Saturday 5th December including Chelsea v Leeds

There’s four games in the Premier League on Saturday, and after profit last weekend, Tom Carnduff has six best bets for the action.

Everton head coach Carlo Ancelotti

Everton have endured a tough few weeks with results failing to come their way, but a trip to Burnley provides them with a great opportunity to get back on track. Victory would move Everton up to fourth in the table given their early kick-off time.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side started the season in fantastic form but injuries and suspension led to defeats. Four of their last five outings have been losses but the context of those is important. They weren’t at full strength for Newcastle, Southampton or Manchester United while Leeds are a tough opponent.

They will still have that issue at full-back but that won’t be as big of a problem against Burnley, who have questions of their own at the back surrounding goalkeeper Nick Pope. This Everton attack will be looking forward to coming up against an opponent who conceded five last time out.

Burnley sit 19th in the table and the Infogol model based on performance backs that up. They actually have the fourth-best xGA rate so their defence is usually solid enough, but an xG of 7.7 after nine games is the second-worst, with West Brom sitting bottom on 7.4.

Even with this Everton attack, there is a reluctance to back goals given the Burnley defence but the even money price on an away win looks great value, especially when we consider the context behind this recent poor run. It should also be mentioned that both sides have conceded 17 this season.

Abdoulaye Doucoure scores Everton’s third goal

The Toffees have 19 on their tally and can grab a couple more in their trip to Turf Moor. One name to keep an eye on is Abdoulaye Doucoure, the Everton midfielder scored in their recent 3-2 victory over Fulham. The 33/1 available for him to score from outside the box with Sky Bet is worth a small play.

We’re not predicting a 40-yard screamer here but we have seen Doucoure looking to score from the edge of the area. He has also posted at least one shot in each of his last six Premier League appearances. What is interesting is that Doucoure averages an xG rate of 0.16 per game, James Rodriguez, who is as short as 2/1 to score anytime, is on 0.21.

34% of Everton’s shots this season have come from outside of the area while Burnley have conceded 36% of their shots against from the same area. Everton look good value to secure three valuable points here, in a game where Doucoure can grab his second of the campaign.

Score prediction: Burnley 0-2 Everton (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)

Best bet: Everton to beat Burnley at Evens

Best bet: Abdoulaye Doucoure to score from outside the area at 33/1

Opta facts

  • None of the 12 Premier League meetings between Burnley (5 wins) and Everton (7) have been drawn, with only Man Utd v Wigan (16), Aston Villa v Derby (14) and Man Utd v Watford (14) being played more often in the competition without a draw.
  • No side has scored fewer Premier League goals than Burnley this season (4), while the Clarets have also attempted the fewest shots (83) and shots on target (24) in the competition so far (albeit having played a game fewer than most).
  • Burnley have had the most build up attacks against them (sequences of 10+ passes that end with a shot or touch in the box) in the Premier League this season (37), while at the other end of the pitch the Clarets have had fewer build up attacks than any other side (5).
  • This game will be Burnley manager Sean Dyche’s 200th Premier League match in charge, making him the 35th different manager to reach that milestone. Only four of the previous 15 English managers to reach the milestone have won their 200th match (Alan Pardew, Roy Hodgson, Steve Bruce and Glenn Hoddle).
  • Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored the opening goal in more different Premier League games than any other player this season (4).

For the second weekend in a row, Manchester City host a game where the odds heavily favour a home victory. They delivered in their annual 5-0 hammering of Burnley and they face another side at the bottom end of the table in Fulham.

Scott Parker’s men upset the odds with victory at Leicester on Monday but they are very likely to leave empty-handed here; 20/1 is the price on Fulham picking up all three points on offer. However, despite the odds heavily against them, they do have the potential to score at least once.

It’s even money that Fulham get onto the scoresheet but their position in the table doesn’t necessarily reflect their attacking ability. Their xG figure this season is 14.0, Manchester City sit just above them on 14.6. They have scored eleven goals across their ten games so far.

They netted three away at Leeds, two at Leicester, one at Sheffield United and should have scored at West Ham, although Ademola Lookman looked to Panenka a penalty in the last second, the less said on that the better. To be fair to Lookman, he has since redeemed himself with two good performances.

