The Editors' Premier League Betting Battle 2019-20: Round 26
Can anyone catch Dan Thomas at the top of the table? The rest of the Betfair editors try their luck in a small pool of Premier League matches...
Goals destined at Molineux
Dan Thomas Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 in Wolves v Leicester @ 2.29
Dan is away.
Rainbow time at St Mary's
Jake Osgathorpe Back BTTS and Over 2.5 Goals in Southampton vs Burnley @ [2.33] (Same Game Multi) Saturday, 12:30 Live on Sky Sports
Southampton were lauded for their performance against Liverpool last time out, which is laughable given that the scoreline was very fair based on expected goals (xG: LIV 3.90 - 0.81 SOU) - I guess that's what you get for taking the game to the champions-elect.
That is something they have been doing a lot lately - playing on the front foot - given the confidence that their form has given them, meaning we have seen plenty of chances at both ends in Saints games.
Ralph's mob have played like that all season, being an extremely entertaining team to follow, shown by their xG averages both for (1.57) and against (1.77).
Fortunately for us, Burnley play the same way - and don't be put off by their 0-0 draw with Arsenal last time out, as that shouldn't have finished goalless given the chances in the game (xG: BUR 2.26 - 1.19 ARS).
Process-wise, they are very similar to Southampton, creating good chances (1.42) while being vulnerable defensively (1.54), so I expect to see goals here.
My battle bet on this weeks Football...Only Bettor podcast is a 2-1 correct score in this game, but I'm playing it safer in this battle, backing the BTTS and Over 2.5 goals double in a Same Game Multi at 2.33. That'll do.
A win and a clean sheet for rampant Reds
Joe Dyer Back Liverpool to win to nil v Norwich Saturday, 17:30 Live on Sky Sports
The title is all but won but I don't expect Liverpool to let up their relentless pace any time soon.
There are some lofty goals to aim for across the final 13 games - an unbeaten season and a record points total to name but two.
Saturday sees the Reds at bottom-placed Norwich and they are unsurprisingly very short odds-on to win.
However, factor in a clean sheet to an away victory and you can get a more than acceptable 2.30. Jurgen Klopp's side have blanked the opposition 11 times in 25 games so far and the backline has been in particularly strong form so far in 2020, keeping blanks in five of six Premier League games since new year.
I'm a fan of Norwich and I'm sure they'll attack the visitors but Liverpool a supreme winning machine and their miserly defence has repelled better attacks. With a clean bill of health across the defence, they should be able to overcome any changes in personnel and extend their dominant record.
Villa to take advantage of Spurs' away form
Jasmine Baba Aston Villa And Draw in the Double Chance market, Over 2.5 goals and "Yes" in Both Teams To Score v Tottenham @ 4.36 (Same Game Multi) Sunday, 14:00 Live on Sky Sports
As I said in my Premier League Top Six prediction preview, Tottenham are abysmal on the road, winning only two out of the twelve games they've faced away (D5-L5) this season and that increases to 18 games if you take into account last year (D5-L11). The fact they're odds on at 1.93 to win here, is not exciting me.
Aston Villa enjoyed some success, drawing away at Brighton and winning at home to relegation-battling rivals Watford but slipped up in their last match against Bournemouth. They're only one point away from dropping back into relegation too so will need to pick up points wherever they can to stay safe, and they will provide a tough test for the visiting side.
I'm not sure Villa have the quality to win, however. They have the joint worst defence in the league along with Norwich (47 goals conceded) and Spurs are unbeaten in their last 22 Premier League away games against promoted sides, but the 1.93 about the visitors is short enough to play against. The Aston Villa and Draw double chance selection is 10/11 but with both teams' defences not being reliable I'll pair it with the Over 2.5 Goals market, which has landed in four times Villa's last five matches and "Yes" in Both Teams To Score which pays out at around 33/10.
Ole to strike lucky again
Mike Norman Back Man Utd @4.70 to beat Chelsea Monday, 20:00 Live on Sky Sports
I'm starting to believe that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is more of a lucky manager than a good manager. He's lucky to be in one of the best jobs in the world for starters, and it seems that every time he goes through a bad spell and speculation about his future mounts, he gets a result or two to silence his critics.
Solskjaer was under huge pressure after his team failed to beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford in December. He responded by recording back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Man City. He was under pressure again after another home defeat - this time to Burnley - a few weeks back. He responded by winning 6-0 away in the FA Cup and again winning at Man City.
There's no doubt that United play better against the big teams, so perhaps it's a good omen that the Red Devils play Chelsea next after a week where Solksjaer's future has once again been questioned, with Mauricio Pochettino linked to his job in some quarters.
It's a huge game for sure as the race to finish in the top four hots up, and it's difficult to pick which side goes into the game in better form. Chelsea sit 10th in the Premier League Home table, United sit 10th in the Away table, so their respective home and away form is pretty much inseparable.
But Frank Lampard's men have taken just 15 points from their last 13 games, which is four points less than United have taken in the same period. And don't forget United thrashed Chelsea 4-0 at the start of the season. Based on everything I've said then, odds of 4.70 about an away win appeal much more than the 1.90 for a home win.