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Prediction League: Bournemouth

For just the third time in 2017, Southampton will play a home match in the premier league. Our south coast neighbours are the visitors.

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

There will be goals.

Bouremouth have been involved in 3.3 goals per game in the league. Swansea's kamikaze period under Bob Bradley and Klopp's high intensity attack and laissez faire defense are the only two sides to have totalled more.

For our part, ever since Jamie Vardy mistook Van Dijk's left ankle for a Japanese man at a casino Southampton games have involved 4.2 goals per games. So both teams to score might be a good bet.

Disclaimer: Don't bet, it'll only give Ray Winstone and Stoke city more money.

One factor that might prohibit Southampton's ability to score goals in today's derby is the absence of Manolo Gabbiadini.

Whether Long or Rodriguez come in might not matter because Bournemouth's defensive issues are usually of their own making. Their slow, unskilled centre backs are at odds with Eddie Howe's philosophy of playing it out from the back. Nathan Ake was the perfect fit for them and they miss him as much as we miss our own bigger more beautiful Dutchman.

Shane Long's annoying wasp like playing style should be perfect at enticing their defenders in costly errors. Whether he can do this whilst also being onside is the main issue.

Or Puel could play J Rod. A man who I constantly berate for having lost it but whose goals per game numbers aren't actually too bad.

After a horrendous winter period the cherries might have turned a corner. Two succesive wins to end march lead to Howe being named manager of the month for March.

The good news for saints is these wins were at Dean Court, where Howe's men accrue 73% of their points. They don't travel well.

Predictions

Merse: 3-1

I think there will be goals in this. Southampton gave Bournemouth the runaround at the Vitality Stadium earlier this season and I fancy them to do it again.

Lawro: 1-1

Southampton turned Bournemouth over when they met earlier in the season but I don't think they will repeat that at St Mary's.

George: 2-0

Think we'll win this one for some reason. Bournemouth seem to leak goals and I trust our ability to keep a clean sheet more than theirs.

Daniel V: 3-1

Four goal thriller! 3-1 Saints. Redmond to bag a couple.

Allen: 2-1

I'll say 2-1 Saints. Standard nervy finish.

Jake: 2-1

Saints win, though a struggle if Gabs isn't playing.

Will: 3-2

Two dodgy defenses and the added intensity of a pseudo-derby. A Boruc howler gives Boufal a lucky winner of the bench.