OUR Correct Score man Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his best bets of the weekend.
Manchester United v Tottenham | Saturday 28th October 2017, 12:30 | Sky Sports
Manchester United faced a great deal of criticism in the aftermath of their dour performance in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool. Indeed, they were abused to such an extent that I found myself doing something I never thought possible: agreeing with Jamie Redknapp.
The former Liverpool player merely stated that at this stage of the season a draw at Anfield is a good result for Jose Mourinho’s men. I agree with this sentiment and really do wonder why pundits and football fans expected any different.
Those critiquing United then seemed to use Tottenham’s 4-1 victory at home (well, Wembley) to support the view that the Red Devils should have been more adventurous. While I do not doubt that they were very negative on the day, comparing a sides home results – and performances – with how they perform on the road, rarely makes sense to me.
It is for this reason I cannot endorse an exceptional Tottenham side – who it is now confirmed shall be missing Harry Kane – even at a best price of 5/2. Under Mourinho, United’s away record against the ‘big six’ is well known. Across six games they are yet to win and only have one goal to show for their endeavours.
In contrast, their results at Old Trafford have been positive. Only Manchester City have beaten them and Saturday lunchtime’s opposition suffered a single goal loss here last season.
All things considered, I find it really hard to separate these two sides. With United at home obviously both sides will try to win the game but I am certain that Mauricio Pochettino would take a point if he was asked now.
Given that I also find it difficult to see United winning the game, I am going to back the 0-0 available at 6/1 with William Hill and 1-1 which is 17/2 with BetStars.
Since the start of last season, seven of United and Tottenham’s 23 combined results in the ‘big six’ mini-league have finished in this manner, which suggests that the 3/1 you can by combining these score lines is good value.
Watford v Stoke | Saturday 28th October 2017, 15:00
No disrespect to Stoke, but I am surprised that Watford are still available at quotes of odds-against. Since Marco Silva took over, the Hertfordshire side have been a revelation and their tally of 15 points from nine games is made to look more impressive by the fact that they have already faced Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea this season.
Stoke’s start to the campaign has also been tough as they have already faced five of last year’s top seven so while I believe they are in for a season of struggle, I do believe that there are three sides worse than them.
Scoreline wise, my logic here is simple: I believe Watford will win the game; I struggle to see Stoke conceding more than two goals and I would like to have a solitary Stoke goal on my side.
Mark Hughes’s side have conceded 20 goals so far this term, which I feel is slightly harsh on a generally resolute backline. Eleven of those goals came in two matches against Manchester City and Chelsea and it is worth noting that you have to go back to 18th September 2016 for the last time they conceded more than two goals away to a side outside of the ‘big six’.
Additionally, for all the talk of Stoke’s issues up front, only Chelsea and Everton have prevented them from finding the net this term. They have scored exactly one goal four times this season and I feel a fifth is likely on Saturday afternoon against a Watford backline that has already been breached on 17 occasions this season.
I do, however, have full confidence in a home win and believe that dutching the 2-0 and 2-1 score lines offers great value at a combined price of 4/1.
To date, all four of Watford’s victories under Silva have come in this manner and Stoke have already lost 2-1 on two occasions this season, including against Bournemouth last week. I therefore recommend taking both Bet 365’s 17/2 on 2-1 to Watford and Betstars’ 10/1 on 2-0 to the home side.
Manchester United v Tottenham – No Goalscorer (17/2 BetStars)
Manchester United v Tottenham – 1-1 draw (6/1 William Hill)
Watford v Stoke – Watford to win 2-0 (10/1 BetStars)
Watford v Stoke – Watford to win 2-1 (17/2 Bet365)