were given odds of 7/5. Even after a terrible run over Christmas and the New Year, you could still find Southampton at a price of 4/1 or 5/1 to be relegated. They were still available at odds against after the 3-0 defeat at the hands of relegation rivals West Ham last week.

Writing was on the wall for Saints before defeat to Arsenal

The defeat against Arsenal on Sunday finally pushed convinced some bookmakers to make their move on Southampton. Bet365 were one of the first to move, cutting Southampton’s odds to 10/11 for relegation, making it the first time all season that Saints were odds on to go down. Saints’ odds to stay up are the same at 10/11. The other odds for relegation by Bet365 are West Brom (1/2000), Stoke (1/5), Huddersfield (6/5), Swansea (13/2), Crystal Palace (9/1), Brighton (20/1) and West Ham (25/1). You can check the latest Bet365 bonus code to back any side for the drop or survival.

Obviously, teams have come out of more difficult situations than Saints before. The next two games, vs Chelsea (H) and Leicester (A), look very difficult fixtures. However, they are followed by Bournemouth, Everton and Swansea. The latter could end up being a relegation six-pointer. You would even imagine the final game of the season against Manchester City at St Mary’s might be a chance to get some points, as City will have the title wrapped up by that point.

Three wins at least will be required from remaining six games for Southampton

Around 10 points, maybe more, will be required from those six games to give Southampton a solid chance of staying in the Premier League next season. On the plus side, the performance against Arsenal was one that suggested Mark Hughes has instilled plenty of fight in this side, even if it was taken a bit too literally in the case of Jack Stephens. If Southampton can rattle Arsenal like that at the Emirates, they can go one better against Chelsea at St Mary’s or Leicester at the King Power.

Moreover, it’s not as if all the teams around Southampton are going to suddenly become Barcelona overnight. Everyone from Brighton (13th place, 35pts) to Stoke (19th, 27pts) is still in this battle, with a good or bad result changing the whole outlook for a team. For Saints though, if things do not turn around quickly, they will be branded with that tag nobody wants – relegated when thought too good to go down.

 

Mark Hughes planning summer swoop for Joe Allen

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According to recent report, Southampton boss Mark Hughes is planning a move for Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen if the Saints manage to retain their Premier League status beyond this season.

Hughes emerged as head coach at Southampton last week, replacing Mauricio Pellegrino. The Welshman took on a short term contract with the St Mary resident which will only last till the end of the season.

It is understood that Hughes could be rewarded with a long-term contract if he manages to steer the club away from the Premier League relegation zone in the final weeks of the campaign.

The report further stated that Hughes is already making plans for the coming season, with the Welshman identifying Stoke midfielder Allen as the perfect arrival.

Hughes signed Allen to Stoke from Liverpool in the summer of 2016, and the versatile midfielder has recorded 10 goals in 70 appearances for the Potters.

West Ham United have previously been linked with Allen, but Southampton will seemingly make a summer swoop if they manage to stay in the top flight.

Although Stoke are not having a good season, Allen has been consistent with his play whenever he appears for the club.

Indeed, he has scored four goals and provided seven assists in 31 games, which is an impressive record for a team that has performed miserably all through the campaign.

Southampton are in dire need of a good talent in the central park, and Allen who is valued at £16.2m by transfer market, would bring innovation to the Saints squad and this speculation will give fans lots of betting offer to choose from.

All this could also be dependent on whether Stoke survive in the Premier League this season, and it might well be that both parties remain in the top flight.

Even if that happens, Southampton have the upper hand and they could be successful in convincing Allen to move South due to his close relationship with Hughes.

Can Southampton reach the semi-finals in the FA Cup?

Saints fans haven’t had much to cheer about this season, but the FA Cup has provided a silver lining in a gloomy campaign and has kept open the prospect of a second Wembley cup final in two years, following last year’s run to the EFL Final.

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This is the first time that Southampton have appeared in the last eight of the FA Cup since 2005, but having been drawn against League One side Wigan, they have a great chance of reaching the semi-finals, and from there they will have the opportunity to emulate the 2003 side that made the final, or even the legendary Cup winners of 1976.

Of course, at this stage of the competition, no game can be considered straightforward. It’s one of the reasons why the FA Cup is a great vehicle for football betting, as many smaller clubs raise their game while others rest key players, and Cup form can often be very different to league form, which can lead to some great odds. Some football punters betting on this match with Stakers will be hoping to profit from another famous FA Cup shock, while others will be relying on the Premier League club to get the job done and advance to the last four.

