Premier League Preview | Matchday 22
Premier League Matchday 22: Weekend Betting Preview
The halfway point of the Premier League is now in the rear-view mirror but there is still plenty of unanswered questions as we approach the business end of the season, all except of course for the title race which has been as good as wrapped up since October. This week sees a potential Mourinho shock on the cards as his Spurs side face off against all-but-crowned champions, Liverpool.
‘The Special One’ has a well-known history of upsetting would-be champions and the Portuguese certainly had a good bounce when he initially walked through the doors in North London; however, his time at Spurs has turned into a messy run of poor results and even poorer performances. Given the recent performances, and the fact that Jose has only bested Klopp once in five Premier League meetings, you have all the markings of a gruesome evening in North London for Tottenham...
Sheffield United vs. West Ham - The Moyes Revolution Kicks On
Our weekend kicks off on Friday night with Sheffield United vs. West Ham. Chris Wilder’s European dreamers have easily ran into their toughest stack of fixtures this season, falling to consecutive losses against Manchester City and Liverpool and having tough games against Arsenal and City looming on the horizon. Their rotating three-back formation has led to the creation of one of the league’s best defence with an xGA (Expected Goals Against) of +5.44 more than what they have conceded. However, the goals have really dried up in recent times, with their xG (Expected Goals) now leaking over to +3.92 against what they should have scored.
Managerial maestro David Moyes smashed expectations for his (second) West Ham debut in the dugout against Bournemouth last time out. Their xG haul of 2.10 during the 4-0 win was their third highest tally they’ve mustered all season, and the Hammers’ xG is now sitting at a much healthier -1.35 against what they should have scored.
Sheffield United vs. West Ham - Odds & Spreads
The Blades’ imperious form throughout most of the season and position in the table sees them priced as favourites in our football betting markets at 17/20. A draw between the two sides is priced at 13/5, with West Ham coming in behind at 16/5.
Chris Wilder’s Blades boast a Win Index of 14.75-16.25 against West Ham’s 7.5-9. We have Total Goals priced at 2.45-2.65, with their first Goal Times priced at 47-50 and 59-62 minutes respectively.
Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal - Arteta Has His Arsenal Back
7 wins, 7 draws and 7 losses is the definition of consistency and Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side have been nothing but consistent this campaign. The Eagles are in 9th place currently and are, in terms of xGA, the league’s best defensive side at the moment. The likes of Gary Cahill and Martin Kelly have been superb throughout the season and contributed to their xGA of +9.63 against what they should have conceded.
Let’s be honest here, Mikel Arteta has had a low bar to clear as Arsenal boss, given the two managers and their forms before him, but a dominant 2-0 win over Manchester United is the perfect way to prove yourself as the right man for the job. The win over United moved Arsenal up to 10th in the table on 27 points, 9 points off Champions League football and proving there’s still quite the mountain to climb for the Gunners.
Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal - Odds & Spreads
Arsenal look set to be on a bit of a roll at the moment, and come into the game as our favourites at 5/ 6. A draw between the two sides just edges out Palace as the next favourite at 11/4 and 3/1 respectively.
The Gunners are also boasting a very strong Win Index in our football spreads with their 14.75-16.25 towering over Palace’s 7.5-9. We have Total Goals for the game priced at 2.8-3, a First Goal Time of 33.5-36.5 minutes and Total Goal Minutes priced at 144-154.
Chelsea vs. Burnley - Can Lamps And Dyche Find Some Form?
Whilst they might have been denied a vital win by some seriously stunning circumstances at Brighton last time out, Chelsea have been struggling for consistency for some time now. Having won six in a row between September and November, the Blues have only won three of their past nine games, even if two of them did come against Spurs and Arsenal. What’s more worrying for Frank Lampard and co. is the fact that Chelsea are still leaky in defence with an xGA of -4.66 more goals than they should have conceded, and +4.23 goals fewer than they should have scored.
Burnley on the other hand are having a strange, troubling season so far. Sean Dyche’s men have lost six of their last eight games, however the really worrying thing about the Clarets this season is how their usual resolute structured approach has been pretty non-existent throughout. They have shipped goals for fun, racking up 34 in their 21 games, and their xGA of -6.45 more than they should have conceded is, by far, the worst in the division.
Chelsea vs. Burnley - Odds & Spreads
Despite their recent issues with form, Chelsea are strong favourites in our football betting odds at 2/7. A draw between the sides can be found way behind at 17/4, with Dyche’s side huge outsiders at 10/1.
Burnley are currently priced with a Win Index of 3-4 against Chelsea’s 20-21.25, with Total Goals for the game coming in at 2.85-3.05 and a First Match Goal Time of 32-35 minutes.
Everton vs. Brighton - Ancelotti Set To Keep The Bounce Going?
