The Saints look worth taking on in Thursday's Europa League tie against the Israeli champions.
Hapoel Beer Sheva v Southampton - Thursday 18:00, BT Sport Europe
Israeli Premier League champions Hapoel got past Olympiakos in the third qualification round of the Champions League but suffered a 5-2 defeat in the first leg of their play-off at Celtic and though they gave the Scots a fright as they won the return 2-0 in Israel, it wasn’t enough in the end. They shocked Inter 2-0 at the San Siro on match day one and while Southampton have won their last four in all competitions without conceding, including a 3-0 win in their Europa League opener against Sparta Prague, Hapoel certainly won’t be pushovers.
The champions of Israel have lost only one of their last 30 home league games and though their European history is a brief one, as they’ve played just five home matches, they’re unbeaten so far and have won all three home games this season.
While English clubs have won five of their six trips to Israeli sides in European competition since 2002/03, Hapoel’s win at Inter sets a decent level of form as the Italians have lost only two of 11 European home games since 2012/13. English teams have won only five of 25 Europa League away games since 2014/15 as they’ve struggled to balance the physical demands of the Premier League with Thursday night European football and also haven’t taken this competition as seriously as the likes of the Spanish sides have. As a result, we’re going to take Saints on here at around 2.4 and are backing the hostsDraw No Bet.