Mark Stinchcombe: “How often do you get to bet one of the best premier league sides in history at evens? That’s the case this weekend.”

8 min

The games are coming thick and fast in the Premier League as we approach the Christmas period. Over the next 28 days teams will play six times, not including European and Cup commitments, so rest and rotation will become a big factor to bear in mind in the coming weeks. And one team who that could favour most is Man City who we can back at a crazy price this weekend.

In the future, how often will we be able to back one of the greatest ever Premier League teams at evens?

That’s the case in the tea-time kick-off as Manchester City visit Stamford Bridge to take on a Chelsea side with just four wins in their last 10 games. As predicted the goals have dried up for Eden Hazard with none in his last six and there is a train of thought that if you stop Hazard, you go a long way to stopping Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri will hope to get Eden Hazard up and running sooner rather than later.

What can I say about Manchester City that hasn’t already been said?

They’ve scored 45 goals this season at a rate of 3.0 per-game and conceded just seven.

They are top of expected goals for, expected goals against, shots, shots on target, shots against, possession…the list is endless.

This is likely to be their highest price in a Premier League match for the rest of the season. When you put it into context that they were 1.49 in Lyon then 2.0 looks generous and it’s worthy of a 1.5 point bet to me.

Back to the well at the Vitality

For my next bet, I’m heading to the well and overs on the south coast.

Bournemouth host Liverpool at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday in the lunchtime kick-off and the line of 2.75 looks too low to me.

Since being promoted to the Premier League in 2015, Bournemouth’s 20 home games against the big 6 have seen 15 go over 2.5 goals (75%) and it’s worth reminding ourselves across all matches, 29 of their last 36 games have gone over 2.5 goals (81%).

We know they’re capable of scoring goals but defensively they’re also porous, with just six clean sheets in their last 40 games. The average expected goals in their matches more than backs up the facts with 3.26 goals per game.

On the other hand, Liverpool have only conceded six goals in the league this season which is a fantastic record. Virgil van Dijk has provided the leadership and communication sorely lacking, Alisson the high-quality goalkeeper missing and Joe Gomez has been absolutely fantastic.

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are a great team for an Over.

However, only six goals in 15 to the naked eye sounds very hard to achieve and it’s true there’s been a bit of luck involved, and actually, the expected goals tell us they should have conceded seven more. The take-home here is that the average xG in their matches since last season is returning 2.96.

So with the underlying data in our favour, it makes perfect sense to continue to exploit this sustainable angle and we will have a point at the prices.

Goals galore at the King Power

Finally, to make it a triple of Saturday games on TV, I like the look of a goal fest at the King Power Stadium where Leicester take on Tottenham.

The goal line is only 2.5 in comparison to the 2.75 in the Liverpool game, but there is a tendency for goals when Leicester take on the big 6 where it’s likely the players raise their games.

We all know Jamie Vardy has a great record in these games, which is reflected with 21 of their last 26 games going over 2.5 goals (81%).

Tottenham, on the other hand, look back to their best with the return to full fitness of Alli, Eriksen and Son, so it’s no surprise to see an increase in the output of goals. They have also been struggling at the back personnel-wise with all of Sanchez, Alderweireld and Vertonghen missing of late, with youngster Juan Foyth deputising.

Claude Puel’s Leicester side have also been a good team for an Over of late.

Looking at the raw performance data, we can see Leicester’s games are producing an average of 2.76 and Tottenham’s 3.12 since the beginning of last season – both clearly above the 2.50 line. Their games generally are exciting with scores of 4-5 and 2-1 last season.

Again the xG provides a better indication of chances created returning total values of 3.80 and 3.73 respectively so another overs punt looks a worthy selection here.

Recommended Bets

  • Over 2.75 goals Bournemouth v Liverpool 1.85 – 1 point
  • Man City 1.99 – 1.5 points
  • Over 2.5 goals Leicester v Tottenham 1.85 – 1 point

On this week’s Football Podcast Host Ali Maxwell is joined by Nigel Seeley and Mark O’Haire to look ahead to the weekend’s Premier League action – focusing on Newcastle v Wolves, Bournemouth v Liverpool and Cardiff v Southampton. Listen below and search for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’ on your preferred podcasting app to subscribe.