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PL Matchweek 13 odds: Chelsea slight favorite at Tottenham

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The timing for a top-four showdown certainly is better for Chelsea than it is for Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham Hotspur are the slight moneyline underdog at +175 on this week’s Premier League odds with Chelsea coming back at +160, while the draw is at +245 with a 2.5-goal total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Chelsea, one of the three teams still yet to lose, appears to be coming into the matchup with a healthier lineup, as the host Spurs have ruled out center back Dávinson Sánchez and could also be without defender Juan Foyth and midfielder Erik Lamela, who are recharging after international-break commitments.

That would seem to work in favor of Chelsea and standout scorer Eden Hazard (+500 first goal scorer, +150 anytime). While Chelsea has shutouts in five of its last seven away matches, the head-to-head trends point toward some scoring, as both teams have scored in  five of the last six games in this matchup, with all five of those going over 2.5 goals.

Brighton & Hove Albion (+200) and Leicester City (+150, draw +220) are separated by only two places in the league standings, which could lead to a conservatively played match when they meet on Saturday. With Brighton having a plethora of injury concerns, Leicester City has some modest value on the double chance (-235), while tie/yes (+350) in both teams to score (BTTS) props is the higher-percentage play.

Last-place Fulham (+160) takes on the similarly relegation-threatened Southampton (+180, draw +240) in its first outing since installing Claudio Ranieri as manager. Southampton is on an eight-match winless streak in the league, so this would seem like a tailor-made chance for Fulham to get a badly needed win. Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (+550 first scorer, +175 anytime) should be prominent offensively.

Watford (+550) faces a Liverpool (-195, draw +330) side that might be looking ahead to a Champions League fixture next week against Paris Saint-Germain of France. Watford offers good value on the double chance (+160), and its last five home games have all gone OVER 2.5 goals, meaning the OVER (+110) on the 3.0-goals total is attainable.

Bournemouth (+265) and Arsenal (even, draw +280) each take strong OVER trends into a Sunday EPL matchup, with the host Cherries having gone over 2.5 goals in seven of their last eight games, while it’s been over 2.5 in nine of Arsenal’s last 10 away matches.

And Wolverhampton (-200) and Huddersfield (+650, draw +320), conversely, is a matchup of UNDER trends, with 10 of the Wolves’ last 11 games having had UNDER 2.5 goals, while the same is true of five of Huddersfield’s last six overall. Wolverhampton offers +105 for a shutout win.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Premier League Friendly Roundup: Leicester, Norwich in action

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Ayoze Perez got off to a great start for his new club on Tuesday, as Leicester topped Scunthorpe United, 1-0.

Perez, who arrived earlier this month from Newcastle in a $38 million transfer, scored on a first-time strike in the box that proved to be the difference in the game.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Brendan Rodgers side got a chance to get minutes for plenty of first-team regulars. Johnny Evans, Jamie Vardy, Perez and Youri Tielemans all started. Wes Morgan, new signing James Justin, Rachid Ghezzal all came off the bench.

An interesting note was that Harry Maguire, the target of serious transfer interest from Manchester United, came off the bench at halftime and played the second half of the game. According to the latest reports, Man United and Leicester City are still very far apart regarding a transfer fee, so Maguire looks set to remain for the time being.

Elsewhere, Norwich City continued its preseason tour of Germany with a friendly match held behind closed doors. Norwich beat Bonner SC, 4-1, with goals from Adam Idah, Onel Hernandez and Teemu Pukki.

UCL Roundup: Red Star, The New Saints (Wales) advance to second round

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Second legs are underway in the UEFA Champions League first qualification round, and both Red Star Belgrade and The New Saints from Wales are through to the second round.

Here’s a short roundup of UCL action on Tuesday:


Red Star Belgrade 2-1 Sudova (2-1 on Aggregate)

The Serbian giants advance to the next round with a big 2-1 win over Lithuanian Champions Sudova. Richmond Boakye and former Chelsea midfielder Marko Marin both scored in the first half. Red Star Belgrade was set to keep a clean sheet but Sudova scored late.

With the win, Red Star Belgrade moves on to face HJK Helsinki in Finland in the second round.


The New Saints 1-0 Feronikeli (3-2 on aggregate)

Welsh Premier League side The New Saints defeated Kosovan club Feronikeli, 1-0, thanks to a goal from Irish forward Dean Ebbe. Ebbe came off the bench and headed home a lofted ball into the box.

Feronikeli had chances to take the lead early, including twice in the first ten minutes, but blasted shots in the box well over the wall.

UEFA Champions League Second Leg Results

Shkendija 1 – 2 Nõmme Kalju 
Saburtalo 1 – 3 FC Sheriff
Valletta 1 – 1 F91 Dudelange
HB 2 – 2 HJK 

Solskjaer: ‘We just need consistency’

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In a vague, general word, Manchester United manager knows exactly what his club have been missing. Consistency.

More specifically, consistent success.

In a sit-down interview with the BBC, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mentioned striving for consistency in performances on no less than four occasions, including when speaking about Alexis Sanchez. Man United won eight straight matches in all competitions and 10 of its first 11 under the Norwegian manager.

[READ: De Ligt lands in Turin ahead of Juventus move]

And yet, the consistency wasn’t there late in the season, when Man United faltered down the stretch and won just two of its last ten matches to close the season on a sour note. Man United finished in sixth place, and while Solskjaer said he believed it would be a challenge to break into the top four, he said with some consistent performances, Man United could achieve its goals.

“We have to aim for further up than fourth,” Solskjaer told the BBC. “I would rather be an optimist and be wrong than a pessimist and be right. I am not used to us being fifth or sixth but that is where we are at. That is the size of the challenge. I love that challenge.

“We have to work with the players, sign the right types and gradually make our way to the challenging line. Our players do have quality. They do have a chance. We just need consistency. We have to keep working every single day and not take our eyes off the target. Everyone gets off line at some point but you can’t let it drift too far because then you won’t get to the overall goal.”

Some Man United fans have been mumbling and rumbling due to the slow start in this summer’s transfer window. Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia have both departed on free transfers, while only Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have come in. While it’s not the improvements some fans were hoping for, it’s helped give some of the young players, like James Garner, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenword, some hope that they can get minutes.

Perhaps the push from the young players for first team minutes will make Man United a bit more competitive in training again, which can only help in terms of having success on the field.

The big question remains, which Man United team will we see this season. The one from Solskjaer’s first two months on the job, or the one from his last six weeks.

MLS Notes: Shea out for season with torn ACL, and more

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It appeared Brek Shea had finally gotten his career back on track, only for a serious injury to end his season prematurely.

Atlanta United announced on Tuesday that Shea had suffered a “right knee injury” that will involve season-ending surgery. An earlier report from the Athletic stated it was a torn ACL, which could leave Shea sidelined into the start of next season.

[READ: de Ligt arrives in Turin]

Shea has made 10 starts out of 19 appearances so far this season for Atlanta, where he’s often played as a left wing back or left midfielder, offering speed down the flank and a deeper starting position to connect with Atlanta’s talented attackers. A good season from Shea could have propelled him back into the USMNT conversation, especially if he took part in next season’s January camp. Now, that option is off the table.

Here’s some more MLS news and notes:

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