Hapoel Beer Sheva v Southampton – Yaakov Turner Toto Stadium at 18:00 on BT Sport 3
For my first Europa League Asian Handicap Betting preview, I’ll be covering the Hapoel Beer Sheva v Southampton match. Both teams won their opening matches, with Hapoel gaining a surprise away win against Inter Milan. Southampton, as predicted beat Sparta Prague in convincing fashion.
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Hapoel Beer Sheva
Hapoel find themselves in third position in the Israeli Premier League having beat Bnei Yahuda. Nigerian striker Anthony Nwakaeme scored two goals in the game. He’ll look to maintain his rich vein of form against the Saints.
Although solid at the top, The Camels’ main strength is their back line. They’ve got the meanest defence in their domestic league, conceding just 3 goals in 5 games. They also kept a clean sheet at the San Siro, one of the hardest arenas in World football to get a result from. The incumbent Israeli champions have a fantastic record at their stadium (The Turner Stadium). They are unbeaten in five UEFA home fixtures that stretches back to 2004 in a forfeit loss. Hapoel have also won all five of their competitive matches at The Turner.
Southampton have found another gear to kickstart their campaign, having started of very slowly. The team have adapted to Claude Puel’s tactics and have won four on the spin with as many clean sheets.
Charlie Austin is currently on a hot streak with 5 goals in his last 4 games and must be favourite for first goal scorer. The former QPR striker must surely be in contention for an England call-up. The Saints shouldn’t underestimate their opponents especially with The Camels’ shock win against Inter and their imperious home form.
Southampton are still without new signing Sofiane Boufal, who isn’t expected to return until October. He is joined on the treatment table by Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos who won’t be making the 3,700 km journey to Israel. There will be a couple of acquaintances for the opposing teams. Miguel Vitor of Beer Sheva played with Southampton’s captain Jose Fonte for two years. While Ben Sahar and Ryan Bertrand were team-mates at Chelsea.
I believe that this will be a somewhat tricky game for the Saints. You have to put into consideration the long journey that they’ll take and their lack of experience in European games. I do however think that they’ll persevere and edge their Israeli counterparts by a scoreline of 2-1. Midfielder James Ward-Prowse should start this game, with Puel expected to make wholesale changes. I’m a huge fan of the England under-21 captain and suggest that he’ll be pivotal to their success tonight
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.75 @ 2.52 with Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker
Prices correct at time of writing.