Premier League | 24th September 2016

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Manchester United v Leicester City” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

I opposed Manchester United in their games against Bournemouth and Southampton, losing on both occasions. However I still believed that they were an over-rated side, therefore I took them on again last week by putting up Watford 0 Asian Handicap at 3.15, a result that now means I’m showing a profit from Manchester United games this season. Fast forward a few days and I’m looking to oppose them again, I’ve stated on Twitter a number of times that I don’t see why Manchester United were vilified under LVG for their performances at home, they had the second best record in home matches last season. I don’t expect them to improve on the 41 points they gained at Old Trafford last season and actually expect them to pick up less, which is a major reason I don’t see them as a 76 point plus side.

The Leicester story has been talked about to death in 2016, I don’t believe they were the best side in the league last season, based on how I rate football matches. If you did think Leicester were the best side in the league, then you should have been backing them to win the title this time around at 29.0 (28/1) for one of your biggest bets ever, you’d be getting an ‘edge’ of about 30%. I think Leicester were around the 7th – 8th best side in the league last season and once they regress to the mean over the course of this season, I expect them to finish between 7th and 10th.

The question here is should a team that I rate at a similar level to their opponents be 1.6x to win the match? My goal expectancies have this as Manchester United 1.29 v 1.08 Leicester City, therefore my answer to that question is, no!

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From a betting point of view, the value is on the Leicester side of the market. There are several options and I actually think Leicester are able to avoid defeat in this match (+0.5), which is priced at 2.35, the Draw No Bet option (0) at 4.00 is also an interesting play. However my numbers suggest that the best bet is to take Leicester with a full goal (+1) start. This means that if Manchester United win by a single goal stakes are returned, an away victory or a draw results in a profit. I still haven’t seen anything from Manchester United yet which suggests they’re going to blow teams away in the ‘Man United way’ as the media like to say. I’m not actually sure what that even means, as even under Fergie they didn’t beat teams 3-0 every week.

BACK LEICESTER +1 ASIAN HANDICAP at 1.77 (Bet Victor)

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Arsenal v Chelsea” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

I’m not an Arsenal fan, in truth I find it humorous when they lose due to the way their fans go into meltdown. I do however have a huge respect for Arsene Wenger, he gets given a target each year and he achieves it. Imagine how you’d feel if people told you that you should lose your job for hitting your key performance indicator every year. Another thing I like about this Arsenal setup is they’re consistent, it’s easy to put a number around the points range I think they’ll achieve, which is helpful for betting purposes.

Chelsea are slightly harder to weigh up, I opposed them last week, with a back of Liverpool 0 Asian Handicap at 2.40, and that was on the back of marking their home form up at the start of the season. I’m not really sure where I rate this Chelsea side yet, they’ve had a lot of luck with late goals and Costa not being sent off, before he got them goals. However the flip side of that is the impressive shot numbers that they’ve posted. So far they’ve taken 91 shots, which is the second highest in the league whilst they’ve conceded the fewest shots against, 38. It’s well worth pointing out that in their opening five fixtures they’ve played Swansea and Burnley, who are two sides that don’t shoot and also concede a large number of shots. On top of that they played a West Ham side who have been poor this season and showed nothing on their visit to Stamford Bridge.

At this stage I of the season I still have Arsenal as the better of these two sides, whilst I’m also not prepared to mark Chelsea up away from home on the back of two away performances where they’ve been behind, Diego Costa has benefited from refereeing mistakes and they’ve then scored late goals. My goal expectancies have this as Arsenal 1.84 v 1.12 Chelsea, I’m sure a few will raise eyebrows at that due to Chelsea’s record. Arsenal haven’t scored in the last six league meeting between the sides and haven’t won a league fixture since 2011. My personal opinion is that those stats are meaningless, if you think they’re the only indicator on how this match is going to go then you should be backing Chelsea at all prices down odds-on. Arsenal will beat Chelsea in a league fixture again.

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I like the prices on Arsenal a lot in this market, they’ve looked good this season with the exception of a 20 minute period against Liverpool and the second half at Watford when they were already 3-0 up after an excellent first half performance. I can understand the logic in backing them on a 0, -0.25 or -0.5 line, however this is the kind of market I believe it’s worth pushing your luck in. I’m backing Arsenal -1, which means stakes will be returned if Arsenal only manage to win by a single goal. However we saw last weekend that Chelsea have defensive issues, and if Arsenal can get the first goal they have the players to cut Chelsea open going forward, whilst they may have found a defensive pairing they can build on in Mustafi and Koscielny.

BACK ARSENAL -1 ASIAN HANDICAP at 3.70 (888 Sport)

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