Two teams battling to survive in the Premier League meet at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, as Brighton and Southampton clash.
Brighton start the weekend in 15th with 33 points from 29 games - five points outside the relegation zone - while 16th place Southampton can go level with the Seagulls if they collect the three points.
All three league meetings since the hosts' promotion to the Premier League have finished in draws, including a 2-2 scoreline when the two teams met at St Mary's back September. Saints though did win 1-0 at the Amex in the League Cup.
Chris Hughton will still be without Pascal Gross for Saturday's game, with the midfielder sidelined by a hamstring injury he suffered in the 2-1 defeat at Leicester last month.
Florin Andone will undergo a fitness test, as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury suffered in the warm-up at Crystal Palace three weeks ago. Hughton is also expected to make a late decision on whether Davy
Propper will start, with the Netherlands deciding not to risk the midfielder in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany.
Meanwhile, Ralph Hasenhuttl has described this game as a 'six-point' encounter, but also admitted that "a point could be an important one for us".
The Saints boss has received a major boost ahead of the crunch fixture, with Danny Ings back in contention. The England international has not played since the draw with Burnley in February, due to a hamstring injury, but he has trained over the international break without any issues.
Hasenhuttl though says it's highly unlikely Shane Long will recover in time from injury, although the manager says he will give the striker as long as possible to prove his fitness.
In the Premier League’s only fabricated derby, Brighton and Hove Albion take on Southampton in a battle to avoid relegation.
Brighton versus Southampton. A game seen by Sky Sports as a fierce South Coast Derby. And a game seen by both sets of fans as just another game.
For many years now this fixture has been hyped to unnecessary levels even though there is no natural hatred or rivalry between both clubs. What’s more, both cities are separated by 65 miles. That is roughly the same distance which separates Liverpool and Huddersfield however, the media don’t seem to build that as much of a derby.
Nevertheless, this upcoming game will at least have some sort of importance riding on it as only a handful of points are between the two clubs and the relegation zone.
Brighton are in great form heading into this game. Chris Houghton’s side have won four of their last five games, if you count their two FA Cup victories, and are only two points away from 13thplaced Newcastle.
Southampton’s form has also experienced a boost in terms of results. Two wins in three, including a 2-1 victory over Tottenham and 2-0 win over Fulham, ended the teams’ poor run.
In terms of the head to head record, draws have been the most common outcomes. In fact, three of the last four encounters have ended with both clubs sharing a point.
Bearing all that in mind, the recommendation in this game is to back a tie at the current price of 11/5.
The alternative recommendation is to take a chance in the correct score market and back the 1-1 score line at 11/2. Two of those last three draws have ended this way.
Draw – 11/5 bet365
1-1 Correct Score – 11/2 bet365
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