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Watford v Southampton – Value to be had in player shots on target market at 11/8

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Watford host Southampton at 16:30 in Sunday’s solitary Premier League match.

It’s a game which undoubtedly matters more to the hosts, who head into the match just a point clear of the relegation zone, with Southampton nine points clear of their forthcoming opponents in 14th.

In normal circumstances I’d be tempted to back Both Teams To Score here, with neither defence really convincing me individually or collectively, but with goals hard to come by in most matches since Project Restart, I’m veering away from predicting match outcomes for this one.

Instead I’m looking towards the ‘Player’ market, and there’s one player in particular who stands out to have at least one shot on target.

Abdoulaye Doucouré only came off the bench at half-time in the 1-0 loss at Burnley on Wednesday, meaning the Frenchman should have fresher legs than most of his team-mates.

He’s been a crucial player in Watford’s revival under Nigel Pearson, scoring three goals and assisting two more in a more advanced midfield role than under previous mangers.

Bet365 have priced Doucouré at 11/8 to land over 0.5 shots on target against Southampton, implying a 42% probability for him to do so.

However, since Pearson took charge in December, Doucouré has managed one shot on target in 7 of the 13 matches he has started under him, implying an actual 54% chance (should he return to the starting line-up as expected of course) and therefore clear value.

The value arguably increases when considering that two of the six matches he failed to land a shot on target in were against runaway champions Liverpool, with Champions League qualification hopefuls Tottenham and Manchester United two of the other four opponents.

Southampton average over 4 shots on target against them away from home and with little for them to play for, I’m happy to back Abdoulaye Doucouré to have Over 0.5 Shots on Target at 11/8.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.

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