To set up that semi-final, however, the Saints will have to get past Wigan, and that won’t be easy. The League One side stunned English football when they dumped Manchester City out of the competition in the fifth round, thanks to a late Will Grigg goal, and that wasn’t their first Premier League scalp of the competition. Wigan have done it the hard way, beating Bournemouth in the third round and overcoming West Ham in the fourth.

Southampton’s path to the last eight hasn’t been much easier. They came through a potentially tricky third-round tie at Championship promotion contenders Fulham before edging narrow wins against Watford and fellow relegation strugglers West Brom. If you believe in omens, then it’s worth remembering that the 1976 side also beat West Brom in the fifth round on the way to their Wembley triumph.

Naturally, the Saints will be favourites to win this game, but it won’t be easy. Wigan are the toughest lower league opponent that Southampton could face. They’ve only lost three games at the DW Stadium all season, and dispatched Bournemouth, West Ham and City at home without conceding a goal. Although their Cup exploits have led to a string of league postponements that have seen them drop to third, they remain the best team in League One, with the division’s best goal-scoring and defensive records; and in Grigg they have the Cup’s top goal-scorer, ably supported by Nick Powell and winger Michael Jacobs.

Mauricio Pellegrino also has to have one eye on the relegation battle. One point clear of the drop zone, Saints have crucial matches against Newcastle and Swansea to prepare for, and have a potentially tricky run-in to the end of the Premier League season with fixtures against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City and trips to Everton and Leicester.

However, the Cup is also a distraction for Wigan. One of the dangers of playing lower league opposition is that if they have nothing to play for, the chance to progress deep into the FA Cup becomes their focus, and they can prepare more thoroughly for what is often a historical opportunity, making them much tougher to beat. That does not apply to Wigan.

One of several former Premiership sides to drop into League One after getting into financial difficulties, it was only five years ago that they were beating Manchester City to win the FA Cup under Roberto Martínez. Their manager, Paul Cook, has admitted that their progress to the quarter-finals has made it harder for them to sustain a promotion push, and for the Latics, getting back into the Championship is the main priority this season.

Pellegrino will be well aware of the threat that Wigan pose, and of the need to balance a determined effort to progress in the Cup with the essential priority of remaining in the Premier League. However, Saints have a deeper squad than many of their relegation rivals and should be able to maintain their efforts on two fronts. A place in the semi-finals, with a chance to progress to Wembley, would be a huge boost to their fans, who haven’t had much to cheer about this season. Let’s hope that they can emulate the heroes of ’76 and make us proud.

Southampton – Portsmouth among the Biggest English Football Rivalries

English football is often seen as more than just a sport – the combination of pain, passion and dedication have turned it into a way of life for many football fans worldwide. The stakes are even higher for the players, so there is bound to be even more zeal in their attempt to defend their club’s name and reputation.

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In the football stadium showdowns, it is evident that certain football clubs tend to be more aggressive with each other than others. Either due to a past grudge, geographical closeness or just some animosity among individual players of the two teams, rivalry among English football clubs is alive and well. The following are just a few from the pool who have appeared to show above average fervency in their attempts to defeat their rivalling clubs.

 

Southampton vs. Portsmouth

This rivalry among the two neighbouring football clubs is still flourishing, even though they no longer take part of the same league. While the fate of the two clubs has shifted in opposite directions, both of their constituents have remained determined to honour the ‘South Coast Derby’ and their nicknames, The Saints and Pompey. You could have a look here for their official ranks and points, but don’t be fooled – despite their differences, both teams are known to offer great value.

 

Birmingham vs. Aston Villa

The rivalry between these two football clubs seems to be coming from all sides. It is called the ‘Second City Derby’ or ‘Birmingham Derby’ interchangeably, as Birmingham is in fact the second city of the UK. Even with an ever-growing population and supporters, the Blues suffered relegation, so there haven’t been many fierce encounters between the two. Nonetheless, Aston Villa’s takeover of the former Birmingham coach, Alex McLeish was a definite challenge. It doesn’t matter he resigned shortly afterwards, as the derby was reignited.

 

Tottenham vs. Arsenal

If you thought the coach move was daring, wait until you hear about Arsenal’s annual holiday – St. Totteringham’s Day held at the end of the league season. They use this day to celebrate ranking higher in the Premier League than their rivals, even though there hasn’t been much reason to celebrate in the past years.

The ‘North London Derby’ is definitely a memorable affair, and it doesn’t seem like either the Spurs or the Gunners are ready to raise the white flag just yet.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United

A rivalry in the true sense, and colour, of the word can be noted between Liverpool and Manchester United players. The Reds and the Red Devils are often proclaimed first position regarding English football rivalries, so it’s only natural that it is known as The Red Rivalry.