Ivan Cavaleiro celebrates after scoring his penalty against Leicester

Much was made of Fulham’s poor penalty run but one name worth backing in the goalscorer market at an attractive 15/2 with a few bookmakers is Ivan Cavaleiro. He ended that ‘curse’ from the spot in the win at Leicester and has been playing as a striker in their last two games, where Fulham have combined for four goals.

Across those two games as a striker, against good opponents in Everton and Leicester, Cavaleiro has seen a total of six shots. It’s now clear that he is also the designated penalty taker, which gives further hope to that 15/2 price considering they have been awarded five so far – only Leicester have more with eight.

Fulham’s performances should have brought more goals. Since the opening day defeat to Arsenal, they have posted an xG figure of above 1.0 in eight of their nine matches (0.82 in the 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa falling short). While the odds may not suggest it, they could well grab a goal here.

Even with Aleksandar Mitrovic on the bench, it would be harsh to drop Cavaleiro based on the performances of recent weeks and the fact he did score last time out. With the prices elsewhere so low given the expected one-sided nature of the contest, backing the Fulham man to feature and to score gives us the best odds in what should be a fairly comfortable City win.

Score prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Fulham (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)

Best bet: Ivan Cavaleiro to score anytime at 15/2

Opta facts

  • Fulham are winless in their last 15 meetings with Man City in all competitions (D3 L12) since a 3-1 Premier League win at the Etihad in April 2009.
  • Manchester City have only failed to score in one of their 26 Premier League meetings with Fulham (W13 D9 L4), doing so in a goalless draw at the Etihad in March 2004.
  • 75% of Fulham’s Premier League victories against Man City have come away from home (3/4), with the Cottagers winning at the Etihad in April 2006 (2-1), April 2008 (3-2) and April 2009 (3-1).
  • Manchester City’s 5-0 victory over Burnley last time out was the 45th time the Citizens have scored 5+ goals in a single Premier League match, with only Manchester United (46) doing so more often in the competition’s history. 21 of these 45 have been under Pep Guardiola’s management.
  • Following their 2-1 win at Leicester last time out, Fulham are looking to pick up consecutive away Premier League victories for the first time since August 2013, while they last won two in a row on the road within the same season back in May 2011.

West Ham v Manchester United

West Ham can make a strong case for being the surprise package of the season. A period of questionable transfer activity during the off-season combined with a tough start to the campaign led to many believing they will be battling relegation. After ten games, they sit fifth with 17 points on their tally.

On the flip side, Manchester United continue to be unpredictable under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They beat a top German side in RB Leipzig 5-0 while losing 6-1 to Tottenham. Consistency remains an issue and they were beaten by PSG in the Champions League last time out.

This game does look a tough one to call based on West Ham’s record so far this season but maybe the away side do represent decent value if choosing a result in the outright market. Instead, while it dives into an odds-on price, it’s worth siding with over 2.5 goals here.

Each of Manchester United’s last seven away games in all competitions have seen three or more goals scored, while West Ham have hit the same target in six of their ten Premier League contests so far.

Marquinhos scores against Manchester United

It’s a tough task for this United side to keep a clean sheet, they have only done so once in their last five games, with the Hammers scoring in each of their last 12 games. Both teams scoring is priced at 4/6, but there is 4/5 available on three or more goals happening.

Both teams are on 14.9 xGF this season, while West Ham have a worse xGA rate by 1.5. That said, they have played a game more than Saturday’s opponents. United are averaging 3.5 goals per game in the Premier League so far, West Ham sit on 2.8.

With little desire to take either result, it’s worth backing this game providing the goals as we have seen so much from both teams in recent weeks. As mentioned before though, if I was forced to opt for an outright outcome, I’d probably be leaning towards the away side due to their unpredictable nature.

Score prediction: West Ham 1-2 Manchester United (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)

Best bet: Over 2.5 goals at 4/5

Opta facts

  • West Ham have won their last two Premier League home games against Manchester United – they’ve not won three in a row at home against the Red Devils in the top-flight since a run of four between January 1974-December 1977.
  • After a run of 11 wins in 12 Premier League games against West Ham (D1) between 2008-2014, Manchester United have won just three of their last 11 against the Hammers in the competition (D5 L3).
  • This will be just the fourth Premier League meeting between West Ham and Man Utd with the Hammers starting above the Red Devils, following a 0-0 draw in August 1998, and 2-1 wins for Man Utd in August 1995 and September 2014.
  • Edinson Cavani is averaging a goal or assist every 32 minutes in the Premier League so far this season (3 goals, 1 assist, 128 minutes), having a hand in all three of Man Utd’s goals after coming off the bench in their 3-2 comeback win at Southampton last time out.
  • Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has scored in each of his last five Premier League away games – the last player to score in six consecutive away league appearances for the Red Devils was Denis Law in March 1964.

