Premier League Preview | Matchday 18
Premier League Matchday 18: Weekend Betting Preview
Another week, another round of shocks and surprises rife across the league. Chelsea were stunned, United were held and Arsenal were absolutely humbled as the race for the top four intensified. At the bottom of the table, yet another spirited performance from Watford wasn’t enough to grant them that elusive second win of the season, keeping the gap between themselves and safety at six points.
The Hornets face off against arguably the league’s most inconsistent side in Manchester United, hoping to make up lost ground on Norwich and Southampton who are at home to Wolves and away Aston Villa respectively. Headline fixtures to look out for below has to be Manchester City v Leicester and Mourinho’s latest chapter against former side Chelsea.
Everton vs. Arsenal - All Change In These Dugouts
Duncan Ferguson’s relatively successful, if sometimes chaotic, time in charge of Everton has seen the blue side of Merseyside climb up to 16th in the table on 18 points. Their four points against Chelsea and Manchester United under the Scot might have been vital to their Premier League survival, however they remain sitting with an xGA of a whopping -6.70 against what they should have conceded, a record worse than the likes of Norwich and Watford currently.
Arsenal are continuing to adapt to life as a mid table Premier League club this season, being humbled 3-0 at home by Pep and co. last week. That defeat took the Gunners tally of losses to 5 for the season and 12 games from their first 17 that they’ve dropped points in. Their defence in particular has been truly woeful, conceding 27 goals at an xGA of -1.40.
Everton vs. Arsenal - Odds & Spreads
Arsenal’s diabolical run of form sees them priced as underdogs against Everton at 9/5 and 13/10 respectively. Our traders have priced a draw currently at 11/4 outsider odds.
Four points in two games against two other ‘traditional’ top six sides see Everton come into this game with a Win Index of 12-13.5 against Arsenal’s 10.25-11.75. Total Goals for the game is priced at 3.05-3.25 with Goal Rush currently at 38-41 and a First Goal Time of 30.5-33 minutes.
Bournemouth vs. Burnley - Howe And Dyche Back On Track?
Despite what our previous football markets might have predicted, Bournemouth managed to bring a run of five straight losses to an end with a brilliant performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week. Whether or not the Chelsea players have nightmares regularly before playing Bournemouth is unclear, however, what is clear is the fact that Eddie Howe clearly hasn’t lost his touch with the Cherries just yet. His side are in 14th place in the table, and are still sitting currently with an xGA (expected goals against) of +4.55 against what they ‘should’ have conceded, despite their recent losses.
Burnley also brought an end to their three game losing streak last time out against Newcastle, winning 1-0 in true Dyce fashion and being lifted back up to 12th. Whilst last week might have marked a return to form, 2019/20 has been much more volatile campaign for the Clarets than we have come to expect. They have conceded three goals or more in five of their games so far, have conceded the joint second worst amount of goals of any side outside the relegation zone and their xGA of -6.75 is worse than every side in the division, bar Southampton.
Bournemouth vs. Burnley - Odds & Spreads
Bournemouth emerge as our favourites for this match at 6/5 against Burnley’s 11/5 pricing. A draw between the two sides comes up just short of the two at 12/5.
Bournemouth can also point towards a superior Win Index in our spreads against Burnley, claiming a 12.75-14.25 against Dyche and co.’s 9.5-11. We have Total Goals for this game priced at 2.6-2.8, with a First Goal timed at 34.5-37.5 minutes on the clock.
Aston Villa vs. Southampton - Crunch Time For Villa
Aston Villa kicked off a crunching run of key fixtures with a disappointing loss to the darlings of the league, Sheffield United last week. With their next four fixtures coming against Southampton, Norwich, Watford and Burnley, it’s clear that now is the time for John Terry, Dean Smith and co. to start looking like Premier League survivors. Despite being one of the highest scoring teams outside of the top six, Villa’s xG (Expected Goals) of +0.40, which is relatively healthy, is massively helped out by their six goals from set pieces, which is currently at -1.36. From Open Play only, Villa’s xG suddenly rises to +1.26 and unearths their more wasteful side in front of goal.
The feel good factor from two crucial wins in a row against Watford and Norwich has been brought crashing back down to Earth for the Saints following two consecutive losses against Newcastle and a positively woeful West Ham side last time out. Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side still boast the league’s worst defence with 36 goals conceded at an xGA of -8.41. Their xPTS (Expected Points) is also the second worst in the division, sitting at +8.92 against the 15 points they’ve managed so far, beating only Watford’s tally of +11.22.
