Betting Tips and Previews: Premier League 2018

Super Sunday - Manchester City v Arsenal + Chelsea v Manchester United

Super Sunday from 13:30pm Sunday 5th November 2017

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Super Sunday: A decisive weekend in the title race!?



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London takes on Manchester in two fixtures which the two capital clubs must win if their respective title hopes are not to be completely extinguished. Chelsea entertain Manchester United before Arsenal travel to the Etihad, the latest victims of a rampant Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s team top the table with 28 points, five clear of their neighbours. Both Chelsea and Arsenal are trailing in their wake, nine points behind.

If either of them slip up, it’s only mathematics which will keep them in the title race. Twelve points, at this stage of the season, is an almost insurmountable gap which will only get wider.

Bet & claim Betfair Sportsbook 33/1 Chelsea v 40/1 Man Utd

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Bet & claim Betfair Sportsbook 33/1 Chelsea v 40/1 Man Utd

Chelsea vs. Manchester United

Starkly contrasting fortunes for the two clubs in the Champions League with Manchester United moving to the cusp of the knockout phase while Chelsea capitulated against Roma. It was arguably the worst performance during Antonio Conte’s reign.

Manchester United might not be as expansive as Roma but will be equally as difficult to score against. Just four Premier League goals conceded all season and the recent criticism of the team’s performances underlines the Jose Mourinho philosophy: do not concede a goal. Only Stoke City and Huddersfield Town managed that this season, underlining the size of the task awaiting Chelsea.

Thibault Courtois labelled the match “must-win”, cranking up the pressure on himself and his team-mates. The defensive weaknesses in Rome, with Chelsea’s exposure to long diagonal passes into the centre of the back three will not be unnoticed by United’s manager, with Mkhitaryan and Mata more than capable of the finishes Stephan El Shaarawy provided.

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N’Golo Kante is set to return to the starting line-up, most likely partnering Bakayoko although Cesc Fabregas was until midweek, in good form. Kante’s return can’t come soon enough, particularly with the powerful Matic and scrappy Herrera more than able to provide a platform for the counter-attack. It’s no exaggeration to say the Frenchman’s absence has been glaring in recent weeks and a key reason why Chelsea find themselves in the position they are in.

Expecting a high-scoring affair seems folly with neither side freescoring. Attention focuses on £75m man Romelu Lukaku, returning to Stamford Bridge, but without a club goal since 30th September when he scored against Crystal Palace.

There were signs against Tottenham and Benfica that he is rediscovering his form but until the net bulges, questions will still be asked about the Belgian. Despite this, he remains United’s top scorer with 7 goals.

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Behind him, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have 4 and 3 each in the league with the England international’s form drawing the attention of Real Madrid, according to newspaper speculation. Martial, with the winner against Tottenham last weekend, is gradually regaining Jose Mourinho’s trust but it’s hard to see him

Alvaro Morata is enduring a similar spell with Chelsea. His goal in Madrid six games ago, was his last for the club as his form has dipped in much the same trajectory as Chelsea’s. With only Michy Batshuayi in reserve, Conte is unlikely to change his leading striker. Morata provides an aerial threat, but United’s well-organised defence will prove a tough test for the Spaniard.

If Morata is kept quiet, Chelsea are struggling to score with neither Pedro nor Eden Hazard in a rich vein of form in front of goal. Marcos Alonso and Batshuayi are Chelsea’s next leading scorers in the league with two goals apiece which underlines the extent of their problems.

Injuries:

Chelsea: Moses (out); Kante (doubtful)

Manchester United: Fellaini, Ibrahimovic, Rojo (out); Carrick, Lingard, Pogba (doubtful)

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FORM (Last six Premier League games)

Chelsea  DWLLWW
Manchester United  WWWDLW

STATS

  • Manchester United have lost 3 of their last 38 Premier League fixtures.
  • Chelsea have scored less than 2.5 goals in four of their last six in the Premier League.
  • Manchester United have 10 clean sheets in their last 12 Premier League games.
  • Jose Mourinho hasn’t won an away game at a top six side in the Premier League since August 2015, with just two goals scored in that time.

CURRENT MATCH ODDS (BEST PRICED ODDS)

Chelsea: 8/5 – Bet Victor - Visit Bet Victor!

Draw: 21/10 – Ladbrokes - Visit Ladbrokes!

Manchester United: 21/10 – Betfair Sportsbook - Visit Betfair Sportsbook!

HEAD TO HEAD

Last six meetings        
Date Competition    Result  
16/04/2017 EPL  Manchester United  2-0  Chelsea
13/03/2017 FAC  Chelsea  1-0  Manchester United
23/10/2016 EPL  Chelsea  4-0  Manchester United
07/02/2016 EPL  Chelsea  1-1  Manchester United
28/12/2015 EPL  Manchester United  0-0  Chelsea
10/04/2015 EPL  Chelsea  1-0  Manchester United

 

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Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Who can stop Manchester City? No-one so far this season. Unbeaten in every competition, they qualified for the Round of Sixteen in the Champions League with a fine 4 – 2 win in Napoli, becoming the first English club to do so.

