Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Southampton vs. Norwich City EPL Betting Preview (Feb. 25)
Visionhaus/Getty Images. Pictured: Southampton teammates Adam Armstrong, left, and Che Adams.
- Southampton welcomes lowly Norwich City to Saint Mary's Stadium for Friday's Premier League clash.
- The Saints are solid -185 moneyline favorites against the Canaries, who are in major relegation danger at this point.
- Betting analyst Nick Hennion breaks down the matchup below and explains why he's expecting Southampton to cover a big number.
Southampton vs. Norwich Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / +100)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network | fuboTV|
|Odds updated as of Friday afternoon via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Southampton will be seeking revenge from a 2-1 road defeat against Norwich City earlier in the season Friday under the lights of Saint Mary’s Stadium.
The Saints currently sit 10th in the Premier League table, while the Canaries have dropped into the bottom spot and sit five points clear from safety.
The aforementioned victory for Norwich City represents a quarter of its total victories this season. It was also the first time the club managed to do anything but drop all three points against Southampton in its last two EPL campaigns.
Southampton Dominant on Home Soil
Here’s the thing about Southampton. The club has quietly played extremely well at home to help reach its current table position.
Through 12 home fixtures, the Saints have only posted a single outright defeat and are unbeaten (four wins; five draws) in their last nine home games. Additionally, Southampton’s defense has played well above average at Saint Mary’s Stadium. It has conceded the sixth-fewest expected goals on home soil and is yielding 0.37 fewer xG per 90 minutes over its season-long mark.
Plus, manager Ralph Hassenhutl’s side has done nothing but clean up in games against teams below them. In six such fixtures, it is 4-0-2 (W-L-D) and is conceding only 0.67 xG per 90 minutes, while creating 1.67 xG/90 minutes, an output more than 0.3 xG/90 minutes higher than its season average.
If there’s any kind of concern associated with Southampton at home, it’s that some negative regression could be coming. As it stands, the Saints own a +6 goal differential on a +3.1 xGDiff, per fbref.com. However, a good chunk of that over-performance can be attributed to its home match against Tottenham, where they underperformed their xGA mark by 1.5 goals.
Finally, even though Southampton lost the reverse fixture at Carrow Road — its only loss this season against the current bottom four — it should feel confident about getting a result.
Southampton won the xG battle (1.1-0.5) and took more than double the shots Norwich posted in the previous meeting. Further, even though it is only 1-1-2 (W-L-D) against the current bottom four, the Saints have won all those fixtures on expected goals.
Norwich City in Dire Relegation Straits
There was a brief moment of hope for Norwich City, but it was quickly smashed in its last two fixtures.
After earning results in three consecutive matches against Everton, Watford and Crystal Palace, the Canaries lost two consecutive contests against Manchester City and Liverpool by a combined 7-1 aggregate margin.
Now, Norwich is forced to take its league-worst road xGDiff to Southampton, where it is winless (two draws; five losses) in its last seven meetings across all competitions. Additionally, in six road fixtures against top-half opposition this season, the club is 0-6-0 (W-L-D) and conceding nearly 2.6 xG per 90 minutes, according to fbref.com.
If there’s any good news for the Canaries, its that the attacking numbers have improved lately away from Carrow Road. In its last seven road games, Norwich is averaging 1.05 xG per 90 minutes, up on a season-long road average of 0.78 xG/90 minutes overall.
However, the key problem for manager Dean Smith remains his defense, which has not played well even against bottom-half sides. In six road fixtures against the kind of competition, Norwich is still allowing 1.58 xG/90 minutes.
If the Canaries hope to have a positive performance, their defense has to holdup against a Southampton attack that will be the third top-10 offense they’ve faced in their last four road games.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I question what game script will see Norwich City earn a result, especially considering the unique advantage Southampton holds.
The Saints own the fifth-best successful pressure percentage in the English top flight and the Canaries haven’t played well against teams that like to press. In eight fixtures against the top-five pressure success sides, Norwich is 2-5-1 (W-L-D), but has lost all but one of those meetings on expected goals.
Plus, Norwich has only managed a goal in two of those contests — both undeservedly so — and is conceding 2.13 xGA per 90 minutes.
Even if you remove the four matches against Manchester City & Liverpool from that list, the underlying metrics are still concerning. While Norwich own a +0 goal differential in the remaining four games, its xGDiff is -1.2 overall.
For those reasons, I expect Southampton to continue its strong run of form at home and get revenge with relative ease.
Pick: Southampton -1 (-110)