Premier League Preview | Matchday 23
Premier League Matchday 23: Weekend Betting Preview
2020 is proving to be quite the year in the Premier League. Last weekend’s results really shuffled up the table, with the previously ‘dead and buried’ Watford embarking on another Pearson masterclass to Premier League survival being the obvious highlight. The Ostrich-hating maverick sees his Hornets return back home this Saturday lunchtime to face off against an out of sorts Spurs.
Slightly higher up the table, we have the latest chapter in one of England’s most major rivalries as Anfield prepares to welcome Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s inconsistent United side. Whilst United have ensured that this is no longer a game that pits the best teams in the land up against eachother, there’s no denying what an appealing proposition it is for the Red Devils to be the ones to end Liverpool’s unbeaten run. Although it seems unlikely, it wouldn’t be the first time United have shocked the odds this season.
Watford vs. Tottenham - Pearson To Keep Up The Miracle Run?
Whilst it might not quite be at the level of his great escape with Leicester in 2014/15, Nigel Pearson has walked into Vicarage Road, home to a team that had won just once in their first seventeen games, and romped to an unbeaten run of five wins in their last six games and scoring eleven goals in the process.
Spurs, on the other hand, have hit another bump in what has been a pretty bumpy season so far for the boys from North London. Mourinho’s initial bounce back in London has well and truly been deflated in recent times, with Spurs recording just one win in their past five games. Since their last triumph against Brighton, which was arguably undeserved on the balance of play, Mourinho’s men have drawn against Norwich and racked up back-to-back losses against Southampton and Liverpool, dropping them down to 8th in the table.
Watford vs. Tottenham - Odds & Spreads
Spurs might not have much form on their side, however their class is enough to see them priced out as our favourites here at 5/4. Pearson’s in form Watford come in behind them at 2/1, with a draw between the two teams currently available at 5/2.
Watford’s Win Index currently comes in at 9.75-11.25 in our spreads, with Spurs alternatively available at 12.5-14. We have Total Goals currently priced at 2.7-2.9, with a First Goal Time of 34-37 minutes on the clock and a Total Goal Minutes spread currently priced at 138-148.
Arsenal vs. Sheffield United - The Battle For Europe Hots Up
Mikel Arteta certainly had a low bar to clear in terms of succeeding Unai Emery and Freddie Ljungberg, but broad consensus around the Emirates is that Arsenal are doing pretty well so far under the Spaniard. Two draws, one loss to Chelsea and a pretty emphatic win over United has seen the Gunners rise up to 10th in the table, still eleven points off Champions League football.
The Gunners are up against one of the best away sides in the division this weekend however, with Chris Wilder’s Champions League-worthy side only losing two away games across their league campaign so far. Those losses came up against Liverpool and Manchester City, and the Blades can still point to having the fourth best defensive record in the division, conceding 21 goals at an xGA (Expected Goals Against) of +6.30 fewer than what they were expected to concede.
Arsenal vs. Sheffield United - Odds & Spreads
Arsenal’s favourites tag translates to a Win Index of 15.25-16.75 against the Blades’ 7-8.5 in our latest spread markets. We have Total Goals for the game priced at 2.6-2.8, with both teams’ First Goal Time priced at 45.5-48.5 and 58.5-61.5 minutes respectively.
Brighton vs. Aston Villa - Another Relegation Six-Pointer
For a side that have been revitalised and attractive pretty much all season, Brighton looked pretty flat in last weekend’s loss at Goodison. Their xG (Expected Goals) from open play this season has risen to +6.34 against what they have scored, showcasing their wastefulness in front of goal and why it is they find themselves looking ever so nervously over their shoulders at the relegation trapdoor.
It’s probably fair to say that we’ve reached the ‘panic stations’ stage of the season for Dean Smith, John Terry and their Aston Villa side. Despite splashing the cash all summer, Villa are currently on a run of six losses in their past eight games and are on the back of an absolute trouncing by Man City last weekend. Only bottom side Norwich have lost more games than Villa this season.
Brighton vs. Aston Villa - Odds & Spreads
Brighton’s Win Index of 16.25-17.75 against Villa’s 6.25-7.75 highlights their favourites tag, with Total Goals in the game priced at 2.9-3.1 and a First Goal Time set at 30.5-44 minutes on the clock.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace - Does Pep Care About The League?
