Correct Score: Roy’s boys can avoid a shellacking at City


OUR Correct Score man Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his best bets from this weekend's action.

Manchester City v Crystal Palace | Saturday 23rd September 2017, 15:00

Free-scoring leaders Manchester City entertain goalless stragglers Crystal Palace in what, on paper, looks like the biggest mismatch of the Premier League weekend.

Last weekend I tipped Roy Hodgson to get off to a winning start to his Palace reign and whilst I cannot foresee victory for his side on Saturday, I do think it will be tighter than the league table suggests.

Incredibly, despite being bottom and failing to gain a point so far this season, according to the Expected Goal model, the South London outfit should have won four of their five games!

The model does have its detractors, with one of the concerns being that it tends to favour sides that trail for long periods, have more chances than the opposition but ultimately fail to get back into the game.

Given that Palace have been losing for 301 of the 450 minutes they have played so far this term, they certainly fall into this category!

What is irrefutable, however, is that data suggests that Palace’s chance conversion rate cannot continue to be so poor. To date, they have had 71 shots this season – only the big six have had more – so to have failed to score is a real achievement. Looking at data across the last four seasons, the lowest conversion rate was Norwich’s 6%, which they are already four goals shy of.

I documented my admiration for Roy Hodgson last week and whilst I cannot see the Eagles getting their first points of the season at The Etihad, I do believe they will get their first goal.

Whilst Manchester City have looked sensational so far this season, their chance conversion stats also do not look sustainable, so I don’t think they will run up a cricket score here. Moreover, since Pepe Guardiola took over, 2-1 and 3-1 have been their scorelines of choice at home.

Eight of his 21 home league games have finished by these scorelines and given that you can get 11/1 (both with Bet365) on each outcome, I think that represents excellent value.

Scott Dann has looked like the Eagles most likely scorer at times this term, so I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him to score anytime at 20/1. Additionally, whilst this is a correct score column, I simply cannot avoid tipping Palace to stay up.

You can get around 11/10 on the exchange and I urge you to do so. I believe there are at least half a dozen worse sides than them (sadly that have already played three of these!) so feel this is great price.

Everton v Bournemouth | Saturday 23rd September 2017, 15:00

Having obliged for this column on the opening day of the season, Everton have had a poor month since. They have gained just one point from four games since and were hammered 3-0 by Atalanta in the Europa League.

Whilst there are clearly issues for Ronald Koeman’s men, I do feel that the quality of opposition needs to be factored in here. Those four games included trips to both Manchester clubs as well as Champions Chelsea and a home game with last season’s runners-up, Tottenham.

The performances in the games against the London sides were not up to scratch but I do believe there were signs of hope in the defeat to Manchester United last weekend.

Bournemouth secured their first victory of the season last Friday, in coming from behind to beat Brighton 2-1. Still, they have failed to score in three of their five matches this term, so it is hard to envisage a goalfest.

I was expecting a best price of 6/1 so am delighted BetVictor are offering 13/2 on a 1-0 victory for the home side. I also like the look of the same firm’s price on Gyfil Sigurdsson to net his first goal at Goodison. 1-0 Sigurdsson is 33/1.

Best Bets

Manchester City v Crystal Palace – Manchester City to win 2-1 (11/1 Bet365)

Manchester City v Crystal Palace – Manchester City to win 3-1 (11/1 Bet365)

Everton v Bournemouth – Everton to win 1-0 (13/2 BetVictor)

Everton v Bournemouth – Everton to win 1-0 and Gylfi Sigurdsson to score (33/1 BetVictor)

Premier League – Crystal Palace to stay up (11/10 Betfair)

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