Premier League Betting Odds for Matchweek 31
Manchester City, Liverpool Dueling for Title
Top-Four Race Boosts Interest in EPL Betting
One only has to go back three years to find a Premier League title race as hotly contested as this season’s. Not coincidentally, the same two teams are involved as Manchester City hold a one-point lead over a surging Liverpool. In 2018-19, Manchester City won the EPL title by a single point and Liverpool will try to avoid repeat heartbreak. Although EPL betting odds suggest Manchester City as the likely winner again, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have been excellent lately.
All eyes will be on City and Liverpool for the rest of the season and especially so in a week’s time when they clash in Manchester in the game of the season. This weekend, nothing short of three points will be tolerated by either team. At the same time, we’ve also got one of the most intriguing top-four battles in awhile as Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham duke it out for a coveted Champions League place.
Title Challengers Face Relegation Favorites
Like Manchester City, Burnley desperately need three points this weekend when they host the Citizens. Sean Dyche and Burnley, who seemingly always find a way to stay up, find themselves in perhaps their toughest relegation battle yet. Four points from safety, the hard-nosed Northwesterners are one of the better defensive teams in the league but can’t seem to put the ball in the back of the net.
Wout Weghorst and Maxwel Cornet are talented players and were ambitious transfers for Burnley, but neither they nor any Clarets player has scored for the last three matches. In fact, Burnley haven’t scored vs. Manchester City in any of the last five meetings. According to the Premier League betting odds, Burnley under ½ is listed at -140 and no one would be surprised if City shut them out on Saturday.
As luck would have it, Liverpool are also playing a team in the doldrums as they host 18th-place Watford on Saturday. Despite their woes, Cucho Hernandez has scored some big goals for the Hornets in recent weeks. He scored a bicycle kick vs. Arsenal and bagged a brace when they beat Southampton 2-1 before the international break. Liverpool’s four-game Premier League shutout streak could potentially be at risk here.
Recall that when the Reds went to Watford earlier in the season, they came away with a resounding 5-0 win. It’s scarcely shocking when Liverpool blows away teams at this point. Without Premier League assists leader Trent Alexander-Arnold, though, Liverpool’s all-world attack will be missing its biggest supplier, so Mo Salah and Sadio Mane’s ability to beat defenders out wide will be key.
The duo will have to settle their differences after Mane’s Senegal beat Salah’s Egypt in penalties for the second time in as many months to qualify for the World Cup. As an alternative Premier League betting tip for this one, look to the props to get a better price on a Liverpool win combined with totals.
Race for Top Four Heats Up
In fourth place with a game in hand on both Manchester United and Tottenham, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are favored by Premier League soccer predictions to make the UCL for the first time since 2016. They’ve done it by trusting their youth, as all of their top four scorers are 23 or younger. Left winger Gabriel Martinelli just made his much-deserved debut with the Brazilian national team and will be a handful for Crystal Palace to deal with on Monday.
When these teams last met, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was still Arsenal’s captain and Nicolas Pepe was starting. So, a lot has changed for the Gunners since Alexandre Lacazette’s last-minute equalizer preserved a point at the Emirates in October. Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has done a great job as Palace’s manager and they’ve gone undefeated vs. Manchester City this season.
Palace have allowed just three goals in their last six Premier League matches, while only Liverpool and Manchester City have kept more clean sheets than Arsenal. EPL betting odds set the over/under at 2½ for what figures to be an excellent London derby.
Arsenal’s North London rivals, Tottenham, take on a Newcastle team on Sunday that have lost just one road match since December. With a handful of injuries, that could easily become a second straight road loss for the Magpies.
The Spurs have averaged three goals per game in their last five and are starting to look scary as Harry Kane rounds back into form. With Fabian Schar and Kieran Trippier out on Newcastle’s back line, my Premier League betting tip suggests taking a closer look at the Spurs’ over/under goals totals for the match.
Manchester United’s last match ended in a Champions League exit as the palpably frustrated fans at Old Trafford pelted beer at Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone. This has been a rather challenging season for a Man U team in turmoil. Arsenal may be filming an Amazon Prime documentary, but there’s no dressing room more volatile than United’s in the Premier League this season.
Amid a midseason manager change, Mason Greenwood’s indefinite suspension, calls for Harry Maguire to be stripped of the captaincy and a sense that the top-four is slipping away, United are as fragile as ever. Their opponent this weekend, Leicester City, have beaten them the last three teams they’ve played and put four goals on them in October.
With Jonny Evans back in action for Leicester, the Foxes defense should be stabilized. Given recent history, it’s interesting to see Leicester as one-goal underdogs but, then again, Jamie Vardy is out for the Foxes.