Leeds have not disappointed in the Premier League season. Marcelo Bielsa’s side are entertaining and picked up a deserved win at Everton last time out. The odds heavily favour Chelsea here, and whatever happens, they know that games like this won’t really define their season.

Big-spending Chelsea are in fantastic form having avoided defeat in their last 12 games in all competitions, eight of those have ended in victory. Wednesday’s win at Sevilla was the seventh time during that run where they have scored at least three goals.

It will be interesting to see what type of game this will turn out to be. Chelsea’s run of games there have been fairly unchallenging and they’ve beaten teams they would have been expected to. As Joe Townsend points out, they are yet to really impress when facing those around them at the top.

Leeds are fearless and will play their way, regardless of the opponent. They have conceded four in three games this season, but they are balancing it out with their 15 goals scored in ten games. When it comes to expected goals, only Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham can boast a higher figure.

Leeds celebrate Raphinha’s goal at Everton

With this in mind, there is a huge 22/1 bet worth taking on and that is on Leeds having 18 or more total shots on Saturday. A big ask, but one they have done on multiple occasions. Bielsa’s men had 23 at Everton and 25 against Arsenal the week before.

At Aston Villa, they had an eye-watering 27 shots. Against Manchester City, despite the game finishing 1-1, their xG figure was 2.71. They may be a newly-promoted team, but Leeds are approaching these games in the right way. They are challenging the traditional ‘big hitters’ in contests that are essentially free hits.

It’s a big ask for Leeds to have at least 18 here, of course, but it’s worth a small play just in case the game turns out that way. Looking elsewhere, it’s also worth a play on Leeds tackles given their high number and Mateusz Klich stands out in this area.

A number of Leeds players make a claim for backing in the stats markets, Luke Ayling being one in tackles, but 9/4 is available on Klich seeing three or more successful tackles. He has hit that target in three of Leeds’ five away games this season.

Mateusz Klich scores his penalty against Fulham

The Whites see a high tackle count in away fixtures and that trend should continue at Stamford Bridge. They had 19 tackles at Everton, 25 at Crystal Palace and a huge 34 in their game at Liverpool. With above 2/1 available, it’s worth backing Klich to have at least three of those.

Ultimately, while Leeds could give a good account of themselves, Chelsea have the form and should secure victory here. Leeds seem cursed when it comes to games in London and that bad fortune is unlikely to come to an end against a team who should be aiming for the title.

Score prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Leeds (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)

Best bet: Leeds to have 18+ total shots in Chelsea v Leeds at 22/1

Best bet: Mateusz Klich to have 3+ tackles in Chelsea v Leeds at 9/4

Opta facts

  • Chelsea won their last meeting with Leeds in all competitions, winning 5-1 at Elland Road in a League Cup tie in December 2012. This will be the first league meeting between the sides since a 1-0 win for the Blues at Stamford Bridge in May 2004.
  • Leeds have lost their last three Premier League away games against Chelsea (between 2002-2004), as many as they’d lost in their first nine in the competition at Stamford Bridge (W2 D4 L3).
  • Leeds have won just one of their last 21 away league games against London sides (D6 L14), beating QPR 3-1 in December 2017. In the top-flight, the Whites have lost their last four games in the capital by an aggregate score of 1-12.
  • Leeds’ Premier League matches this season have seen more shots taken than any other side in the competition (289), with the Whites ranking second for most shots (153) and fifth for most shots faced (136). Five of Leeds’ 10 Premier League games this season have seen 30+ shots.
  • Only Son Heung-min (7) and Jamie Vardy (7) have scored more away Premier League goals than Leeds’ Patrick Bamford this season, with six of his seven strikes in the competition so far coming on the road (86%).

Odds correct at 1600 GMT (03/12/20)

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