Southampton vs Preston Prediction: Saints target top-two finish

 | 16th April | 

4 mins read

From nowhere, Southampton’s automatic promotion hopes have been reignited. It looked as if they were too far off the pace to challenge the top three, but Leeds, Leicester and Ipswich have all failed to win in their last two matches - opening the door for the Saints to march on. 

Russell Martin’s men still have to travel to Leicester and then Leeds on the final day, but first up they host Preston North End on Tuesday (20:00, Sky Sports Football) who had their play-off ambitions ended by Norwich City on Saturday. Below you can find my Southampton vs Preston prediction as the Saints strive to return to the Premier League. 

Southampton vs Preston Tips

  • Southampton -1 handicap @ EVS
  • Southampton to win to nil and over 5.5 home corners @ 2/1

Team News

Southampton needed a late, late goal from Flynn Downes to beat Watford last time out and Martin could name the same team here. Stuart Armstrong could come into midfield to freshen things up while Ryan Fraser has been a useful option from the bench recently. Ross Stewart and Juan Larios remain out. 

Preston’s play-off hopes are now over, and the unfortunate groin strain suffered by Liam Millar has hampered their attacking threat. The loanee from Basel had enjoyed a sparkling campaign, and there’ll be several clubs keen to get him in on a permanent basis this summer. Brad Potts is a doubt for this trip down south, while Ben Whiteman is still in the treatment room and will miss this one. 

Match Odds

Southampton are the clear favourites for this game, priced at 4/11 to take all three points. That gives them an implied win probability of 73%, while PNE are priced at 7/1 if you fancy a shock. A draw can be backed at 4/1, BTTS is 4/5 and over 2.5 goals is 4/7

Southampton -1 handicap @ EVS

Southampton are a really good side. They may have only scraped past Watford at the weekend, but they now have a real chance of gatecrashing the top two, and I don’t think it is an opportunity they will let slip. Realistically, they need to win most, if not all, of their final five games to thrust themselves into contention, and it starts on Tuesday. 

They simply have to beat Preston. And they should. The quality in their squad is immense and now they have a couple of targets to chase down, I think we could see the best of Southampton. Martin’s playing style is brutal if you are the opposition team. If you fall a goal down, it’s so difficult to get back into the game as they suffocate possession and can keep the ball with ease. 

I think they’ll have too much for a Preston side who will be drained after that devastating late defeat to Norwich. Their season is now pretty much over, and a long trip to the south coast is the last thing they need. The minus one handicap gives us a backable price of EVS

Southampton to win to nil and over 5.5 home corners @ 2/1

As I’ve already mentioned, I think Southampton will win this game relatively comfortably. I’m also happy to back them to keep a clean sheet, not because of their own defence but because Preston have been ineffective in front of goal of late. They may have scored four against Huddersfield, but have failed to score in three of their last four games against better opposition. 

Norwich kept them out at the weekend, while Watford and Birmingham have also enjoyed clean sheets against PNE lately. Southampton are better than all of those teams, so I’m happy to back the hosts to win to nil. I’d also like to throw a corner selection into the mix - given Southampton have been awarded the most corners in the league this season. 

Over 5.5 home corners is a relatively safe pick, a total that has been hit in their last six outings. They love a corner, hitting a ridiculous 16 against Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. This should come in. 

Check out our other Football Betting Tips here. 

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