Sky Sports is showing another two Premier League fixtures on Sunday, featuring two sides in the relegation struggle hosting two whose focus is at the other end of the table. As the scrap for the Champions League places really heats up, first it’s Newcastle v Man United at 14:15, followed by Southampton v Liverpool at 16:30.
As far as the league table goes, United are seemingly set for second place- as they lie 13 points behind their City rivals and 5 points ahead of old foes Liverpool in third. Liverpool are only 2 points ahead of the Spurs in 5th place, who are fresh from their controversial 2-2 draw last week in and can ill afford a slip-up with faltering Chelsea looking to turn their dreadful current form around.
Down at the bottom, Southampton and Newcastle are 15th and 16th, respectively, but with just 3 points separating Huddersfield in 19th and West Ham in 12th, it’s already a dog fight and both sides will be looking to bare their teeth as soon as possible if they are to avoid the Championship.
First things first, Newcastle v Man United. Since Christmas, Benitez’s charges haven’t been bad at all, it’s the struggle to turn one point into three which is costing them this season. At home, they’ve lost 1-0 to City, drawn 0-0 with Brighton, and 1-1 with both Swansea and Burnley recently.
United’s away games have also been low-scoring encounters, dispatching Everton 2-0 and Burnley 1-0 before going down 2-0 away at Spurs. In fact, only one of United’s last six league games has had more than two goals in and it’s the same for Newcastle. You can see where this is going.
Under 2.5 goals is 24/25 with 10Bet, and 4/5 generally. That looks like a cracking bet given the two sides’ recent history. Benitez’s team won’t lie down easily and, just as vital for this bet, Mourinho’s side doesn’t go for the throat when they’re ahead. Mourinho won’t be throwing men forward if United are 1-0 or 2-0 up, they will back themselves to protect what they’ve got.
To that end, 1-0 United correct score at 6/1 with Bet365 looks like value. Plenty has been said about striker Romelu Lukaku being a flat-track bully and his scoring record does indeed suggest he’s far more likely to fill his boots against the weaker teams. Bet365 has 4/1 the big Belgian finds the net first, and that looks a shade on the big side.
On to the second game. Liverpool will certainly feel at home at St. Mary’s- half a dozen of their starting eleven could be former Southampton players. Virgil van Dijk, the most recent acquisition, will be looking to prove a point and with Sadio Mané, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, and Dejan Lovren all in the mix for a start, Southampton’s current side will be looking to get one over on their old mates.
Southampton are, slowly but surely, turning things around. Unbeaten in their last six, they’ve held Tottenham at St. Mary’s recently and certainly won’t be a pushover. As for Liverpool- they are just impossible to predict. Having become the first side to beat City this season- slamming four past them in the process- they then go and lose to Swansea the following week.
Whilst Bwin’s 5/6 Liverpool to win the match is unlikely to still be there at kick-off- as punters will look to round their weekends off with a winner- we’re not backing it. Southampton’s home record is dreadful- they’ve only won three in fourteen- but Liverpool are just too unpredictable.
Regular readers of this column will have some Mo Salah money in their pockets after his 9/2 success at home to Spurs last week. He should be shorter than 4/1 to score first at Southampton, Bet365 are top price about the Egyptian Messi and he won’t be going off much bigger than that in the league this season. Mané has also been in excellent form, and the added incentive of playing against his former club means Coral’s 13/2 he notches first is at least a point too big. Most firms are 5/1 or 11/2, and that seems more accurate.
Southampton are still without Charlie Austin- one of the most natural goalscorers in the Premier League. They score far less goals when he’s not playing and Southampton aren’t exactly prolific when he is. They are a tough side to break down, though. None of United, Arsenal, or the Spurs have managed to find the net more than once at St. Mary’s this season. Pinnacle is 13/10 under 2.5 goals, and that looks to be the bet again.
If you have the under 2.5 goals double with Pinnacle, it pays over 7/2. It’s definitely value as they are stand-out best on both selections. Here’s hoping for a boring- yet profitable- Sunday afternoon.
Very best of luck with all your bets.
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