This is expected to be a very interesting matchup, with the newly promoted Cardiff City looking to show that they are here to stay in the big leagues, while Southampton once again find themselves staring down the barrel of relegation while in the midst of an absolutely brutal winless streak. Both of these teams have a lot in common, and while in many instances that is not always for the best reasons, here, it does mean that we should get a very hotly contested and interesting match. Every contest counts from here on out for two teams that each have plenty to fear from the dreaded drop zone.
Cardiff City vs Southampton Prediction: Cardiff 1-1 Southampton
We’ve mentioned just how closely matched these two are. While this description can apply to many teams in the Premier League, the extent of the common ground between these two is frankly extraordinary. And unusual circumstances sometimes require an unusual prediction.
Despite neither team setting the Premier League on fire with their performances, they do generally manage to get past their opposition’s offences at least once. Considering how evenly matched they both are, we also think there’s a good chance that neither will manage to pull away points wise. With that in mind, our prediction is for this one to end with a 1-1 stalemate finish.
Our recommended tip: a draw
The bookmakers are certainly expecting this match to be a very close one indeed. Southampton do have the slightest of advantages, coming into the contest with a 38% win probability, but Southampton aren’t far behind with a 32% win probability. A draw, therefore, is a fairly safe bet. This result has a 30% probability, so is a good medium risk wager, while also offering a higher potential ROI than simple match result odds. If you predict that this competition will end in a stalemate, then you can enjoy good 21/10 odds from Coral.
Owing to Cardiff’s tenure in the lower division, it has been a couple of years since these two took each other on. Thankfully, their recent matches are not far enough back to be irrelevant to the game today. Unfortunately though, for those looking for wisdom from the past to determine a likely winner here, there’s little enlightenment to be found in their head-to-head history.
Cardiff managed to win the last game 1-0, while Southampton got a larger win in 2013 with a 3-0 victory. Going further back, 2012 saw things end with our predicted scoreline for this content, resulting in a 1-1 finish. Before that, things swing back and forth throughout the years. In fact, you have to head back to the 60s for a sizeable advantage in Southampton’s favour. These two teams truly are neck-and-neck in ability.
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Players to watch: Josh Murphy & Stuart Armstrong
Cardiff City: Josh Murphy
This pick might be a strange one, but for a team like Cardiff City, we think it’s rather fitting. Admittedly, we don’t know if Josh Murphy will play against Southampton. However, considering his brilliance in short bursts – as we saw in his goal in the most unlikely of situations in the final minutes of their last disappointing game against West Ham – and the fact that he’s got more goals in his limited time on the field than both their forwards combined, he’s got to be one to watch, even if it is just to see if he gets off the bench.
Southampton: Stuart Armstrong
It’s fair to say that during Southampton’s recent nine-match winless streak, there hasn’t been too much to celebrate. That being said, hope has come in the form of Scottish midfielder Stuart Armstrong, who has managed to find opportunity within his team’s despair. Injury limited his ability to make an impression from his initial move from Celtic, but with dual goals against Fulham and one against Manchester United, people are finally starting to see what this player is capable of.