Everton’s shaky start to the season under Marco Silva has well and truly been put behind them. Their loss against Manchester City last time out was the first loss in five, taking the Toffees up to 11th in the table under the dynamic duo of Duncan Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti. The Toffees are currently sat with an xG of +1.61 against their goals from open play, however, that rises up to +3.19 more than they should have scored from corners, showcasing where some of their issues may lie.
Two losses in the past seven games is a symbol of Brighton really starting to adapt to life under Graham Potter, with the Seagulls putting in several impressive performances so far this season. In fact, turning promising performances into promising results has been the story of the season for the Seagulls, with Potter’s side racking up an xG of +3.27 fewer than they should have scored, and amassing +3.80 points fewer than they should have done.
Everton vs. Brighton - Odds & Spreads
Carlo Ancelotti’s men are currently priced as our market favourites for this game at 17/20, with a draw available at 11/4, while a win for the Seagulls is 3/1.
Everton’s Win Index currently comes in at 14.75-16.25, with Graham Potter’s Seagulls slightly further behind at 7.5-9. Total Goals for the game has been priced at 2.7-2.9, with a First Match Goal set for 33.5-36.5 minutes on the clock. You can also take a look at our Shirt Numbers spreads, which is currently at 24-27.
Leicester vs. Southampton - Danny Ings’ One-Man Mission For Survival
2019 was a great year for Brendan Rodgers and his young Leicester side, nestling themselves in amongst the big boys and remaining the division’s most overperforming sides. Whilst they were underwhelming in their much-hyped fixtures against Manchester City and Liverpool last month, Rodgers’ side still boast the best xG ratio of any side at -11.47 more goals than they should have scored, the second best xG of any side at +7.71 fewer goals than they should have conceded, and are sat with 10.31 points more than the stats would have expected them to achieve by now. Good stuff all round from the Foxes.
When Southampton were thumped 0-9 at Saint Mary’s in the reverse of this fixture back in October, most football fans, understandably, believed Southampton were dead and buried for the season. And whilst the Saints still possess the worst xG and xGA of any side in the division, their run of five wins and two draws in their past nine games has seen Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints climb themselves up to 12th in the table. Undoubtedly their experience in the league has shone through at the campaign’s most crucial moments, turning up wins against relegation rivals Watford, Norwich and Aston Villa.
Leicester vs. Southampton - Odds & Spreads
The Foxes are our market favourites for their match against the Saints on Saturday with odds of 8/15 against Southampton’s 5/1. You can get pricing on a draw between the two sandwiched in between at 16/5.
Rodgers’ men also enjoy a pretty dominant Win Index of 17.5-18.75 against Hasenhuttl’s side’s 5.25-6.5, with Total Goals currently priced at 2.9-3.1 and a First Goal Time of 33-36 minutes. A repeat of the Saint Mary’s massacre can be found in our spreads of Leicester To Score 4+ And Win at 6-9.
Man United vs. Norwich – How Long Can Solskjaer Keep Clinging On?
In a way, it’s easy to feel sorry for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer right now. With every dismal performance and bad result, there seems to be a fresh wave of calls for him to be booted out of a job. There’s definitely a Pochettino-shaped cloud surrounding Old Trafford these days, with the Red Devils five points off the top four and one of the most underperforming sides in terms of their expected points tally this season; 31 points from 21 games is roughly 7 points off from what they ‘should’ be on.
For a side that everyone had written off a few months ago, Norwich are making a good fist of their fight for survival. They might not have won since November 23rd and remain rock bottom of the table, but the recent draws against Spurs and Palace have demonstrated a real fight that Daniel Farke and co. can take real pride in.
Man United vs. Norwich - Odds & Spreads
Despite yet another bump in the road, Solskjaer and co. come into this game with favourite odds of 3/10 in our Premier League betting markets. You can find pricing on a draw and an away Norwich win way behind at 9/2 and 8/1 respectively.
Manchester United are currently priced with a Win Index of 19.75-21 and a First Goal Time of 37.5-40 minutes, with Norwich alternatively priced at 3.25-4.25 and with a First Goal Time of 65.5-68.5 minutes. We’ve also priced Total Goals across the ninety minutes for this game at 3.1-3.3.
Wolves vs. Newcastle - Bruce In Need Of A Win?
Given the size of their squad and their Fifa 20-esque fixture scheduling this season, Wolves have done remarkably well to stay at a competitive level in the league. Currently sat in 7th place and six points behind fourth, their back-to-back losses against Liverpool and Watford took Wolves to five losses for the season, with all but one of those being decided by a single goal.
Following a run of just two losses in nine games between October and December, Steve Bruce’s Newcastle have slumped to three pretty damning losses in a row and fallen to 13th in the table. The Toon are still running at the best ratio xPTS (Expected Points) against their performances of any side outside the top two however, with their haul of 25 points, a whopping -9.62 better than what they would be expected to be on.
