Manchester Derby to produce plenty of goals, Tyne-Wear Derby – not so much
Every week BetBright columnist Sam Tighe provides his rundown ahead of the football action this weekend, picking out his five Premier League best bets.
Tottenham to beat AFC Bournemouth Outright (6/5)Add to betslip
If Saturday’s 0-0 draw between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool taught us (or reinforced) anything, it’s that the former are a seriously resilient side this season. Jurgen Klopp’s “new manager bounce” factor counted for nothing, as waves of attacks were repelled convincingly by Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
It’s been the story of Spurs’ season so far: Reading carefully between the headlines concerning Harry Kane’s lack of goals and Dele Alli’s remarkable emergence, you’ll notice the north London side have accrued the joint-best defensive record in the league through nine games, conceding just seven.
They’re in a groove; the football is flowing. Contrast that to AFC Bournemouth—fresh off a big defeat to Manchester City and still reeling from a succession of bad injuries to key attacking players—and it’s easy to forecast a low-scoring game between the two, ending in a gritty Spurs victory.
Over 2.5 Goals in Leicester City vs. Crystal Palace (7/10)Add to betslip
Each of Leicester City’s last five Premier League games have seen at least three goals, and given the form of key players Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, contrasted with the continued flailing of Wes Morgan and Co. at the back, there’s no reason to suspect the goals will dry up any time soon.
Their opponents, Palace, have typically been involved in low-scorers over the past six weeks (only two of their last six games have seen more than two goals), but they’ll be smarting from a defeat to West Ham last weekend and they’ll be allowed to play on the counter, away from home.
This tactical clash screams end-to-end action, with both sides eager to run the channels and carve out clear-cut chances.
Over 2.5 in Manchester United vs. Manchester City (3/4)Add to betslip
“We are an attacking team, and we do leave ourselves short sometimes at the back,”
Joe Hart admitted to BT Sport’s live broadcast after Manchester City’s win over Sevilla on Wednesday. The fact City have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four Premier League fixtures certainly aligns with this raw, honest statement.
In the opposite corner, Louis van Gaal preaches methodical possession play, but Manchester United are quickly becoming a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team: you just don’t know which iteration of them will turn up.
The Manchester derby’s recent history has been littered with goals and often produces one big one winner. It’s very difficult to pre-empt who will emerge the victor—form doesn’t tend to play a part it in—but one thing we can say is they go blow for blow and try to outscore each other.
Swansea City to beat Aston Villa Outright (6/4)Add to betslip
Swansea aren’t in great form, but Aston Villa are in terrible form. It’s a little strange, but it almost feels as if half the Villa fanbase want their team to lose on Saturday so manager Tim Sherwood is fired.
The atmosphere at Villa Park hasn’t been fantastic and will only get worse if the hosts start slowly, and this game last year—a 1-0 win for the Swans that should have been three or four—showcased the chasm between Sherwood and Garry Monk’s tactical abilities.
Monk should be eyeing this as a gimme; he has the tools and the skills to come through this with a comprehensive victory.
Under 2.5 in Sunderland vs. Newcastle (5/6)Add to betslip
The Tyne-Wear derby has very much emerged as the polar opposite of the Manchester derby in recent years: the passion and intensity remains the same, but the goal-mouth action has been distinctly lacking. Drab, aggressive games are often pierced by wonderstrikes (remember Fabio Borini’s?) and the goal tallies have tended to be low.
Newcastle United are coming off a 6-2 victory over Norwich City, but the latter’s defence crumbled in a way Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland simply will not. This game will be snappy, bitty and stop-start as both sides attempt to sabotage any momentum built.
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.