On 25th October 2019, Southampton lost 9-0 at home to Leicester City. The result matched the largest win in the Premier League ever, and was the biggest away win in the history of England’s top-flight. Such a stark result only ramped up the pressure on Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, who many expected to be sacked soon after.
Not least because the team were in the midst of what became six losses in seven league games and inside the relegation zone. Top-flight bosses have been relieved of their duties for less, especially with questions over his ability to motivate a group of players that had been on the wrong end of such an emphatic loss. However, the south coast club stood by their manager, and have reaped the benefits of that decision playing entertaining football with an intense style.
Turning things around at St Mary’s
While the Leicester defeat wasn’t the last in Southampton’s losing run, it was certainly the most eye-catching. Subsequent losses to reigning champions Manchester City and Everton showed some positive signs and soon the team had the winning feeling back. Hasenhuttl guided his side to an 11th place finish in the 2019/20 season. The second half of the season also included a win over the Foxes at the King Power Stadium, avenging the previous humiliation. The current campaign has started on an even brighter note – after 8 games Saints were top of the table and remain in the mix for a European place.
Although a tough run of fixtures round off this year – including hosting Manchester City – the team have won plenty of admirers. Their approach is fun for the neutral to watch, but can Southampton keep it up and reap the benefits? PayPal betting sites such as Betfair offer instant deposits with no fees and a huge range of Premier League betting markets for every team. They have odds of 16/1 that Saints finish inside the top four. A top six position is available at 7/2 with an unlikely title win priced at 150/1, but stranger things have happened, just ask the Foxes who recorded a miraculous league win, priced at 5000/1 before the off.
Could it get even better for Saints fans?
Since that fateful Foxes loss, it’s been 40 Premier League games. Saints have won 20 of them, drawing a further 7 – making them one of the form teams in the top-flight over that period. While some teams failed to deal with life after lockdown, Southampton certainly didn’t, thriving and continuing to impress.
This term, it’s been an even brighter story, leaving fans dreaming of a first ever qualification for the Champions League. At the time of writing they have the second-best home record in the division and one of the leading attacks, averaging two goals a game over the first dozen matches played. The club have been in Europe recently, but never at the continent’s top table. While the odds suggest it’s still a relative longshot, it’s far from impossible.
Keeping Danny Ings fit could be a key consideration. The 28-year-old striker endured an injury-hit spell at Liverpool, playing just 14 times for the Merseyside club before a loan to St Mary’s reinvigorated his career and the move was made permanent. Ings has netted 35 times for Southampton, including a career-best 22 goals last term, leaving him behind only Jamie Vardy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Golden Boot charts. If Hasenhuttl can ensure his star man is on the pitch and not the treatment table, the team certainly have the firepower to trouble any team in the division. Even though the bookmakers remain to be convinced, they certainly shouldn’t be overlooked in the betting markets.