Southampton take on Midtylland in Europa League play-off
Ronald Koeman takes his Southampton side to Denmark knowing they need to at least score then not concede against FC Midtylland if he wants to progress to the group stages of the Europa League.
The Saints are odds-on at 10/11 with Coral to progress in 90 minutes and should have more than enough to secure a safe passage.
Jay Rodriguez dispatched his first competitive goal for the first time since March 2014 at St Mary’s and is 7/4 to net anytime in the return. The Europa League may well be an ideal competition to ease himself back into the intensity of the Premier League as Tottenham’s Harry Kane did to excellent effect last season.
One of the main concerns for Southampton is in defence. With Florin Gardos facing a long term injury lay-off, on loan centre half Steven Caulker still finding his feet and frustration in the transfer market, Koeman must hope his side can weather any storm coming their way in Denmark.
Pione Sisto is the hosts’ biggest creative threat and his trickery can carve out openings in the final third, while striker Morten Rasmussen is a player with noteworthy pedigree. The duo are 11/4 and 2/1 respectively to net anytime, while former Saint Tim Sparv who broke the deadlock on the English south coast, is 6/1 in the same market.
Koeman needs main man Graziano Pelle to find his scoring feet once more. The Italian started the season brightly, though goals have dried up in the last couple of Premier League matches.
He is 9/2 to rediscover his form and dispatch the initial while Coral offer customers odds of 7/2 for Pelle to score anytime and Saints to win in 90 minutes.
Whether Sadio Mane is given game time remains to be seen. The attacker has attracted interest from Manchester United over the last week and Koeman may decide that he isn’t in the right frame of mind. At 7/4 in the anytime market, he could be worth a punt, though the experienced Shane Long who struck against Newcastle on the opening day is also 7/4 in the same market.
Coral’s top tip: Pelle to score anytime & Southampton to win in 90 minutes