Spurs vs. Liverpool - Is The Special One Still Special?
Tottenham’s recent run of performances have begun to look more like a side at the end of a Mourinho reign, rather than one still in the midst of a new manager bounce, with the North London side now on a run of just one win in their previous four games. Whilst Spurs’ xG ratio remains the best in the land at -8.83, their defence has continued to be uncharacteristically leaky under the Portuguese coach, shipping 13 goals in his 9 league games so far at an xGA of -3.88 worse than what they should have conceded.
Though Liverpool fans won’t believe it until it’s officially confirmed, Liverpool are already 2019/20 Premier League champions. They’ve only dropped points once this season in a truly astonishing run and sit with the league’s best ratio of xPTS to what they have accumulated so far. Talk of what would be just the second unbeaten Premier League campaign in history has been surprisingly quiet so far, however a couple more weeks without a loss could really bring that conversation more seriously to the table for the Reds.
Spurs vs. Liverpool - Odds & Spreads
Our soon-to-be champions are our favourites for this game at 7/10, with Spurs and a draw available at 10/3 and 16/5 respectively.
Liverpool’s complete dominance of the division so far sees them surge out in front of Spurs in our Win Index spreads at 15.75-17.25 and 6.75-8.25 respectively. These two sides have scored 85 goals between them so far this season with a combined xG of -14.9 more than what they were expected to net and we have Total Goals for the game priced at 2.95-3.15 and a First Goal Time of 30.5-33 minutes.
Manchester United vs. Newcastle - Odds & Spreads
Whilst they might be on a mission to drop as many points against the division's worst teams as possible, Manchester United are our traders' favourites at 4/11. A draw between the two sides edges out Newcastle as the next favourites at 15/4 and 15/2 respectively.
Solskjaer and co. are in desperate need of a win and boast a healthy Win Index of 19-20.25 against Newcastle's 3.75-5. Total Goals for the game has been priced at 2.85-3.05, with Total Goal Minutes currently priced in our Premier League spreads at 147-157 and Goal Rush at 35-38.
Bournemouth vs. Watford - A Proper Relegation Six-Pointer
After what looked like another solid start to their fifth Premier League campaign, the wheels have well and truly come off the Bournemouth bus. Littered with an injury list hauled straight out of a curse ritual, the Cherries have lost eight out of their previous ten games and are buried deep in their first real relegation battle since their promotion in 2015.
Watford, on the other hand, are easily riding high with their best burst of form all season. Since the appointment of legendary Ostrich-hater Nigel Pearson in early December, Watford have only lost once in six, winning three of the last four and finally moving off the foot of the table. Though taking their chances remains a slight issue with their xG of +7.43 from open play, their defence has really excelled under Pearson, with an xGA of +3.87 fewer goals conceded than we would have expected.
Bournemouth vs. Watford - Odds & Spreads
In what is easily our closest game to call this weekend, Eddie Howe’s Cherries are just slightly out in front as favourites at 6/4. Nigel Pearson’s side are ever so slightly behind them at 7/4, with a draw some ways back at 12/5.
Bournemouth’s Win Index is currently priced at 11.5-13 in our football spreads, with Watford’s alternatively available at 10.75-12.25. We have Total Goals for the game priced at 2.6-2.8, with both teams priced to score their First Goals at 51-54 and 52-55 minutes respectively.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester City - Can Pep Close The Gap?
The highest placed side that Aston Villa have beaten this season is 11th place Everton, with just one of Villa’s 21 points so far this season coming against sides currently in the top ten of the table. Whilst there certainly isn’t much wrong with making a habit of beating the sides around you, particularly when in a relegation battle like Aston Villa are, it doesn’t give you much hope that Dean Smith’s side are going to trigger an upset against Pep Guardiola’s imperious City side.
The Cityzens have effectively surrendered their Premier League crown to Liverpool this year, currently sitting in third place and with 14 points fewer on the board than their Merseyside rivals. Despite their drop in league position this season, Pep’s side are still the league’s highest scorers with a haul of 56 goals at an xG of just -0.43 against what they should have scored, showcasing that they’re also probably the division’s most clinical side as well.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester City - Odds & Spreads
Look away now Villa fans. We have Dean Smith’s side priced as rank outsiders for this game at 13/1, with City alternatively available at 2/11. A draw between the Villains and Cityzens can be found at 13/2.
Manchester City’s dominance carries into our spreads as well, boasting a Win Index of 21.5-22.5 against Aston Villa’s 2-3. We have Total Goals for the game priced at 3.85-4.05 with Total Goal Minutes available at 199-209 and a First Match Goal Time priced at 24-26.5 minutes on the clock.
Will Jose be able to prove he’s still special this weekend? Can Solskjaer cling on for another round of fixtures? Make sure you check out all of our latest football spreads and betting markets available on every Premier League game this weekend.