Many predicted that the Saints would suffer relegation to the Championship at the end of the season, however it could well be the Champions League for a Southampton side which has performed far above expectations so far this term.
An in-form Manchester United were expected to easily sweep past the Saints on Sunday afternoon, however it was the south coast side who were enjoying the three points at the final whistle, leapfrogging the Red Devils into third place in the Premier League table in the process.
It was a goal from substitute Dusan Tadic which separated the sides and Southampton are now as low as 11/8 with Sky Bet to finish the season in the top four, thus securing a place in next season’s Champions League.
Before the start of the season, Ronald Koeman’s side were as big as 80/1 to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition. Indeed, some bookmakers were offering as low as 7/2 for the side to suffer relegation following a summer of departures which included popular manager Mauricio Pochettino.
All this doesn’t bode too well for Manchester United’s top four prospects and one victory in five Premier League games see them sit two points adrift of Southampton and just one point above Arsenal.
Indeed, it was a very disappointing performance from a side which had managed to turn their season around somewhat. Nevertheless, they remain odds-on at 1/2 with William Hill to finish in the top four at the end of the season and we would think that they will achieve this aim with relative ease.
Arsenal would expect to finish in the top four and book their now customary place in the Champions League. They boosted their chances with a 3-0 rout of Stoke City at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon and they are up for grabs at 8/15 with Paddy Power to end the season in the top four.