DANIEL MCCULLOCH (@DMcCulloch1984) is back in his regular Saturday 3pm slot to deliver his best bet verdicts from the Premier League.
Everton v Sheffield United | Saturday 21st September 2019, 15:00
With just three 3pm kick-offs this Saturday it’s a tougher task than usual to find value, but I am sticking with a side that I know create chances: Sheffield United.
I backed both teams to find the net when they faced Southampton last week and was left feeling aggrieved as they failed to do so when having a goal disallowed by the narrowest of margins, 17 shots on-goal and achieving an Expected Goals (xG) total of 1.88.
That game was the first time this season that the Blades have failed to find the net and I do believe that they have the firepower to trouble this Everton defence and with Even money available, I am happy to repeat last week’s bet.
Statistically, Everton generally perform well at home to sides who are likely to finish beneath them in the league table. Since the start of the 2017/18 season, their home record against sides outside the Big Six reads W19-D4-L5. However, both sides have found the net in 15 of those 28 matches (54%) so not only are the numbers with us but so to are the circumstances.
Sheffield United have taken an aggressive attacking approach to this league, scoring twice to come back from 2-0 down to earn a point at Stamford Bridge and also scoring late on to earn a well-deserved point at Bournemouth on the opening day of the season.
Everton looked very poor defensively against the same opposition last week, so I will take the Even money with Betfred on both teams to score.
I wouldn’t rule out an Everton to win and Both Teams To Score or even a 2-1 correct score bet but I will keep it simple on this occasion.
Manchester City v Watford | Saturday 21st September 2019, 15:00
Trying to find value in Manchester City’s home games is easier than I think many believe. I would rarely get involved in the handicap market and would always leave the outrights alone, but there is some consistency in their results.
Pep Guardiola has been City boss for over three seasons now and has played 43 home games against sides from seventh down. His record reads W36-D6-L1 (losing to Crystal Palace in December last season) so it is easy to see why they are overwhelming favourites. However, they have conceded in 25 of those matches and won despite conceding in 20.
This weekend they face a Watford side who were pretty impressive offensively against Arsenal on Sunday. While Arsenal’s defensive issues are evident and well documented, the Hornets haul of 31 shots – 10 of which were on-target – told a tale of their domination and I do think they have the attacking options to cause concern for a City side missing Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in the centre of defence.
Too much was made – in my view – of City’s loss to Norwich last week. Yes, they conceded sloppy goals but they still managed 25 attempts themselves and they did win the xG battle. I expect them to turn on the style here but really like the 15/8 with Betfred on a City win andBoth Teams To Score.
As stated already, it has occurred in 20 of Pep’s 43 games as City manager, including two out of three against Watford (both of which finished 3-1).
I personally will also be backing the 2-1 and 3-1 scorelines. In that 43 game sample I have just mentioned, City have won 2-1 on seven occasion and 3-1 nine times. The former is 11/1 with Bet365 and the latter is 10/1 with Boylesports. Both are surely worth a small stake.
Everton v Sheffield United – Both Teams To Score (1/1 Betfred)
Manchester City v Watford – Manchester City to win and Both Teams To score (15/8 Betfred)
Manchester City v Watford – Manchester City to win 2-1 (11/1 Bet365)
Manchester City v Watford – Manchester City to win 3-1 (11/1 Boylesports)