Despite lack of geographical connection or historic grudges, these two teams have been on fighting terms since the years of Liverpool’s dominance in the Premier League. They shifted places during the era of Sir Alex Ferguson with the Devils, and now that neither of them holds the upper hand, there are bound to be more sparks when they meet on the court.

 

 

 

Wagering Tips For Latest Football Games

Old enemies collide as Chelsea versus Barcelona matches coming up this weekend. There are special offers being put on several sports booking sites such as placing a bet of £10 will get you a free additional £30 bet. Such offers make it more lucrative to place bets on football matches that are ongoing. As of 20th February, the old foes met on Stamford Bridge, which was after a time span of six years after they locked horns with each other. Chelsea hosted Barcelona for the first time as one of the Champions League matches. The best wagering tips that made the rounds of the game was that Barcelona would win and Luis Suarez would score. There were other wagering bets on the scores that Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi would make. Barcelona seems to be running away with the La Liga cup as well as Lionel Messi which could be disadvantageous for Antonio Conte’s side.

If we look at Messi’s performance trends, he has not been able to score against Chelsea before, but it was predicted that the Argentine maestro will be able to bag a first for which the wagering bets were 16/5. It was predicted that Messi will battle for a dominant position and Eden Hazard will also be a formidable opponent. Luis Suarez was also a man worth watching out for as he is a man who is now in excellent form. He has also scored big against Chelsea and for such reasons the wagering bets for Suarez have been high.

Though this game is over today, it gives you a glimpse of how the predictions work and wagering of bets are decided upon. Many sports booking sites make it exciting by offering lucrative wins by predicting scores for the ongoing games. Those who wish to make the right predictions or choose the right wagering combination would get insight from the reviews and trends that are showcased and discussed at different sites such as at https://www.unibet.co.uk/livecasino.

If you wish to stay ahead of the latest football games and wager to near accuracy, all you need to do is know the games that are scheduled ahead and the teams who are playing. Check on their past performances, especially against each other and know the changes that exist in the team makeup. As individual players and their present playing form also make a difference, such data needs to be known. Research on player form, their past performances, the teams that are scheduled to play their immediate past victories or failures and score trends. All such insight can help in making near accurate wagering bets. With such bets wagered you will end up making lucrative wins.

Find the right sports booking site to make your wagering of bets an exciting event. Most sports booking sites have special promotional offers and schemes that make wagering of bets on football matches more exciting as you watch the matches and see the outcomes unfold. With varieties of bets there are always ways to win for football games.

2017-18 Premier League cups – Understanding the tough and easiest starts

Presently recommended bets by peers – Chelsea 33 for 1.

In this article we shall provide you with quick fixtures for you to guess a glimpse of season ahead.

In the premier league, each team has to compete against every other team. A team having a tough start can be considered as a winning team and opening fixtures can further accelerate the team towards its winning success.

You can refer to the graphs for 2017-18 season to study the winning pattern of the top rated teams. Let’s highlight some of the winning patterns here.

Southampton and West ham are considered as easiest starts as they both had an opportunity to play 5 weak teams out of 6 in the first of 10 matches. As compared to this, Tottenham played 4 weak teams out of 6 and had around 7 fixtures.

When speaking of toughest starts, Everton is heading the list as they have to play 4 out of 5 to qualify for the league. In the same row, Leicester had to face against 4 strong teams out of 6 initially.

Key numbers talk!

According to past reports for last 18 matches Chelsea has been winning fixtures for opening day. They had to face around 3 draws. They have never been beaten ever since 98 or 99 league. So if you were to place your bets then this team would be ideal for this premier league. They have a much better chance of winning this season as well. It is mostly wise for bookies who are looking to make a profit and lack experience in Sports betting to start with placing free bets. Free bets are bonuses provided by the different online brands that allow bookies to place bets at a minimum risk. Betters can also click on the link to get information specifically regarding free bets on Cheltenham 2018 league.

Next stands Watford on the list as the team has not been defeated this season yet. For their last ten matches the team had managed to win 5 out and had to face a 5 match draw.

Manchester City also has a very good track record as they only had to face a 1 draw match this season and won around 7 out of eight matches. Everton, on the other hand, has only managed to win 1 match out of their 9 fixtures opening. They also have a score of 4 draws in a row.

Stroke are still suffering to have an opening in present season out of their 7 matches played.

According to experts placing bets on Everton certainly is not advisable. Next suggestion would be the Leicester who have had a very tricky start. They have managed to play against five out of six teams that are tough out of ten games. It is also expected that the team has yet to deal with four more tough teams this season in opening matches.