Aston Villa vs. Southampton - Odds & Spreads
Tensions always run high in six-pointers such as this one, and we’ve found it hard separating these to sides out when it comes to the odds. John Terry’s soon-to-be new side come up as our favourites at 27/20, with Southampton behind them at 9/5 and a draw even further back at 13/5.
Villa’s Win Index is currently priced at 12-13.5 against the Saints’ 10.25-11.75, with both sides’ respective First Goals set to be timed at 46.5-49.5 and 49.5-52.5 minutes on the clock. Total Goals for the game has been priced at 3-3.2.
Brighton vs. Sheffield United - The PotterBall Revolution Rolls On
Unbeaten in three, playing an increasingly confident and stylish style of football and sitting pretty in twelfth place, the ‘PotterBall’ revolution kicking off in Brighton looks to really be hitting some stride. The Seagulls have now scored 21 goals in their 17 games, though their xG of +3.12 still suggests they are struggling slightly to close out the games they’re dominating.
Chris Wilder’s hunt for Champions League football continued imperiously last week with yet another win, this time against Aston Villa. The Blades have lost just the once in their past ten games, moving them up to 7th in the table on 25 points. Their innovative overlapping three centre-backs have only conceded 16 goals at an xGA of +5.06, the third best record of any side in the league.
Brighton vs. Sheffield United - Odds & Spreads
Future Champions League regulars Sheffield United are currently priced as our outsiders at 12/5, with Brighton marked out as favourites at 6/5. A draw between the two sides is currently sandwiched in between at 11/5.
With Brighton being one of the most wasteful sides from dominating performances currently in the division, it might be of some comfort to hear this match qualifies as a part of this week’s special Bad Beat Promotion. Back either of these sides to win and if they go onto lose the game, but crucially win on xG across the full ninety minutes, we will completely refund your stake!
Graham Potter’s free-flowing and attacking football has earned his side a Win Index of 13-14.5 in our spreads, with Sheffield currently boasting 9-10.5 against. This could be a true test of defence versus attack and we have Total Goals for the game priced at 2.4-2.6, with a First Match Goal Time of 37.5-40.5 minutes.
Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace - Two Teams That Hate Scoring Goals
Despite our best attempts to hype and praise them, Newcastle’s run of four wins in their previous six games was brought to an end last week out against Burnley. Whilst they are certainly in no danger of winning an award for style with their play, Steve Bruce’s results have, so far, been incredibly admirable. Currently in 11th place on 22 points, the Toon are rocking the second best xPTS tally (-9.53 against the 12.47 points they ‘should’ be on) of any side in the division, second only to Liverpool. Whilst this does imply quite a substantial overperformance across the season, we should mention that Newcastle are still unbeaten at home since the opening day of the campaign.
On the subject of teams that play infuriatingly bad, yet effective, football, Crystal Palace. It’s been another season of relegation avoidance football from Roy Hodgson and co. at Selhurst, racking up the second worst attack in the division, but also boasting one of the best defences with an xGA of +9.09. Sat pretty comfortably in 9th place, it looks like ol’ Roy has worked his magic once again in keeping the Eagles competitive in the league.
Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace - Odds & Spreads
Our latest Premier League markets have made Steve Bruce’s Toon side the favourites at 7/5. You can find Roy Hodgson and co. and a draw between the two sides currently locked together at 21/10.
Our spreads have given Newcastle a Win Index of 12-13.5 against Palace’s 10-11.5, with Total Goals for the game currently priced at 2.15-2.35. Whilst both sides have only mustered 32 goals so far between them this season, you can find odds on Both Teams To Score at 44-50, with a First Goal Time of 39-42 minutes.
Norwich vs. Wolves - Can Nuno Keep Pushing For Europe?
Whatever happens this season for Daniel Farke and co, you have to admire the Canaries’ spirit this season. Seemingly dead and buried following a run of six losses in seven games from September to November, Norwich City continue to just about keep in touch with Premier League. Their draw last week against high flying Leicester City was tough and gutsy, and their xG and xGA of -0.08 and -1.77 shows that they are a side that are grinding pretty much everything they can out of themselves.
Wolves fell to just their third loss of the season last time out to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham, ending an impressive run of eleven games without a loss in the league alone. Fighting on all fronts this season, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have been steady, consistent and continue look set to keep the hunt alive for consecutive years of European football.
Norwich vs. Wolves - Odds & Spreads
Norwich are still only three points from safety, but are the outsiders for their game against Wolves on Saturday at 13/5. Nuno Santo’s side are currently priced at 20/21, with a draw coming in at 11/4.
