Premier League Weekend Betting Preview
There’s one clash on everyone’s lips regarding this weekend’s fixtures, as Premier League leaders Manchester City can secure the title with a home win against their fiercest rivals Manchester United. It won’t be the end of the world for Pep Guardiola’s side if they don’t take all three points on Saturday afternoon, but as City club captain Vincent Kompany put it – “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity”.
At the start of the season, some suggested this meeting would be a title showdown. It hasn’t worked out that way – Jose Mourinho’s side have struggled to hit the heights expected of them, whilst the Kevin De Bruyne-inspired City have played with utter confidence and motivation throughout the campaign. Whether they can do so this weekend is what really matters to home fans now though.
They won’t have it as easy as they have done in recent weeks – they strolled past a struggling Stoke side, and then eased past Everton last weekend. Neither of those two opponents put up much of a fight. Their rivals on Saturday however will be as desperate not to lose as the home side will be to win, so expect Mourinho to set up a defensive barrier for City to try to break down. For that reason, we’re expecting a really hard-fought first 45 minutes, and we’d be surprised if the sides don’t go into the break at 0-0. You can back that to happen at 15/8 with Betfred.
City’s home record this season has been almost impeccable – they’ve won 14 from 15 matches at The Etihad, whilst United have actually lost more on the road than they’ve won. It would be a fitting end to the home side’s fantastic season to take all three points here, and not much hasn’t gone to plan for them. But it’s not just about fairytales for Guardiola’s unit – they’re a team brimming with quality, understanding and a fantastic work-effort. Coupled with an extreme desire to lift the title on Saturday, it’s difficult to not see them winning on Saturday, however stubborn Mourinho’s side try to be.
Taking everything into account, back a home win at 3/4 with William Hill, back the sides to be drawing at half-time and then a City win at full time at 39/10 with Unibet, and lastly, back the leaders to take the title in dramatic style – the majority of their home goals have come within the 76-90-minute bracket. Back City to score their first goal in the 71-80 bracket at 12/1 with Ladbrokes, or go for the more cautious option and back the teams still to be level on 75 minutes at 2/1 with Boyle Sports.
Whilst the Manchester Derby understandably takes centre stage, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Merseyside Derby is also taking place on the very same day. Liverpool take on Everton on the back of their midweek Champions League clash with City at Anfield – and with the second leg to come next week. The Reds’ fixture congestion is certainly a boost for The Toffees, but it shouldn’t really affect the outcome of the match.
Sam Allardyce’s men were desperately submissive against City last weekend in defeat, and it certainly seems that they’re already looking towards the 2018-19 season, with very little left to play for this year. Their home fans will definitely expect much more fight from them in this match – they won’t allow their side to roll over against their fiercest rivals. This season, however, Jurgen Klopp’s side haven’t give many teams the option.
The sensational form of Mohamed Salah continues – he had a fantastic March, netting six league goals and assisting another. He’s still chasing the Premier League Golden Boot, and whilst he remains the favourite, he’s unlikely to be rested for this match. He can be backed as the game’s first scorer at 11/4 with Unibet.
The men in blue haven’t recorded a win over their rivals for eight years, and we don’t expect them to get anything from this one either. Backing an away win is barely worth it at odds of 13/20 with William Hill. It’s better to look at some of the patterns relating to either side, one being Klopp’s side impressively fast starts away from Anfield. The majority of their goals on the road have come between the 16-30-minute mark, so back them to be leading after 30 minutes at 7/4 with Boyle Sports.
A final derby to take note of this weekend is Chelsea’s Sunday match-up with West Ham. The Blues had a disappointing weekend after losing a lead to rivals Tottenham – the result meaning that a Champions League spot now looks out of the equation for Antonio Conte’s side. The Hammers meanwhile put aside their poor home form to take a vital 3-0 win against fellow relegation battlers Southampton.
Despite those results, Chelsea’s form at Stamford Bridge has generally been solid this year against the sides in the lower half of the table. For that reason, backing them to get back to winning ways seems sensible against the lowly Hammers. A home win can be found at 13/10 with Ladbrokes.
The men in claret and blue tend to crumble after the break – only Huddersfield have conceded more second-half goals than The Hammers. Back a draw at half time and a Chelsea win at full time at 14/5 with Boyle Sports. You could also back the second half as the highest scoring half at 27/25 with Marathon Bet.