Southampton v Millwall: hosts to cease run of poor home form
After going almost the entire calendar year unbeaten at home in 2011, Southampton have now failed to win in their past three games at St Mary’s, losing twice.
This uncharacteristic dip in home form sees them afforded a generous 4/6 price to overcome Millwall in the FA Cup odds, for whom tiredness could be a factor after a gruelling East London derby with West Ham on Saturday.
The visitors are 9/2 to score the win in 90 minutes, but they have won just twice on the road in the Championship this season, and there appears to be a significant gulf in class between the sides, as evidenced by their contrasting league positions.
Meanwhile, it is 5/2 for the second-placed Saints to draw with the 21st-positioned Lions, as they did at the New Den in the initial fixture.
Nigel Adkins’ men won the league meeting at St Mary’s 1-0 earlier in the season, but with a point to prove in front of an expectant set of home fans, and desperate to progress in the FA Cup, a more emphatic scoreline would not be a shock here.
It is 5/4 that Southampton are leading at half-time and full-time and that deserves some attention, while 10/1 looks a lengthy price for a 3-0 home win.
In terms of first goalscorer bets on the game, leading Championship goalscorer Rickie Lambert is understandably a relatively short-priced favourite to hit the net first at 7/2 to open the scoring as he did at The Den.
Talented midfielder Adam Lallana will also be desperate to get back on the goal trail, and will view this game as an ideal opportunity to do so at 8/1.
For the visitors, Darius Henderson has been in scintillating form, surprising many by firing in 16 goals in all competitions so far, and he is a big 7/1 to score first or last at St Mary’s.