Tottenham v Man City; Newcastle v Chelsea; Man United v West Brom; Aston Villa v Brighton


The Premier League returns after the international break and Tom Carnduff has four best bets for Saturday’s action.



Tottenham v Manchester City

The highlight of Saturday’s Premier League action comes in the evening kick-off when Tottenham will be hoping they can continue their fine start to the campaign as they welcome a Manchester City side who recently tied Pep Guardiola to a new deal.

City are odds-on for victory here and that can be put down to their run of good results since the shock 5-2 home defeat to Leicester in September but Spurs have demonstrated that they have grown under Jose Mourinho’s guidance.

Perhaps crucially, they have also shown that they can continue to get results during a hectic schedule where they were balancing Premier League, Carabao Cup and Europa League involvement. In 15 competitive games this season, Tottenham have lost just twice.

Sporting Life’s RequestABet for Tottenham v Manchester City

Ten of those games ended in victory in 90 minutes and they of course beat City in this fixture last term. City’s away performances this season have varied – they drew with Leeds and West Ham before narrowly getting past struggling Sheffield United.

It’ll be interesting to see how Tottenham approach this game and whether Mourinho goes back to his previous self after overseeing a very attack-minded team so far. He’s an expert at shutting games down and neutralising an opponent with a strong attack of their own. That is easier said than done against this City side.

They stayed with their attacking mentality in the 6-1 hammering of Manchester United and it’s clearly a winning formula. Big game management comes into it but Tottenham have enough about them to get past this City side on current form.

READ: Can Tottenham win the Premier League?

In terms of the individual bets, Serge Aurier is a decent one when it comes to bookings with Mike Dean in charge. He’s likely to come in for the unavailable Matt Doherty and had a huge four fouls in his last Premier League outing (3-3 v West Ham). He can be backed at 9/4 with Sky Bet to be shown a card.

But the best bet can be found in the outright market and backing Tottenham to continue their good run of results so far. It’s a win that would see them reclaim top spot in the Premier League whatever happens in the earlier kick-offs.

Score prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Manchester City (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)

Best bet: Tottenham to win at 16/5

Opta facts

  • Tottenham won this exact fixture 2-0 last season, ending a run of six Premier League games without a win against Manchester City (D2 L4).
  • Only against Chelsea (26) have Manchester City lost more Premier League games than they have vs Tottenham (24).
  • Tottenham have won both of their meetings with Man City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions, last winning three home games in a row against the Citizens between 2005-2009 (a run of 6).
  • Tottenham have only lost two of their 20 Premier League games against Man City when above them in the table (W15 D3), though this is the first such meeting since January 2017 (2-2).
  • Following their opening weekend defeat against Everton, Tottenham are now on the longest current unbeaten run in the Premier League (7 – W5 D2). Spurs are looking to win four consecutive league games for the first time since February 2019 under Mauricio Pochettino.

Manchester United v West Brom

Some positive results against PSG and RB Leipzig in the Champions League have made an awful start to the season seem better for Manchester United. They are 14th with just ten points from a possible 21. Not many would have expected only four places to separate these two sides by now.

The form at Old Trafford remains a concern but this game does give them the opportunity to wrap up that first home league win of the season. Arsenal were successful last time out, Tottenham hit six and Crystal Palace won 3-1. The problems are there and a lack of consistency is an issue that won’t go away for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

West Brom’s away form is hardly going to convince anyone to take the 9/1 available on an away win. Manchester United’s -1 handicap price of 19/20 is decent enough if we’re searching for an outright option but backing the hosts to pick up a couple of cards brings a much better 13/10.

While the expectation is that the Baggies will see the majority of the bookings, their form throughout the campaign suggests that might not be the case. They’ve only been shown more cards in one of their last five outings and sit low in the Premier League cards chart.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores against Manchester United

Manchester United, on the other hand, have been seeing cards on a more regular basis. They have had 20+ booking points in four of their last six contests while they have had 10+ in all 12 of their competitive games this season. It doesn’t matter which opponent they are against, Solskjaer’s men are regularly picking up bookings.

The bonus for this bet is that West Brom have seen plenty of fouls committed against them. They sit second in the Premier League in this area (13 per game), only Aston Villa with Jack Grealish have seen more. There is also David Coote’s appointment as referee, an official who has shown at least three yellow cards in six of his seven outings this season.

With all this in mind, it’s a surprise to see United at odds-against for 20+ booking points and Betfair provide the best price at 13/10, although Sky Bet come close at 5/4 if that price disappears. Rather than take the little value in the outright market, the best bet can be found in the cards.

Score prediction: Manchester United 2-0 West Brom (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)

Best bet: Manchester United 20+ booking points at 13/10

Opta facts

  • Manchester United haven’t lost consecutive league matches against West Brom since December 1980, with the Baggies winning their last Premier League encounter with Man Utd 1-0 in April 2018.
  • West Brom have won three of their last five away league games against Man Utd (D1 L1), including their last such visit in April 2018 (1-0). The Baggies had won just one of their last 31 league visits to face Man Utd prior to this run.
  • Man Utd have failed to score in three of their last four home league games against West Brom, as many as in their previous 53 such matches against them. Indeed, the Red Devils have failed to score in their last two against West Brom at home, last going three in a row without scoring at Old Trafford vs an opponent against Arsenal in September 1982.
  • Manchester United are winless in their four Premier League home games so far this season (D1 L3), while they’re winless in their last six at home overall in the competition (D3 L3). They last failed to win any of their first five at home in a league season back in 1972-73, while they last had a longer overall winless home run in March 1978 (7 games).
  • Manchester United have conceded more home goals than any other side in the Premier League this season (10). Meanwhile, the Red Devils have lost three home league games already, only losing more in two Premier League campaigns (7 in 2013-14, 6 in 2001-02).

