Our football odds expert Dan Roebuck previews this one…
It’s always a problem ahead of Christmas.
What do you get the team that has it all? Manchester City are 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League with bookmakers running for cover as punters take advantage of some gift-wrapped profit courtesy of the champions-elect.
Yet another win on Wednesday at Swansea saw Pep Guardiola’s side secure a 15th consecutive top-flight victory, overtaking the previous record set by Arsenal in 2002. Is there any stopping the Sky Blues? Not according to the layers, who rate City at 1/20 to claim the title – the shortest pre-Christmas price on record.
Manchester City v Spurs Preview | 16 Dec 17:30
Spurs to Dance Silva’s Beat
The league leaders’ latest assignment is one that at the start of the campaign might have been flagged up as a fixture City were perhaps vulnerable in.
They take on Tottenham at home this weekend and come into the game winless in four (three defeats) against the North Londoners.
Odds of 13/25 about a home win at the Etihad would suggest there is little doubt about the outcome now.
A fantastic 1️⃣5️⃣…
How we broke the @premierleague record, in pictures.
📷: https://t.co/NG3e161FSW #mancity pic.twitter.com/wcj3RWVIJp
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 14, 2017
Spurs are 24/5 to cause an upset, with the draw trading at 18/5. The last time any side beat each of Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham in a top-flight league season before the New Year was 1953-54, but there is no stopping City, so expect another milestone to be achieved.
Best bets? Well there might be some squad rotation, but if David Silva starts you just have to back the Spaniard to score (at 16/5). The former Valencia midfielder is in the form of his City career at the moment with five goals in 13 appearances (not to mention eight assists).
Since Mauricio Pochettino arrived at Spurs, only 40% of his side’s league away games versus top six opposition have seen over 2.5 goals, but as City have landed the ‘overs’ in all bar one of their home top division games this term (and that when they were down to ten men against Everton), I can only see goals on the agenda in Manchester.
Back over 2.5 at 1/2 and over 3.5 at 13/10.
Leicester City v Crystal Palace Preview | 16 Dec 12:30
Foxes To Down Eagles
The weekend action kicks off at the King Power where Leicester could close to within two points of the top four – if only for a few hours – when they take on Crystal Palace.
The hosts have been rejuvenated under Claude Puel, and are a solid bet at 19/20 to defeat Roy Hodgson’s team. Leicester are looking for a fifth straight league win – something they achieved only once in their title-winning season – and will surely prevail against a side that hasn’t scored on their travels in the top division this campaign.
Home Comforts For Capital Trio
Home fixtures for both Arsenal and Chelsea against bottom half of the table opponents (Newcastle and Southampton respectively) should catch the eye of punters looking to boost their 3pm accumulators.
Throw in Watford’s Vicarage Road clash against a weary-looking Huddersfield side and you will land a near 2/1 treble should all the home teams oblige.
The Gunners won’t be allowed to drop points at the Emirates against a woeful Newcastle team, while Chelsea can punish a wounded Saints side and The Terriers are taken to suffer a seventh away league loss in nine away from home.
Not So Super Sunday
After shutting out Liverpool at Anfield in midweek, West Bromwich Albion will be looking to repeat the trick at home to Manchester United on Sunday.
The Baggies are 22/5 to keep a clean sheet against Jose Mourinho’s side and, while that might be beyond them, I’m predicting another tight affair with under 2.5 goals at 4/5 a viable option.
“The last two games have been very frustrating but we have to keep on going.”
Karius has called on #LFC to rediscover their ‘flow’ against @afcbournemouth: https://t.co/ucLeKqBg9l pic.twitter.com/D2bkChzNb5
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 14, 2017
The same bet looks a value play in Bournemouth’s home fixture versus Jurgen Klopp’s team. The German hasn’t got his squad rotation right recently and, as Eddie Howe hasn’t overseen a win in five matches, it would not be a surprise for his charges to play a more defensive game. ‘Unders’ at the Vitality Stadium is on offer at 7/5.
Merseysiders To Maintain Momentum On Monday
The Premier League weekend is rounded out on Monday night when Everton host Swansea.
It would have been inconceivable to list the Merseysiders at odds-on to win any fixture a few months back, but that’s exactly what they after an unbeaten run of five since Sam Allardyce was announced as manager.
The 4/6, in fact, looks a brilliant bet, as Paul Clement’s team have lost their last five away in the league. All of Everton’s four recent victories have come ‘to nil’, which looks a fair price at 31/20, while Wayne Rooney has already registered more league goals this term than in any of his previous two – the former England skipper is 19/5 to grab the opener.
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