The Premier League action returns on Friday afternoon with a fascinating double-header. First up in the early slot will be a battle between two teams in dire needs of points, as Norwich takes on Southampton.
Norwich City haven’t really had the season they anticipated in the top flight thus far. Since promotion last August, they’ve been getting shredded when they don’t have the ball, and the group quickly found out that their offensive prowess doesn’t really translate against Premier League defenses. Norwich enters this matchweek a full six points from safety, and sit dead last in the entire league. Their defense has been porous, and while they play an exciting brand of football, and have some talented players – it hasn’t translated to wins.
For Southampton, the Saints are likely clear of getting mired in a relegation battle – though one can never be too certain with the unpredictability of the Premier League. They’re currently in 14th spot heading into Friday’s contest, but only 7 points up from the drop zone. Southampton have been plagued by inconsistency for much of this campaign, but they have been in solid form away from home. The Saints will be hoping that’s a trend that continues into Friday at Carrow Road.
With all that is on the line across so many top European soccer leagues, it’s a fun time to be a fan, and a better time to be a bettor. With so much action, we’ll continue to keep you in the loop for the latest news and notes. Keep reading on beneath the odds for a detailed match preview, analysis, and betting prediction for Norwich vs. Southampton.
Norwich vs. Southampton Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (-120)
Under 2.5 (+100)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Norwich vs. Southampton Pick:
With Norwich entering this match in desperate need for points, and very likely wins – expect manager Daniel Farke to further double-down on his plan for offense and attack-minded football. It is certainly why Norwich City are currently in the Premier League, but might also be their undoing when reflecting on this season. Norwich play a very offensive style, and have made it a trend to continually get caught outnumbered or disorganized at the back, as a result. It’s a troubling trend, and one that shows no sign of stopping.
The Canaries dropped three of their previous four EPL contests before the break, and unfortunately things won’t be getting any easier for them. While most sides returned fully healthy, Norwich were dealt with tough injury blows in their resumption, as Grant Hanley, Sam Byram, and Christoph Zimmermann will all be out for the rest of the campaign. That will surely further test the limited depth of this fading group.
For Southampton, the pause likely came at a tough time for this emerging group. After a rough start to the season, the Saints showed a ton of gumption to string together many positive results before the break. They shifted their formation and made key tactical adjustments at the back, and are 7-2-3 in their past 12 contests – or since November’s international break.
For Norwich, the opposite continues to be true. The Canaries’ attack continues to be fully reliant on Teemu Pukki. The talented Finnish striker has 11 goals on the year, but can’t be expected to carry all the weight himself. Against a reformed Southampton backline, Pukki could get stifled on Friday.
Look for the Saints to ease back into Premier League action with a comfortable and convincing road victory on Friday. They’ve actually played better this year away from their home on the coast, and though there are no fans – that trend should continue. Southampton will hold a decisive edge in ball control and in the midfield, with the tireless and creative James Ward-Prowse pulling the strings. Up top, Danny Ings remains one of England’s top scoring threats, and the Norwich defense is anything but stingy. They concede dangerous chances like nobody in the league, and expect the Saints to take full advantage, moving further clear of that dangerous relegation zone.
Pick: Southampton 3-1