Arsenal is also believed to have a very slow start in the initial stage as nothing much is expected from their gameplay till late September.

Easiest starts teams

Claude Puel can try and win back the victory and faith of the fans, as they may only have to face one from six this season, while all others are almost relegated. In 2017-18 it is also certain that West Ham has shown a very slow and gentle start.

Could Southampton Move for Nicolai Muller This Summer?

Nicolai Muller isn’t a household name in European football but he could mature into a top talent should he move to the Premier League this summer. Southampton have been linked with the 29-year-old for well over a month now but those links have intensified now that Muller has rejected a contract extension with current club Hamburg. He has been on Southampton’s radar for some time and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Mauricio Pellegrino’s side make a concrete bid for the winger.

Back in 2015, he scored one of the most important goals in Hamburg’s 128-year history; a winner against Karlsruher that helped the club avoid relegation. Since then, Muller has blossomed into a fan favourite with the Hamburg faithful but he is out of contract next summer and the club may push to sell the wantaway winger in the next month.

With 14 goals in 49 appearances over the last two seasons, Muller has been a key figure for Hamburg but it is now time to move on. At 29 years old, Muller has to move now or he’ll never go. According to various reports, Saints and fellow Premier League outfit West Ham were interested in signing Muller back in July and a move to St Mary’s could materialise if Pellegrino is still interested.

At the time of writing, Hamburg are priced at 2/1 for relegation this season according to Bundesliga betting odds and Muller might want to get out now in order to preserve his reputation. According to various reports, Wolfsburg and Schalke, arguably better placed to avoid dropping down to Germany’s second tier, have shown interest in signing the winger and a move to a rival could be on the cards.

Hamburg want to keep the player but the club are in a difficult position. Should Saints come in with an offer that they can’t refuse, Hamburg will almost certainly accept. From there, it is a matter of convincing Muller to leave his native Germany for England and the Premier League. If Pellegrino can convince Muller that he will be a valuable member of his squad, he could push to join Saints before the end of August.

Saints could do with somebody like Muller to keep defenders on the back foot. Yes, he is a relatively unknown quantity but that could work in Pellegrino’s favour – signing the Hamburg man might be straightforward if Southampton can fend off West Bromwich Albion. His pace and tenacity out wide would certainly give Saints an edge and new dimension going forward and Shane Long could prosper from Muller’s blistering speed.

Hamburg have been flirting with relegation from the Bundesliga for a few years now and Muller knows that the club are on a downward slope. Muller was hampered by injury last season and he was sorely missed – they always tend to perform better with the 29-year-old in the side. With five goals and six assists in 22 Bundesliga appearances, Muller had a solid year statistically and Saints would benefit from his impact. Over to you, Mr Pellegrino…

Would Andre Ayew Be A Good Signing For Southampton?

Southampton have struggled to add to their squad this summer, but an interesting option could be to add Ghanaian misfit Andre Ayew to their squad.

It is now looking increasingly likely that Virgil van Dijk will leave Southampton for a huge fee, after the player was left out of the clubs training camp in France. It looks as if the club are coming to the realization that they will have to let the wantaway defender move on. If that happens, the club will be armed with a sizeable transfer kitty.

Ayew arrived at West Ham just a year ago for a reported fee of £20million. I expect that Southampton would not have to pay any more than that amount to convince West Ham to part with their, not so successful signing.

Last season Southampton certainly lacked creativity and goals. Ayew can score and assist regularly and would be a bright spark in the final third for the club. The Saints top assister last season was Dusan Tadic with just 5 and their top scorer was Nathan Redmond with 7.

Despite his limited game time last season (16 starts, 9 sub apps), Ayew notched up 6 goals and 3 assists. His best form without a doubt though came at Swansea where he was given more regular game time. He managed 12 league goals in 34 appearances for the Welsh side, playing predominantly in a wide midfield role.

The 27-year-old has struggled to impose himself at West Ham and with the club recently signing Mauro Arnautovic, Ayew’s game time will again be restricted and the temptation of more regular football and a chance to reinvent himself at Southampton could be one he’d be interested in.

Betfred’s Review Page on BettingTop10 tells you the pros and cons about the bookies and where you’ll be able to find best value if you fancy a flutter on Ayew completing this reported move to Southampton.

We can see potential in this rumour and certainly feel like Ayew would be a decent addition to this Southampton squad. He’d provide some goals from wide areas, and there’s not many players in this squad that are capable of that. If a narrower formation is played then he is also capable of playing through the middle. His versatility is certainly attractive.