SUNDAY sees the Manchester United travel to Tottenham. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from the Premier League encounter.
Tottenham v Manchester United | Sunday 15th March 2020, 16:30 | Sky Sports
Jose Mourinho welcomes his former side to North London for a game between two sides still in the running for a European qualification spot. Spurs crashed out of the Champions League with a whimper midweek in Leipzig in what was a real eye-opener in terms of gulf of quality between the two. Spurs were overrun from minute one and simply couldn’t keep up with the intensity of the Germans, who didn’t even look at full tilt.
Tottenham do have an extra two days rest compared to United though and even with their poor form I’m surprised they’re as big as 5/2 (Sport Nation) at home given their visitors play on Thursday night in Austria.
It’s fair to say that the market absolutely hates Spurs at the minute, they were outsiders at Burnley last week and actually went off as outsiders at home to Wolves a few weeks ago. It shows how much the market values the importance of Harry Kane and Heung Min-Son, since they’ve lost their two main forwards their form has fallen off a cliff.
It’s now five losses and one draw in their last 6 games in all competitions for Spurs and their underlying performance data also makes for sorry reading with them rated as 13th on Expected Goals (xG) ratio.
United have been in great form since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, I can’t remember one player have this much impact on a team for a long time. The Portuguese international seems to have it all for a midfielder, he gets stuck in, is a creative force and contributes with goals. He’s also seemingly lifted the standards of the players around him which shows his leadership and authority even at this early stage of his United career.
Even without Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba the Red Devils are doing good things and they’re now 10 unbeaten in all competitions. I can understand therefore why the visitors are favourites but I expected this to be more of a pick’em but United are as short as 11/10 in places to win and I just cannot get behind that price for a team with a W4-D4,-L6 record on the road this season.
Instead, I’m more inclined to back the draw at 5/2. I can’t back Spurs either in their current guise and at the prices the stalemate makes the most appeal. It’s a bet that has landed in two of United’s last three and although they’ll be keen for a win here and I don’t think they’d be overly disappointed with a point.
On the other side of it, I don’t want to back Spurs because they’re not very good and they don’t have a great manager. I’m not expecting many goals but Under 2.5 looks a touch too short at 31/40 and when I’m expecting few goals the draw has to appeal at a decent price.
I’m willing to dip into the player props market too and the passing lines on Spurs’ opponents are always of interest to me. Under Mourinho they’re much more happy to sit of and concede possession, even at home. Mourinho will be aware that his opponents like to play on the counter attack and he likes to play party pooper more often than not and with a dearth of attacking options I expect the hosts to be pretty deep.
Looking at the completed passes market available with Sky Bet the player who looks a good thing is Aaron Wan-Bissaka with a line set at 35. He averages 47 passes per-game and has a success rate of 80% so the line set is about his average, but I think he will get more of the ball here as Spurs don’t tend to press like they used too.
AWB has beaten this line comfortably against teams that like to concede possession such as Sheffield United, Newcastle, Wolves, Norwich and Bournemouth and at 4/5 I think it’s a game where he can add to that.