Big Saints lead already assures Europa League progress past Vitesse
Southampton are 6/5 with Coral to record another victory over Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem after their 3-0 first leg win at St Mary’s, as they prepare for their second leg of the Europa League qualifying round three.
An emphatic performance from the Saints saw goals from strikers Graziano Pelle and Shane Long (who has been left out of this trip through illness), with a Dusan Tadic penalty sandwiched in between. Italy international Pelle is an even-money anytime chance, while Serbia attacking midfielder Tadic is 7/4 in that market.
Ronald Koeman must make at least one change, then, with his team’s first game of the new Premier League campaign just three days later up at St James’ Park.
It was a relatively conservative XI which started last time out and, although they managed a comfortable win, Koeman still wasn’t satisfied after the match, clearly wanting to guard against complacency.
“It’s never over in football, but the final score tonight is a very good one for us,” said Koeman. “I wasn’t happy with the second half. We were a bit lucky to get a third goal with a mistake from Vitesse late on. We had a difficult start and took time to settle in to the game but we controlled the game well after that.”
New striker signing Juanmi was a second half substitute in the first leg, coming on for fellow new face Jordy Clasie, with both players showing positive sparks. Whether Koeman gives the talented Spain cap a chance from the start in the Netherlands remains to be seen, though the 22-year-old is 5/4 in the anytime market.
Clasie, meanwhile, is more than acquainted with his side’s opponents, having featured for Feyenoord against them many times, so will be aware of the attacking threats he has to stifle.
Southampton may be forgiven for being familiar with a few of the names they may see in the Vitesse starting line-up. New Chelsea signing Nathan, plus Blues duo Lewis Baker and Isaiah Brown, have all been sent on loan to their Dutch feeder club this season.
Stamford Bridge scouts will be watching this one with interest to see how they handle themselves against Premier League opposition. Nathan (7/2 anytime), Brown (11/4) and Baker (11/2) could all be playing for potential parent club futures in the Eredivisie this campaign.
Serbian striker Uros Djurdjevic, who has made the step up from Vitesse’s under-21 side for this season, is 7/1 to break the deadlock, meanwhile.
Coral’s top tip: Pelle anytime scorer @ evens