Chelsea celebrate Timo Werner’s goal

Chelsea’s five-game run of clean sheets came to an end against Sheffield United last time out but the important factor is that they have been winning those contests. The last four have all ended in victory with at least a three-goal margin.

It should be expected given their Champions League group but they are in the right area of the Premier League table too. Against a Newcastle side who have picked up points but have failed to inspire, Frank Lampard should enjoy another win to take back on the long trip home to London.

Newcastle’s home form has been hit-and-miss. They beat an Everton side missing key players while also securing victory over struggling Burnley. But they have been beaten by three-goal margins against both Brighton and Manchester United.

The hosts sit 13th in the but Infogol’s model based on performance has them in 15th. For Chelsea, they have been performing as a top-three team and that should show in the first game back following the international break.

Hakim Ziyech is a name to watch after his impressive showings during limited minutes and the 12/5 with Sky Bet for him to score anytime could be worth consideration when searching the goalscorer markets. He scored against Burnley and picked up two assists against Sheffield United.

But, with Chelsea’s convincing margins of victory in mind, the 11/8 available on the away side on the -1 handicap looks great value. Chelsea’s seven wins across all competitions this season have all been by two goals or more – when they are winning they are doing so comfortably.

With an away win priced at lower than 1/2 in the outright betting, the better price comes in the handicap markets. It’s 7/2 that Chelsea win with a -2 handicap but playing it safer and taking the -1 still provides good enough value. Chelsea can, briefly, enjoy top spot in the Premier League on Saturday.

Score prediction: Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)

Best bet: Chelsea (-1 handicap) to beat Newcastle at 11/8

Opta facts

  • Newcastle have lost just one of their last seven Premier League home games against Chelsea (W5 D1), winning this exact fixture last season courtesy of Isaac Hayden’s 90th minute strike.
  • Chelsea have won five of their last seven Premier League meetings with Newcastle (L2), though the Blues have only managed to keep one clean sheet in this run – a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge last season.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in six Premier League games (W3 D3), with only Spurs on a longer current such run in the competition (7). The Blues have netted at least three goals in five of those six games, failing to score in the other.
  • No side has had fewer shots in the Premier League this season than Newcastle (64). However, the Magpies have scored 10 goals, giving them a shot conversion rate of 15.6% – their highest on record in a single top-flight campaign (since 1997-98).
  • Chelsea have had more 10+ open play passing sequences (157) and more build up attacks (29), than any other side in the Premier League this season.

Ollie Watkins celebrates a goal against Arsenal

Aston Villa couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Premier League campaign. They have picked up 15 points from a possible 21 and sit in the top-six after seven games. Brighton, on the other hand, are still struggling to win matches. The one positive at least is that they have been picking up points.

They aren’t actually a bad side but the lack of wins remains a huge concern and it isn’t a problem exclusive to this season. The four teams below Brighton in the table have failed to impress but they could easily be dragged into a relegation scrap if results don’t start coming on a more regular basis.

Villa’s 6/5 price immediately grabs the eye given their current position in the table but the 13/5 on a draw is better here given Brighton’s involvement. The lack of wins is one thing but they have drawn three of their last four, with defeats coming against an Everton side who made a great start and Tottenham who could well be serious title contenders.

I am always hesitant to back the outright results given the nature of this Brighton side. Not a bad team at all but one with little productivity, which feels like an odd statement given how they are in double figures for goals scored after eight games.

Brighton celebrate Alexis Mac Allister’s late derby day goal at Selhurst Park

However, this fixture does present a great chance of a high corner count given their records so far. Villa had eleven in their home contest against Southampton and followed that up with eight at Arsenal. For Brighton, they have won the corner battle in their last four away games in all competitions.

Both teams sit inside the top-four for total corners taken in the Premier League this season so it sets it up to be a game with a high count. The question is how many, but given the recent form of both, backing over 11.5 at a price of 17/10, as low as 6/4 elsewhere, looks the best value.

I’d avoid this game for the Saturday accumulators but if I was forced to pick an outright option I’d settle on the draw. Instead, going for corners is the best avenue.

Score prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)

Best bet: Over 11.5 corners at 17/10

Opta facts

  • Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last eight league meetings with Brighton (W4 D4), since a 0-1 defeat in December 1980.
  • Brighton have never won away against Aston Villa in all competitions, drawing three and losing nine of their 12 games. Indeed, the Seagulls have lost all five of their visits to Villa Park in the top-flight.
  • Aston Villa have won five of their seven Premier League games so far this season (L2), netting 18 goals in the process. It took the Villans 13 games to score as many Premier League goals last season, while they picked up their fifth win in their 19th game in 2019-20.
  • Aston Villa have won three Premier League games by a margin of 3+ goals this season, as many as they had in their previous four campaigns in the competition combined (1 in 2013-14, 1 in 2014-15, 0 in 2015-16, 1 in 2019-20). They last won more by such a margin in a single top-flight season back in 2007-08 (6).
  • Brighton are winless in their last six Premier League matches (D3 L3). However, 12 of the Seagulls’ last 15 Premier League points have been won in away games (80%).

Odds correct at 1430 GMT (19/11/20)

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