Over the course of their two title triumphs between 2017 and 2019, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City lost six times over two seasons. They’ve already racked up five losses this year and helped make this one of the most underwhelming title ‘races’ in Premier League history. They still remain the league’s top scorers with 62 goals at an xG of - 3.04 better than what they would have been expected to score, however the fourteen points between them and Liverpool is perhaps slightly more telling of City’s season so far.
If City is all about the attack, then Crystal Palace are the titans of defence. No side has a higher xGA than Palace’s +9.65, and their 24 goals conceded so far is only bettered by Liverpool and Sheffield United. Roy Hodgson might be the league’s oldest manager, but he’s continuing to work his wonders with the Eagles this year.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace - Odds & Spreads
Look away now Palace fans because, for as good as your defence has been this season, our traders have priced a win for the Eagles at 25/1 this weekend. City are unsurprisingly pretty solid favourites at 1/11, with a draw priced currently at 10/1.
City’s dominance translates to a 22.75-23.5 Win Index against Palace’s 1-1.75 in our football spread markets, with Total Goals for the game currently priced at 3.8-4. We have priced City’s First Goal at 29.5-32.5 minutes on the clock, and you can find a spread on City to repeat their Villa Park antics, score 4+ and win again at 0-1.5.
Norwich vs. Bournemouth - The Battle To Not Be The Worst
Time looks like it is increasingly running out for both these sides with the battle to avoid the bottom of the table looking like the best these two sides could hope for at the moment. Norwich have certainly become pretty familiar with the relegation zone over the course of the season, having been nestled in amongst the bottom three since matchday 8. They’ve won the fewest games, lost the most and have conceded the most amount of goals so far, showcasing exactly why they find themselves at rock bottom.
Whilst Norwich have been battling against the drop for most of the season, Bournemouth have had an implosion fit for this history books this season. Having risen up to 7th at the start of November following a win over Manchester United, Eddie Howe’s Cherries now find themselves with nine losses in their past eleven games and are looking in some serious, serious danger.
Norwich vs. Bournemouth - Odds & Spreads
Home advantage is always key in crunch games like this, and Norwich are our market favourites with odds of 23/20 against Bournemouth’s 11/5. With both sides needing a win, we have a draw between the two of them as the outsider with odds of 13/5.
Norwich’s home advantage translates to a Win Index of 13-14.5 against Bournemouth’s 9.25-10.75, with Total Goals for the game currently priced at 2.75-2.95. Total Goal Minutes has a spread of 141-151, and you can get prices on Both Teams To Score at 56-62.
Southampton vs. Wolves - Hassenhuttl To Keep The Good Times Rolling?
Who would have thought Southampton would go into matchday 22 12th in the table and seven points clear of danger. Six wins, two draws and just two losses in the past ten games has seen the Saints soar up the table, with the goals supplied by Danny Ings proving to be the bedrock foundation for this midseason revival. Though Southampton’s xG for the season is sat at an unhealthy +4.83 worse than what they should have scored, Ings’ form has seen him register an xG of -4.16 more goals than we would have expected to see him score so far this season. This is obviously a huge overperformance from the English striker and goes a long way in explaining Southampton’s huge rise up the table in recent times.
Two wins in the past seven games has left Wolves looking a little bit flat and potentially in need of some reinforcements. Nuno Espirito Santos’ side remain in 7th place, however the revival of Arsenal under Arteta and the threat of Jose Mourinho’s Spurs could really see them overtaken in the coming weeks.
Southampton vs. Wolves - Odds & Spreads
In what is looking like the toughest game of the weekend to call, we’ve actually gone with Southampton as our favourites at 6/4. They’re just ahead of Wolves on 9/5 and a draw between the two at 23/10.
There’s not much separating the sides in our spread markets either, with the two sides boasting a Win Index of 11.5-13 and 10.5-12 respectively. Total Goals for the game at St Mary’s has been priced at 2.5-2.7, with Total Goal Minutes coming in at 128-138 and a First Match Goal set to be timed at 36-39 minutes on the clock.
West Ham vs. Everton - Moyes Faces Former Team
David Moyes prepares to do battle with the club where he made his managerial name. The West Ham manager will be desperate to get all three points here with Moyes’ West Ham side losing ten of their past fourteen games.
Given how low West Ham are in the table, it might be surprising to see that they are actually outperforming themselves in both xGA and their xPTS (Expected Points) for the season. They’re nearly four points better off than we would expect them to be at this point in the season, and actually possess the third best xGA of +7.85 fewer goals than they should have conceded.