It’s hard not to be impressed by Manchester City this season with the swagger about their play a joy to watch. The runners from midfield in support of the attack provide many more options than any other team in the top flight.

They aren’t infallible, but Everton are the only team to take points off them this season. And crucially, only Wolverhampton Wanderers stopped them scoring this season.

However, Arsenal were the last team to beat Manchester City; 2 – 1 at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. It was a gutsy performance by the Gunners, with Alexis Sanchez netting the winner. The Chilean will be the centre of attention with the transfer rumours surrounding his future and the collapsed summer move.

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Sanchez scored his first Premier League goal of the season at Everton in the mesmerising 5 – 2 win at Goodison Park but with assists in that match as well as the home win over Brighton, there are signs the Chilean is getting back to his best form.

Defensively, Arsenal are struggling. Petr Cech, still a good goalkeeper, is developing worrying lapses in his game, with Swansea the latest to exploit them last weekend. It’s been a month since they kept a clean sheet in the league – vs. Brighton at home – while the trip to Stamford Bridge in September is their only away game in which they stopped the opposition scoring.

That performance, with Arsenal compact, hardworking and disciplined, involved dropping Alexis and Mesut Ozil to the bench. Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi replaced them on that occasion. The England man is out but it won’t be a surprise if Jack Wilshere drops into the starting XI in place of the German.

Arsenal’s biggest issue is in defence with Shkodran Mustafi out, meaning either Per Mertesacker or the more mobile Rob Holding forming the final part of the defensive trio with Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal.

Whomever Wenger chooses, he needs his back five and midfield to concentrate, diligent and robust. The costly mistakes which haunt most of their games this season must be avoided.

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City meanwhile have an embarrassment of riches, more than capable of embarrassing defences. If Arsenal stop De Bruyne, Sane, Silva or Sterling steps in. Likewise, nullify Gabriel Jesus and Aguero is in front of goal.

Unsurprisingly, Guardiola’s team is vulnerable at the back. Napoli’s quick movement carved them open in midweek, which is Arsenal’s forte on the counter. As ever, the question is whether City will score more than they concede. In most cases this season, it’s been a resounding ‘Yes’; can Arsenal find the answer?

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FORM (Last six Premier League games)

Manchester City  WWWWWW
Arsenal  DWWLWW

CURRENT MATCH ODDS (BEST PRICED ODDS)

Manchester City: 4/9 – Betfred - Visit Betfred!

Draw: 17/4 – Unibet - Visit Unibet!

Arsenal: 6/1 –  Betfair Sporsbook - Visit Betfair Sportsbook!

HEAD TO HEAD

Last six meetings        
Date Competition    Result  
23/04/2017 FAC  Arsenal  2-1 Manchester City
02/04/2017 EPL  Arsenal  2-2 Manchester City
18/12/2016 EPL  Manchester City  2-1 Arsenal
08/05/2016 EPL  Manchester City  2-2 Arsenal
21/12/2015 EPL  Arsenal  2-1 Manchester City
18/01/2015 EPL  Manchester City  0-1 Arsenal

SUMMING UP!

What a weekend in prospect; Chelsea and Manchester United whets the appetite for the main course of Manchester City versus Arsenal.

Chelsea, out of sorts and lacking inspiration, take on a functional Mourinho side in a match which promises to be a battle with few goals. The two best goalkeepers in the division face each other with David De Gea in the better form.

Thibault Courtois meanwhile mirrors the Blues collectively. The Blues is apt for the way this match will most likely pan out. Home advantage may help Chelsea, particularly if they can get the crowd behind them. United won’t set out to attack and that is their weakness. They lack the flair to retrieve the situation, as Huddersfield showed the world.

However, despite this a United win is my tip; 1 – 0 is 17/2 with Betfair SportsbookVisit Betfair Sportsbook!

Bet & claim Betfair Sportsbook 20/1 Man City v 60/1 Arsenal

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Bet & claim Betfair Sportsbook 20/1 Man City v 60/1 Arsenal

At the Etihad, everything is leaning heavily toward a home win. Rightly so, Manchester City are formidable.

Kevin De Bruyne recently commented that for City to emulate Arsenal and remain unbeaten this season is more difficult than the Gunners in 2003/04. Maybe that is true, but Pep Guardiola has amassed a squad which can do so or coming closer than many teams since that incredible season.

Arsenal on the other hand are focused on returning to the Champions League. While they are favourites to win the Europa League, the top four of the Premier League remains their best bet for achieving that aim. A point here would be a good result.

It seems unlikely and City to win 3 – 1 is 10/1 with Betfair Sportsbook - Visit Betfair Sportsbook!

Bet & claim Betfair Sportsbook 33/1 Chelsea v 40/1 Man Utd

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Bet & claim Betfair Sportsbook 33/1 Chelsea v 40/1 Man Utd

MY RECOMMENDED BETS

Chelsea vs Manchester United:

Manchester City vs Arsenal:

Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (12:00 2nd November 2017) and are subject to change.

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Stuart is a freelance writer and well-known Arsenal blogger, writing A Cultured Left Foot since 2006. As well as football, he regularly writes about cricket, tennis, rugby, baseball and American football.

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