Southampton v Norwich City Betting Tips: Saints can come through a goal-filled encounter at St Mary’s

Jan 17 2017

Although these two play in separate divisions, this fixture is probably the closest match-up of all three of Wednesday’s FA Cup Third Round replays. The initial tie was a high-scoring affair that culminated in a 2-2 draw.

Southampton have not been on the best of runs recently having won just once in their last six matches which has even led to some fans, rather dramatically, calling boss Claude Puel “the worst manager Southampton have ever had”.

As mentioned on recent Saints tips, their once reliable back-line has now fallen apart somewhat with just one clean sheet in their last seven – and even that came against a weakened Liverpool side in the EFL Cup.

As opponents have now found a way to get through the Southampton rearguard, the fact that they lack any real threat up front is now very much exposed. That 2-2 draw against Norwich was only the second time they have found the back of the net twice in a match in their last 11 matches in all competitions. A new striker is a must in this January transfer window.

Even Southampton’s excellent home form has taken a bit of a beating in their last couple of matches with their last two Premier League games at St. Mary’s Stadium ending in defeat. However, their recent EFL Cup victory against Liverpool will have boosted the confidence again. Unfortunately, the Saints have not won a home FA Cup match since beating Yeovil Town back in 2014.

Norwich City manager Alex Neil is under increasing pressure after losing to bottom-of-the-table Rotherham United at the weekend. Their recent victory against Derby just seems to be a bit of a stay of execution and a couple more poor displays may result in the former Hamilton boss being shown the door.

Canaries’ matches usually contain a high number of goals as demonstrated by the fact they have only recorded two 0-0 draws this season as well as the statistic that they have scored 42 and conceded 39 in just 26 Championship games. Going forward is clearly not the problem for Neil’s men but they are a bit of a shambles at the back and this needs to be rectified quickly if they have any hope of making the play-offs.

Away form has been dreadful for Norwich and they’ve not won away from Carrow Road in any competition since 1st October, losing seven out of their last nine games on the road. They did of course record an impressive away win at Premier League side Everton in the EFL Cup earlier in the season but in the FA Cup it is a different story, losing their last two matches to nil.

With both defences looking decidedly vulnerable, there should be a fair few goals here but overall I expect Southampton’s Premier League class to shine through. ‘Southampton to Win & Both Teams to Score’, at 13/5, is a good bet. Neither team has showcased an ability to defend all that well of late, while both, on their day, have the quality to do some damage going forward. However, this really is a good opportunity for Southampton to build some momentum ahead of next week’s EFL Cup semi-final clash with Liverpool and they’re fancied to come out on top of what should be a high-scoring affair.

Read Wednesday’s Copa del Rey prediction here.

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