Everton have continued their revival under the dynamic duo of Carlo Ancelotti and Duncan Ferguson, climbing up to 11th in the table and level on points with Arsenal. The Toffees have only lost to Manchester City under the Italian in the league, but are still in the red for xG (+6.06), xGA (-3.03) and xPTS (+3.96) for the season.
West Ham vs. Everton - Odds & Spreads
In our spread betting markets, West Ham’s Win Index of 10-11.5 is just beaten out by Everton’s 12-13.5 with Total Goals for the game currently priced at 2.6-2.8 and a First Goal Time of 34.5-37.5 minutes on the clock.
Newcastle vs. Chelsea - Can Chelsea Push On?
Newcastle were able to bring a run of three straight losses to an end last time out against Wolves, battling away to a 1-1 draw. The Toon have been massively outperforming themselves all season; despite being the third lowest scoring team in the entire division, their xG is -2.99 better than what they should have scored and their defence has conceded +5.69 less goals than it should have. In fact, only Liverpool’s xPTS haul for the season is better than Newcastle’s -10.50; to put that into context, if you organise the league table in order of what each team ‘should’ have on the board, Newcastle would be 19th.
Chelsea returned back to form with an impressive 3-0 win over Burnley last weekend, keeping the gap between themselves and Manchester United in the top four at five points. Defence remains the fundamental issue for the Blues this season, having conceded more goals than the likes of Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Sheffield United below them.
Newcastle vs. Chelsea - Odds & Spreads
Chelsea’s Win Index is currently priced at 17.5-19 against Newcastle’s 5-6.25, with Total Goals for the game currently up for grabs at 2.8-3, with the First Match Goal predicted to come in at 31-34 minutes on the clock.
Burnley vs. Leicester - Brendan Looking To Bounce Back
It’s been a strange season for Burnley so far. Having started steadily enough, Sean Dyche’s side have really let themselves down since October time, racking up ten losses in their past fourteen games. They have conceded three goals or more in six games so far this season, their xGA has risen to nearly seven more than they have conceded and only Southampton, Norwich and Villa have conceded more goals this campaign.
Leicester’s near-perfect season hit a bit of a blip last time out with a surprising loss against Southampton at home. Besides the fairly underwhelming losses against Man City and Liverpool, it was one of the only times this year where the Foxes looked pretty ordinary; in fact, it was the first time since 19th October that Leicester hadn’t led the game in xG.
Burnley vs. Leicester - Odds & Spreads
Leicester’s dominance translates to a Win Index of 14.75-16.25 against Burnley’s 7.5-9. Total Goals for the game has been set at 2.65-2.85, with a First Goal Time of 34-37 minutes on the clock and a spread Total Goal Minutes of 136-146.
Liverpool vs. Manchester United - Can Solskjaer Deliver a Dream Win for United Fans?
Is all the winning getting boring yet, Liverpool fans? Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are still without a loss this season and are a whopping fourteen points clear of Manchester City, and with a game in hand for good measure. They might not have their name written on the trophy yet, but Liverpool are almost certainly this year’s Premier League champions.
Manchester United are probably the hardest team in the division to pin down and work out if they’re performing well or not. United currently sit five points off the top four thanks to some horrific performances against sides they should be thumping, but their 4-0 demolition of Norwich last week was a timely reminder of the power they boast in attack and the capability of occasionally producing a seriously good performance.
This clash of the titans is also part of Sporting Index’s Bad Beat special, whereby if you back a team and they lose the match but win on ‘Expected Goals’ then your stake will be refunded as a free bet! Max stake and full terms apply.
Liverpool vs. Manchester United - Odds & Spreads
In our spread markets, Liverpool’s dominance over the league this season sees them come into the game with a Win Index of 19-20.25 against United’s pretty limp 3.75-5. For reference United fans, that is the exact same Win Index we gave Aston Villa when they faced Liverpool… Total Goals for the game has been priced at 2.9-3.1, with a First Goal Time of 31.5-34.5 minutes. You can also get spreads for this game on the amount of corners (10.6-11.1), bookings (41-45) and shirt numbers (36-39).
The action continues to ramp up in the Premier League, but which sides do you think will come out on top this weekend? Will Liverpool make one giant leap towards the title? Can Eddie Howe turn things around at the bottom? Make sure you check out our leading Premier League spreads and top football odds for all of the best and latest markets from the world of sport.