The Canaries’ Win Index is currently priced at 8.25-9.75 against Wolves’ 14-15.5, with each team boasting a First Goal Time of 55.5-58.5 and 46-49 minutes respectively and a Total Goals Minutes pricing at 136-146.
Manchester City vs. Leicester - Who Will Keep Pace With Liverpool?
Manchester City’s domination against Arsenal last week was a potent reminder of just how much quality the Cityzens still possess, despite their recent drop in form. Guardiola’s side are still the league’s most potent attacking force, having scored 47 goals at an xG of +0.58, yet remain a mammoth 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool. With or without his faithful assistant manager, Pep has to be feeling the heat every week his Merseyside rivals edge closer to their title.
Leicester’s otherwise near-perfect season hit something of a bump in their draw last time out against Norwich, bringing an end to a 8 game winning run. Certainly the surprise package of the season, Leicester’s next two fixtures see them come up against last year’s champions and this year’s soon-to-be champions and will be fascinating to see how they cope. The Foxes’ xG of -11.20 against what they have scored is the best in the division still and really showcases exactly where their success has come from this campaign.
Manchester City vs. Leicester - Odds & Spreads
Pep’s retaliation against Arsenal last week sees his side priced as our favourites at 2/ 5, sitting pretty heavily above a draw at 4/1 and an away Leicester win at 6/1.
Both sides have become known for their potent frontlines, scoring 87 goals between them so far this season, and we have Total Goals for the game priced at 3.35-3.55,a First Goal Time of 28.5-31 minutes and Both Teams To Score at 56-62. Pep’s side are currently boasting a Win Index of 18.75-20 against Leicester’s 4.25-5.5.
Watford vs. Manchester United - Will Pearson Secure A Scalp?
Nigel Pearson’s reign at a previously hapless Watford kicked off last week at Anfield, where a 2-0 scoreline condemned the Hornets to a 10th loss of the season from their first 17 games. It was yet another familiar tale of missed chances and an overall lack of confidence for Watford, taking their xG for the season up to +10.47 against what they’ve so far mustered, the worst in the league by a mile, and showcasing exactly where the problems are for Pearson.
For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United, this season is quickly descending into a tale of two different forms. Against the top sides, United have looked imperious all season, however they have routinely struggled when coming up against teams scrapping for points nearer the bottom. Wins against Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City are all well and good, however all of that hard work and quality is immediately undone if you start dropping points against Aston Villa, West Ham and Southampton.
Watford vs. Manchester United - Odds & Spreads
Despite their poor record against the league’s bottom sides, Solskjaer’s United side are our favourites at 3 /4, with a draw between the two sides the next favourite at 3/1 and the Hornet’s back even further at 10/3.
Solskjaer and co. are currently boasting a Win Index of 15.25-16.75 against Watford’s 7-8.5. Total Goals for the game has been set at 2.65-2.85, with a First Match Goal timed at 33-36 minutes on the clock and Total 1st Half Goals at 1.15-1.3.
Spurs vs. Chelsea - Mourinho Returns Against The Blues
Jose Mourinho managing Spurs against Chelsea would have been unthinkable once upon a time. The Portuguese maestro has overseen four wins from his first five games, taking Spurs back up above the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United and within three points of their opponents for this game in fourth place. Their xG of -9.02 remains the second best in the league, however their defence continues to be a working point for Mourinho, currently sitting at -2.01 against what they should have conceded.
For Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, four wins out of their previous five games has seen their previously imperious top four credentials take a substantial hit. Having been one of the league’s most attacking sides with an awfully leaky defence, the West London side aren’t even in the green for their xG anymore, sitting now at +3.81.
Spurs vs. Chelsea - Odds & Spreads
Spurs’ good form under Mourinho, in contrast to Chelsea’s contrasting dip, sees them enter as favourites at 27/20. Chelsea come up just behind at 9/5, with a draw between the two sides currently priced at 13/5 in our latest football odds.
Mourinho’s men also boast a Win Index of 12-13.5 against Chelsea’s 10.25-11.75, with Total Goals for the match up currently priced at 3-3.2. Our traders have priced the First Tottenham Match Goal to come in at 46.5-49.5 minutes, with Chelsea’s First Goal alternatively priced at 49.5-52.5 minutes.
Will Jose pile on the pressure for Frank? Can Pep keep pace with Liverpool, even without an assistant manager? Whose side will you pick in this weekend’s action? Check out all of our Premier League spread betting and football odds ahead of another exciting week of Premier League football.