Premier League | 9th September 2017

The international break is over which means it’s time to get back to proper betting. No BOOMS, no ‘cheeky’ accas with a side of extra piri-piri. Just bets that will hopefully take money from the pockets of those bookies.

Manchester City v Liverpool

Both of these sides rate highly on my model, but it’s Liverpool who are of interest here. There’s a lot of noise that suggests Liverpool cannot defend yet the 2016/17 shots against stats show;

  • 307 shots conceded, only Man City conceded less.
  • 114 shots on target conceded, Chelsea (105), Man City (106), Spurs (111) the only sides to concede less.

These stats were amongst the best in the league. However when it came to shots on target % they struggled. 37.13% of the shots Liverpool faced were on target, the 19th worst record in the league. A large part of that was due to shot locations. It stands to reason the more SOTs conceded from six yards out, the more goals you will concede. This problem was caused by two main factors;

  1. Over-committing in attack, leaving themselves susceptible to the counter-attack.
  2. Not having a left-back who could play that position, therefore causing the rest of the defence to be pulled out of position.

Klopp could easily sort out the left-back issue if, he played Robertson, however he’s unlikely to do that. What they do appear to have sorted is the over-committing in the attacking phase. Three actual central midfielders, who can’t/aren’t unable to run forward is a massive benefit to their style.

Liverpool’s early shots against stats this season point to a similar underlying performance to last season. So far this season nobody has conceded less shots, 21, than Liverpool and only West Brom have conceded less shots on target than Liverpool’s five. It’s unlikely that 37.13% of the total shots against will be on target again this season, they’re currently at 23.81%. This should therefore result in fewer goals concede. Attacking wise there’s no reason to think they’ll perform any worse that last season.

Manchester City are the best side in the league on my data. However after three games of the season that doesn’t mean they should be odds-on to win against one of their title rivals.


Everton v Tottenham

I rate Tottenham highly, they’ve been posting consistent shot stats for a few season now and despite not winning the title their total points tally over the last two season is more than any other side. Everton are a side I thought would be overrated this season. However the sale of Lukaku is making them an interesting betting proposition. Lukaku is a great player, but he doesn’t create something out of nothing. He’s a poacher and a bully in the box. Everton will still create a similar number of chances without him, however their defensive reinforcements means that they are likely to give less away at the back.

On home soil I would make Everton slight favourites to win this match, using the data we have available from the last year.


Southampton v Watford

Southampton are a strange side for me, my numbers suggest they should be finishing higher up the league than they have been. Usually when that happens it means I’ll bet on the side, however it appears that the bookmakers want to keep them on their side. This means that I’m against betting against them, although my perceived edge is masll which means I use a smaller stake.

I build models to show me where the value is, and I’m not in the ¬†business of turning down value. If I was to go against my model then there would be no point in me building it in the first place.


Stoke v Manchester United

Manchester United won’t win every game this season and they also won’t cover their handicap line¬† every week. The standard seems to be that Manchester United will be asked to win every home and away game against the bottom eleven clubs by at least two goals. That’s just not going to happen. I’m in it for the long haul and I fully believe opposing Manchester United in all of these fixtures where my model highlights value will yield a profit.

My model suggests that Manchester United win this game 52% of the time. However the market believes they win this match on 66% of occasions. Stoke with a full goal head start at odds-against is the only logical bet to have here.

BACK STOKE +1 ASIAN HANDICAP at 2.08 (Bet Victor, 888 Sport)

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