The Editors' Premier League Betting Battle 2019-20: Round 19
No respite for the editors with the fixtures coming thick and fast and they have put their mince pies down to make selections for the Christmas action...
Rare chance to back imperious Reds at odds-against
Dan Thomas Back Liverpool to beat Leicester at2.14 Boxing Day, 20:00 Live on Amazon Prime
Yes, Liverpool are playing in every competition under the sun. Yes, they had a long way to travel back from the World Club Cup last weekend. But getting the chance to back the runaway leaders at better than 11/10? Yes please.
The Reds arguably played better football last season, but they have simply been a winning machine this season, able to eke out victories regardless of the quality of their play.
Leicester have been superb this season and deservedly sit in second place but their record against the top sides hasn't been great; losing to Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool in the reverse fixture, drawing with Wolves and Chelsea and needing VAR's help to beat Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs.
The defeat at City at the weekend followed a disappointing home draw with Norwich last time out at the King Power so it may just be a good time to play Brendan Rodgers' men, so I'll back the Reds to win yet again.
Dan Thomas 2019-20 P/L: +£66.20
Goals at Molineux
Jake Osgathorpe Back BTTS and Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.11] in Wolves vs Manchester City (Same Game Multi) Friday, 19:45 Live on Amazon Prime
Wolves bounced back well at the weekend, and rightly beat Norwich in the end to move back up to sixth.
Nuno's side continue to perform to a really high level, and have shown already this season how to cause Manchester City problems having beaten the champions 2-0 at the Etihad earlier in the season, and their record against the leagues best has been excellent since they returned back to the Premier League.
Their process is strong (1.68 xGF, 1.32 xGA per game) and their organisation, compactness and counter-attacking ability means they pose a serious threat to City once again.
Manchester City made light work of Leicester last weekend, rightly running out comfortable winners (xG: MCI 3.32 - 1.21 LEI) as they again won the xG battle. That's now all 18 games so far in which City have won the xG battle.
Process wise they are in another league to everyone else in the division (3.01 xGF, 1.09 xGA per game), but defensive issues remain, as they have kept only one clean-sheet in eight Premier League games, and that came against a very poor Arsenal side at the Emirates.
City will likely win again, but this is another tough test against a Wolves side that love mixing it with the big boys. I think the play here is to back goals, with BTTS and Over 2.5 goals in a Same Game Multi paying 2.11, which will do me nicely.
Jake Osgathorpe 2019-20 P/L: +£16.40
Unders a crazy outsider at Selhurst Park
Joe Dyer Back under 2.5 goals @2.04 in Crystal Palace v West Ham Boxing Day, 15:00 Live on Amazon Prime
Four games in December have brought four goals and I think it's fair to say that Crystal Palace are playing just like we expect a Roy Hodgson side to play.
Put simply, they are solid, not prolific in attack but tight at the back.
So I find it something of a surprise that under 2.5 goals is odds-against for their home game against West Ham on Boxing Day.
The visitors are something of a wildcard of course, capable of disastrous defending during their recent bad patch - and I have to say if reserve keeper David Martin doesn't make the game and Roberto plays instead then my bet looks far less solid - but three of their last four games have gone unders, too.
Given the choice between the two options I'd far rather be on unders so given it's the outsider in the market the wager looks a no-brainer.
Joe Dyer's 2019-20 P/L: +£9.90
Expect a reaction from Villa
Mike Norman Back Aston Villa @2.20 to beat Norwich Boxing Day, 15:00 Live on Amazon Prime
Villa were extremely poor last Saturday at home to Southampton, and as a result dropped into the relegation zone thanks to a 1-3 defeat. I fully expect a reaction from Dean Smith's men and rate them as a good bet to beat hapless Norwich.
If I'm wrong, and Smith doesn't get a reaction from his men, then I fear Villa are in huge trouble, so this is a massive game as we approach the halfway point of the season.
As I seem to regularly say, I always feel that Villa have goals in them, and a home game against Norwich is a golden opportunity to get back to winning ways.
The Canaries will be buoyed by earning a 1-1 draw at Leicester in their last away game but Daniel Farke's men are generally very poor on the road and went six consecutive away games on the spin without scoring a single goal before beating out-of-form Everton last month.
Villa won the reverse of this fixture 5-1 a few months back, they've accumulated most of their points at Villa Park, and they're playing a team below them in the table who have won just one of their last 13 matches.
If Villa perform like they did against the Saints then they will struggle here, but that game has to have acted as a huge wake-up call, and if they do get their act together than I feel that they're simply a better team than their Boxing Day opponents.
Mike Norman 2019-20 P/L: -£24.00
Wolves to be a thorn in Pep's side
Jasmine Baba Back Home or Draw double chance in Wolves v Manchester City @3.00 Friday, 19:45 Live on Amazon Prime
In the throws of the busy winter schedule and the fact that last year's defending champions haven't looked as good as the season before, I find it preposterous that a side that beat them in their own back yard earlier this season are 9.20 to complete the feat once again.
Of course I'm talking about Wolves facing Manchester City.
The home side were unlucky to lose to Tottenham the last time they played at the Molineux as they were by far the superior team but also Wolves have a reputation against bigger teams. They've drawn with Manchester United, Arsenal, Leicester, won at the Etihad as already mentioned. Out of the big teams they've faced they've only lost against Spurs and Chelsea. They also haven't lost consecutive home league games since January, when they lost against Liverpool and Crystal Palace.
I'm not still utterly convinced by Man City and I thought it could be another rough day for them when they conceded the first goal against Leicester on the weekend. They look defensively frail and could be on the receiving end of a tight tactical game with Nuno's men. The 3.00 for either a Wolves win or a draw to happen looks too big in this.