Friday, 29 July 2016

Groningen vs Southampton Club Friendly Match Preview And Prediction - July 30, 2016


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FC Groningen, who won the Dutch cup in the 2014/2015 season and finished 7th in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, look to further establish themselves as a top side in the division with a couple of decent signings so far this summer. Centre back Jos Hooiveld, brought in from Swedish side AIK, is vastly experienced, with many honours from the Scandinavian leagues and cups, and has accumulated a total of two hundred and fifty appearances across spells at Southampton, Celtic, AIK and FC Copenhagen to name just a few. The hosts are also looking to incorporate some youth into the side, with the one year loan signing on 19-year old striker Nicolo Pozzebon from Juventus.

Southampton, under their new manager Claude Puel, who replaced Ronald Koeman after he departed for the managerial position at Everton, were solid enough in the 2-1 club friendly win over Dutch side FC Twente on Wednesday. Puel continued to leave out Fraser Forster, Ryan Bertrand, Steven Davis and Shane Long, as they had only returned for pre-season training during late last week, but we did see Nathon Redmond, signed from Norwich, and Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg, signed from Bayern Munich, both feature alongside plenty of youth players.

Both sides are looking impressive in their respective pre-seasons: FC Groningen have won five and drawn one of their six, scoring an average of 6 goals per game thanks to their 20-0 pre-season opener against a Dutch non-league side and a 6-2 win last time out against Dutch second tier side Emmen. Meanwhile, Southampton have won both of theirs, conceding their first goal of the pre-season with just 15 minutes remaining in their 2-1 win against Twente. Puel will likely continue to integrate star name players with less experienced players for this match, and while Groningen haven’t had too many “challenges” so far in their preseason, they have shown they are capable of scoring goals, as they did in a win 3-1 at home to Championship side Queens Park Rangers a few weeks back.

Combining this analysis with the statistics below, we expect over 2.5 goals at 3/5 to be a safe bet and draw 2-2 at 14/1 with bet365 to be a top value correct score bet for this match.

Southampton faced FC Groningen in a club friendly in the Netherlands during the 2015 pre-season, where they won 3-0.

Both sides remain unbeaten in all of their respective pre-season matches: Groningen have won five and drawn one of their six and Southampton have won both of theirs. Southampton have scored an average of three goals per game in their pre-season while Groningen have scored an average six goals per game in their pre-season thanks to a 20-0 against non-league side Eemsmond and a 6-2 last time out against Emmen.

FC Groningen welcome the addition of 19-year old striker Nicolo Pozzebon from Juventus for one year on loan alongside the arrival of central defender Jos Hooiveld from Swedish side AIK.

Southampton were without Fraser Forster, Ryan Bertrand, Steven Davis and Shane Long against FC Twente. Dusan Tadic and Cuco Martina both started against their former club. Transfer wise Southampton have brought in Nathan Redmond from Norwic, who also featured against Twente, while saying goodbye to Sadio Mane, who signed for Liverpool, Victor Wanyama, who signed for Tottenham, and Graziano Pelle who was swooned by money from China.

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