Weekend Preview -13/01/17


English Premier League
Manchester United vs. Liverpool (Sunday 4pm)
Jürgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho go head-to-head again after the Portuguese’s win on points at Anfield a little earlier this season, with a similar sort of game expected. This time around there is no doubt that United have more confidence and firepower, however, which means that a line of -0.25 looks fair from all angles. They deserve to be slight favourites on their overall supremacy this season using the basic averages, while they also have a good edge on the team news with Rojo and Bailly the only players missing.

Liverpool are going to have to adjust to life without Mane, who has been directly involved in 13 of their 48 goals (27%), but they can count on Henderson (1/48) and Coutinho’s (10/48) returns to dampen the blow. Matip being passed fit to play could be big, as he’s currently 50/50, while it would be remiss to ignore United’s extra day of rest and easier game against Hull in the EFL Cup. Most small factors are going the home side’s way and while we believe the goals line of 2.5 to be eminently fair it’s hard to resist the handicap. This should be a fantastic watch, both technically and tactically.

Recommendation: Manchester United -0.25 @ 1.91

Spanish Primera Division
Sevilla vs. Real Madrid (Sunday 7.45pm)
It’s not often that you write “first visit second in Spain” 20 games into the season about a fixture that doesn’t include two of Atletico, Barcelona and Real. Sevilla have crashed the party a little bit this season and these two sides will be fully acquainted with each other, having just come out of two legs of Copa Del Rey action where Madrid triumphed 3-6 on aggregate after a scare in Seville on Thursday evening. Leading 3-0 from the first leg and electing to rest Ronaldo, Modric and Benzema, among others, Zidane’s side found themselves 3-1 down before a late penalty from Ramos killed the hosts’ drive.

There is no significant team news to discuss, with Sevilla expected to be at full strength and Bale still the only absence of note for Real, which means that a line of -0.5 on the visitors looks reasonable. The goals look to be a little bit pumped up at 3.25, but not enough for us to see value, though we will back Zidane to make it 41 unbeaten.

Recommendation: Real Madrid -0.25 @ 1.78

English Premier League
Everton vs. Manchester City (Sunday 1.30pm)
The other game that Sky are handily bundling into “Merseyside vs. Manchester” lacks the pizazz of its sister act, but should still be a good watch between two teams who have flattered to deceive this season. Using the seasonal averages then a line of -0.25 on the visitors would be the starting point, with team news adjustments tipping it more heavily in their favour due to Everton being without Gueye and Bolasie.

City are hardly unscathed themselves, however, with Fernandinho’s ban and Fernando’s injury meaning Zabaleta could again be deployed in midfield. Gundogan and Kompany are also out, again, while the away side have the edges on the Actual Form and Fair Form when considering home and away distinctly. We like the idea of goals here, as 2.5 can be had for 1.85 and this is a mark they’ve beaten 55% of the time in their ten home/away games, respectively.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 @ 1.85

English Premier League
Leicester City vs. Chelsea (Saturday 5.30pm)
Another interesting Premier League encounter sees the 2015/16 Champions hosting the 2014/15 and probably 2016/167 Champions at the King Power. Leicester’s home supremacy actually outstrips Chelsea’s away supremacy by 0.1, which was a surprise to us, although after team news adjustments that see them losing Mahrez, Slimani and Amartey to the African Cup of Nations things tilt back in the direction of Conte’s side. Alonso is their only concern and is currently rated 50/50 to make it, with Ake on standby, while on recent Fair Form the visitors have another big indicator in their favour. We think a line of -0.75 on Chelsea is very fair, but feel 2.5 is pitched a bit too high on the goals, so we’ll go for a combination here.

Recommendation: Chelsea -0.75 @ 1.89 and Under 2.75 @ 1.82

French Ligue 1
Olympique Marseille vs. Monaco (Sunday 8pm)
Marseille are rejuvenated heading into 2017 with new ownership, a new manager and much improved league form. Monaco were the surprise package of the first part of the season with how much of an “overs” side they became, scoring a ridiculous 2.95 goals per game before the break. The team news is neutral here, with both sides missing their first choice left-backs, while Marseille edge the Actual Form and Fair Form over the last five. We’ll try another combination bet, believing that these lines should be DNB and 2.5 instead of +0.25 and 2.75. We don’t often go against Monaco…

Recommendation: Marseille +0.25 @ 1.89 and Under 2.75 @ 1.89

Ones to Watch

Spanish Primera Division
Granada vs. Osasuna (Sunday 5.30pm)
This huge relegation battle in Spain sees bottom travelling to second-bottom. The line is at -0.5 on Granada, which seems a little bit steep given that both sides have won only 1 in 5 at home and away respectively, while Osasuna have a manager boost and edge the team news.

Recommendation: Osasuna +0.5 @ 1.92

English Championship
Burton Albion vs. Wigan Athletic (Saturday 3pm)
Another huge relegation battle, this time in England’s second flight, as fourth-bottom host second-bottom. Burton have doubts over a usual starting striker and their key central midfielder, while Wigan are still without four regulars. There is little to split them other than home advantage, which isn’t enough to tempt us.

Recommendation: N/A

Italian Serie A
Lazio vs. Atalanta (Sunday 2pm)
These two teams are surprisingly in the mix for the Champions League spots past the halfway point of the season and both are missing an important first team player – Keita for Lazio and Kessie for Atalanta, which makes the team news fairly neutral. The market seems to be underestimating Atalanta.

Recommendation: Atalanta +0.5 @ 1.96

Turkish Super League
Osmanlispor vs. Besiktas (Monday 4pm)
Sixth host second in Turkey, with the Osmanlispor’s form making this look like a big banana skin for Besiktas and the market seemingly failing to take proper account of it. This looks like it should be DNB, but it’s very hard to argue with the Total Goals Line of 2.5.

Recommendation: Osmanlispor +0.25 @ 1.89

Greek Super League
Panathinaikos vs. AEK Athens (Sunday 5.30pm)
These two teams were expected to close the gap on Olympiakos this season, but that has not really come to pass. As such they are again left fighting for the runners-up spot and Panathinaikos have been finding form despite team news issues, which makes us comfortable in backing them here.

Recommendation: Panathinaikos -0.5 @ 1.87

*Odds accurate at time of writing

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