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Southampton vs. Crystal Palace

Southampton vs. Crystal Palace and Pick to Win
Date: Sunday, May 15th
Where: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, United Kingdom
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem

Match Odds: Southampton 6/13, Crystal Palace 7/1, Draw 19/5
Moneyline: Southampton -187, Crystal Palace +700, Draw +380
Over/Under: OFF

The final week of the English Premier League will come to a halt with an unprecedented champion and the emergence of teams you would not typically find flirting near the upper-half of the table. The Southampton Saints are one of the clubs that will certainly earn an honorable mention for their 2015-16 performance as they play host to visiting London club, Crystal Palace.

Southampton enters on a searing three-game winning streak with a most recent win at Tottenham Hotspur, last weekend. As for Crystal Palace, they too enter on a win after they handed a loss to Stoke City in Selhurst Park, last week. Earlier in the year at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace defeated Southampton 1-0 on December 15th. While many revel in the recent achievements of Southampton, Crystal Palace is a squad filled to the brim with robust talent that often leaves them undervalued.

On Crystal Palace’s roster is Emmanuel Adebayor, a notorious former Tottenham forward that menaced Arsenal for many seasons in North London. In addition, Palace also features the likes of Wilfred Zaha, Bakary Sako and Yohan Cabaye, players with exceptional talent that can generate a substantial quantity of offense when all pistons are firing.

In spite of all of these notations, Southampton is heavily favored in this contest, as they have played as good as any team in the English Premier League in the previous five weeks. The Saints have scored at will and found the back of the net 10 times in their previous 3 games. With Crystal Palace having difficulties on the back-end at times, many surmise that the Saints will march on at their own stomping grounds. Nevertheless the Glaziers have other ideas and given the talent that rests in their ranks, skipper Alan Pardew has the chance to optimize his personnel and attack the porous defense of Southampton.

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With the English Premier League winding down this weekend, you can still expect the unexpected. The league title has been settled and the championship rests with the Foxes of Leicester who have defined the road to glory as a turbulent path that traverses the King Power Stadium in the 2016-17 season. Nevertheless for middling teams like Southampton and Crystal Palace, there is still much to play for. For the Saints, a win can secure them a potential top six position and once again show charted progress in Hampshire to build upon for next season. For Crystal Palace, a win would be their second win in a row after enduring a rocky stretch of play over the course of March and April. Nevertheless, the public is very strong on Southampton as they have fostered some remarkable results down the backstretch, compiling a three-game win streak, while remaining without a defeat in five fixtures. To bolster their achievements, the Saints have defeated Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in back-to-back games, taking down two of the top four teams atop in the Premiership table in consecutive weeks. Results of this magnitude often foster an overreaction from the public, especially when the fixture seems all the more favorable for Southampton to replicate success.

However it is situations like this that set up backers for a huge let-down. An astronomical percentage of the consensus is all over the Saints, casting aside the fact that Crystal Palace owns a draw against Arsenal at the Emirates in April. While Crystal Palace may trail Southampton by 18 points in the Premier League Table, this team knows how to tussle with the heavyweights in hostile confines. Do not be shocked if Palace pulls off an upset to wrap up their 2015-16 campaign with a bang. With affable odds offered against public reaction, there is bountiful value in taking Palace outright. Therefore, we will go ahead and fade the public and take Crystal Palace for the win at St. Mary’s Stadium. While Southampton has certainly boasted achievements, they are the same team that were manhandled by Bournemouth and drew with lowly Sunderland, showing they are still very much susceptible to cultivate a disappointing result in a game they are forecasted to win.

Southampton Recent Form
W- Tottenham Hotspur 2-1
W - Manchester City 4-2
W – Aston Villa 4-2
D – Everton 1-1
W– Newcastle United 3-1

Crystal Palace Recent Form
W – Stoke City 2-1
L – Newcastle United 0-1
W – Watford 2-1
L –Manchester United 0-3
D –Arsenal 1-1

Keith's Prediction for the Game: Crystal Palace +700 (7/1)

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