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Nic Ladds 9th Apr 2009 - 14:55

Saints young-guns ready to burst Wolves' bubble

Wolves and Southampton collide at a time when the clubs could not have more differing fortunes which explains why the home side are 4/9 in the betting and the Saints are as long as 5/1.

Wolves currently sit atop the Championship, despite a poor 2-0 loss to 10-man Birmingham last game, while Southampton sit second bottom, but are just two points from safety.

A draw which is available at odds of 11/4 would be of little help to either team, but it is a result that Southampton seem to have become experts at obtaining.

They have drawn four of their last five games, the other was a narrow loss to Charlton, and this could have the correct score draw backers out in droves.

1-1 can be backed at 6/1 in the betting with 2-2 14/1 and 0-0 is available at odds of 11/1.

Wolves did have a bit of a blip where it looked as though they were doing their best to throw the title away, but have now won five of their last seven, four of which were by a 1-0 score line which is 11/2 in the betting.

The Saints do know where the back of the net is so something like 3-1 to Wolves at 10/1 or 3-2 at 28/1 could be the bets, while a shock win for The Saints can reward at big prices with 2-1 20/1 and 3-1 as big as 80/1.

There is no doubt Southampton are fighting for their lives, and many players for their careers as the club desperately searches for a buyer, which gives them added incentive to put in a big performance.

Along with this, you never seem to know at the moment what you'll get from Wolves. For a couple of weeks solid and productive, winning when it matters, followed by an embarrassing display against a Birmingham side who had 10 men for most of the match.

For these reasons it may be best to leave the short price about a Wolves win alone and so Southampton's price is tempting.

A big part of Wolves' chances falls at the feet of Sylvain Ebanks-Blake who scores most of their goals but he is out injured.

His strike partner Chris Iwelumo is also out, which means responsibility falls at the feet of Marlon Harewood, who will be keen to prove his worth, having been shunted around from club to club all season. He can be backed at odds of 9/2 to bag the first goal.

Sam Vokes is their only other fit player who has scored for Wolves in their last 10 games and he is 6/1 to bag first or 7/4 to score anytime.

Southampton meanwhile have a decent strike-force on paper, and do know how to find the goal, they just concede too many.

Marek Saganowski and David McGoldrick both score their fair share and are both 8/1 to score first, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Jason Euell are decent shouts to score anytime at odd of 10/3 and 4/1 respectively.

A double result of Wolves/Wolves is obviously the favourite at even money, while draw/Wolves is 10/3 and draw/Southampton is 12/1 in the betting.

Mick McCarthy will be hoping Harewood can produce the goods, as having his two main strikers out is a huge blow for the Championship leaders.

The fact they are both out gives Southampton the best chance they could hope for, as they have the fire power to score goals but have a nasty knack of conceding too many.

At the prices, a chance is taken on Southampton to take a step to getting themselves out of the mess they're in.

The players are playing for their own future, let along the future of the club which could be enough incentive for them to pull out a huge performance.

Wolves' performance against Birmingham was woeful and if they create as little as they did in that match again, then The Saints can be there to punish them.

Recommendation:
Southampton - 5/1
Marek Saganowski to score first - 8/1

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