If anything, this week’s Super Sunday line-up looks better on paper than we suspect it will be in reality. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty for punters to work with, however.
Bournemouth and Liverpool should be a pleasing on the eye encounter, but injuries to some of the Reds’ key players may just blunt their attack somewhat. Later on, Everton and Manchester United should serve up a tight and largely goal-free affair; that’s what the stats point to anyway.
With all that in mind, here are Sunday’s Premier League betting tips.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool (1:30pm)
Occasionally, injuries to key players can help to shape our betting decisions, and a mini injury crisis at Liverpool is certainly informing our opinions of Sunday’s lunchtime kick off.
We say mini: basically, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge are all trying to shake off knocks and get themselves in the frame for selection. As we know, Philippe Coutinho is out until the new year with that foot injury he suffered last week against Sunderland, so an enforced lay-off for two or more of the above would severely dent Jurgen Klopp’s attacking resources.
It is Lallana in particular who is missed. He has been absent for his side’s last two games, in which time the Reds failed to net against Southampton and took 75 minutes to break the deadlock against Sunderland. Clearly, his presence in midfield has contributed greatly to Liverpool’s status as a free-scoring, free-spirited outfit. If Lallana and Coutinho are both absent, Klopp’s weaponry will be more bow and arrow than bombs and grenades.
And what about Bournemouth? Inconsistency is the word, and defensively they seem to go through peaks and troughs. They travelled to the Emirates last week and shipped three to Alexis Sanchez inspired Arsenal, but then one of those was a giveaway by Steve Cook and the third a dubious penalty. Perhaps they are better than the numbers suggest.
Only six of their thirteen outings have breached the Over 2.5 Goal mark, and closer inspection reveals that they have conceded two or more goals in 5/13; and just 2/6 at home.
To find Under 2.5 Goals at odds-against is perhaps not surprising given Liverpool’s proclivity for a goal or two this term, but closer analysis reveals that it is worth a flutter on Sunday.
Under 2.5 Goals (13/10 with Coral)
Liverpool to Win 1-0 (8/1 with Betfred)
Liverpool to Win 2-0 (9/1 with bet365)
Everton vs Manchester United (4pm)
Football is a funny old game when it comes to interpreting numbers and stats. These two sides are perfect examples.
If an alien came down from Mars, flicked open his chosen broadsheet/tabloid newspaper and perused the Premier League table, he might assume that Everton are a quality side given their current ranking of seventh.
But if he or she put their green head to good use and studied the numbers more closely, they would notice that the Toffees have won just one game since September 18.
The same alien might refer to the form guide and see that Manchester United have won just one of their last seven. ‘Pah, they’re rubbish’, might be the end result. But further investigation reveals that in those seven United have fired 42 shots on target, and restricted their opponents to just 20. Conclusion? They are a much better side than their sixth place in the table suggests.
To see the Red Devils available at 23/20 here then is a dream-like scenario, and we’re certainly happy to fill our boots.
Part of Everton’s problem is that the attacking sharpness that Ronald Koeman’s side displayed in the early parts of the season has all but disappeared. Romelu Lukaku looks an isolated figure as the three players just behind him – Yannick Bolasie, Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley – lurch from hot to cold to headless chicken with alarming regularity.
The other issue for the Toffees is their lack of squad depth realistically, only Gerard Deulofeu can come in to the attacking pivot and make a difference. The upshot? Everton have scored just six goals in their last eight starts.
Mind you, United aren’t free flowing in attack. Take the 3-1 win over Swansea out of the equation and they have scored just three goals in their last seven. Expect a low-scoring affair at Goodison Park come Sunday teatime.
Manchester United to Win (23/20 with Paddy Power)
Under 2.5 Goals (4/5 with Betfair)