Premier League odds: Manchester United among matchweek favorites

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Manchester United’s players have what they wanted — a manager who is not named Jose Mourinho — and that could lead to offering the betting value typically associated with a top club.

Now under the interim command of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United is a -170 away favorite at +525 underdog Cardiff City on the Premier League odds for Saturday, with the draw offering +320 on the three-way moneyline and a 2.5-goals total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Sixth-place Manchester United, which sacked Mourinho on Tuesday, will probably try to assert itself with a more attacking style spearheaded by the likes of midfielder Paul Pogba, winger Anthony Martial and forward Marcus Rashford as it tries to get back in contact with the top four who are in position to qualify for the 2019-20 Champions League.

The payouts on Man United move into plus money at sports betting sites for a shutout win (+170), while the correct score group props contain value for Manchester United win 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 (+400) as well as a 3-0 result (+900). In terms of attaching a betting interest to a narrative, Pogba (+600 first scorer, +200 anytime) offers more upside in individual scorer props now that he’s free from Mourinho than Rashford (+500, +150) does in the forward rankings.

Cardiff City has had one-goal victories in three consecutive home matches, albeit against stragglers Brighton and Southampton and newly promoted Wolverhampton, and is also contending with several injuries.

Elsewhere, Arsenal (-400), on a two-game skid in all competitions, hosts Burnley (+1300, draw +525) with little incentive beyond locking in three points. The host Gunners have a plethora of injuries and Burnley is likely to play with a single forward, so Arsenal win/No (-120) in the Both Teams To Score (BTTS) props and the UNDER (+110) on the 3.0-goals total might be safe plays.

Manchester City (-750) takes on Crystal Palace (+2000, draw +850) with playmaking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne expected to return, and stands a good chance of pouring it on offensively against a team it has scored at least four goals against in each of the last four matchups (all competitions). Man City is even-money on the 1.5-goals line.

West Ham United (+135), which has won four games on the bounce, hosts Watford (+210, draw +250) which won only two of its last 20 away games in league play. West Ham’s last four games have gone OVER 2.5 goals and Watford has conceded at least two goals in five consecutive games, which makes the higher-risk, higher-reward plays such as West Ham win/Yes (+350) in BTTS props and OVER 2.5 (+335) in West Ham’s total rather enticing.

West Ham is creating chances through its midfield, so Felipe Anderson (+800 first scorer, +250 anytime) has good value this week.

Huddersfield Town (+210) is the home underdog against Southampton (+155, draw +210), largely since it has won only one of its last six home matches in the league. The visiting Saints (-265 on the double chance) have some semblance of momentum after upsetting Arsenal on Dec. 16, and should generate some chances for Danny Ings (+350 first scorer, +138 anytime). There have been UNDER 2.5 goals scored in seven of Huddersfield’s last eight home games.

And Everton (+225) hosts Tottenham (+130, draw +240) in the lone Sunday matchup, with the Spurs owning an 11-game undefeated streak in this matchup in all competitions. Harry Kane (+300 first scorer, -120 anytime) is an especially good play in individual scorer props after being held out of a midweek Carabao Cup match.

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.

Season restart preview: Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton season restart
Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images
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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

Brighton is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Seagulls when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: If there’s a team whose results don’t show the way they’ve played, it’s Brighton. Graham Potter’s Seagulls have the sixth-best possession percentage in the league, are a tidy seventh in passing, and are mid-table in tackles per game, interceptions per game, and shots per game.

[ MORE: Ranking every Brighton player in 2019-20 ]

The expected goals stats show even less reward for good work, with Brighton scoring 8.35 goals less than expected in open play and 4.38 less from corner kicks.

Despite all these good things, Brighton is two points clear of the drop zone with nine matches to play and has a terribly challenging schedule especially at the Amex Stadium.


Tactical analysis: Graham Potter has put the Seagulls in myriad formations this season, though he’s been utilizing at least four at the back since the calendar turned to 2020. He’s ready to attack but pragmatic given the club’s hopes of staving off the teams below it in the fight for PL survival.

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess Brighton’s chances ]


Possible XI (4-2-3-1) 

—– Ryan —–

— Montoya — Webster — Dunk — Burn —

—– Propper —– Mooy —–

— Trossard — Gross — Alzate —

—– Maupay—–

Glenn Murray and Alireza Jahanbakhsh are excellent weapons to have on the bench, and Brighton’s also got a very good center back in reserve in the form of Shame Duffy and an underrated center mid in Dale Stephens who will see playing time, too. On paper, this team is too good to go down.


[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle
Away: Leicester, Norwich, Southampton, Burnley

Predicted finish: They’ll do enough to get by, though that home fixture list is simply brutal. Safe before the final weekend.

Social media wrap: All 20 Premier League clubs, many players stand against racism

Premier League social media
@Wolves
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The protests in the United States have inspired anti-racism statements from around the world, including all gestures from all 20 Premier League clubs and many players and managers.

There have been ongoing protests and horrible violence in the U.S. since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes even after he stopped moving and pleaded for air in Minnesota.

Newcastle United’s American defender DeAndre Yedlin issued an emotional thread (below) as one of a great deal of players to express hopes for change and solidarity, while Schalke’s Weston McKennie explained his wearing a black armband reading “Justice For George” in the Bundesliga this weekend.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

From Ancelotti to Zaha, Antonio to Yedlin, Arsenal to Wolves, we’ve collected many of their sentiments below in what we hope serves as universal disdain for racial prejudice.

Some players like Leicester City’s Wes Morgan and even entire clubs (Arsenal) changed their online identity photos to reflect these troubled times.

All PL clubs issued messages of solidarity, many using the Black Lives Matter hashtag and making no bones about where they stand.

And we’ll start with a longtime PL club currently in the Championship, who blasted a season ticket holder’s rejection of their unifying Tweet.

Here are some other clubs and players worldwide to have noticed what’s happening in the United States.

 

Season restart preview: Bournemouth

Bournemouth season restart
Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images
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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Bournemouth when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: Tough sledding for the Cherries, who face zero of their fellow bottom-six sides (though 13th place Newcastle and 14th place Saints both visit the Vitality Stadium).

There’s been an element of bad luck to Bournemouth’s woes, with its expected goals stats showing Ryan Fraser, Joshua King, and Callum Wilson have deserved better end product and that the Cherries’ 14 goals from open play should be closer to 22. The defense has been bad and xG says it could’ve been worse, too. Injuries had hit Bournemouth’s defense corps in a big way, too. How much better will they be after the break?

[ MORE: Ranking every Cherries player in 2019-20 ]


Tactical analysis: Eddie Howe utilized a 4-4-2 with two defensive midfielders for much of the early season, but has gone between a lone striker with a packed-in midfielder and a 4-3-3 when he thinks an opponent is exploitable.

Howe started a 4-4-2 against almost all of the Cherries’ remaining opponents, choosing a 5-4-1 against Wolves and Man City. There’s no guarantee he’ll continue that, especially when some matches may dictate a draw or limited goal differential damage over wins.


Possible XI (4-3-3) 

—– Ramsdale —–

— Smith — S. Cook — Ake — Rico —

—– Lerma —– Billing — L. Cook —

— Fraser —– C. Wilson —– King —–

Howe prefers to attack when at all possible, but the points will be at a premium against some very challenging opponents. It’s a safe bet that he’ll ask a lot from his forwards while trying to deploy his three relentless midfielders together whenever possible. The question here is whether Aaron Ramsdale returns quickly from his COVID-19 positive test, or if it’ll be Artur Boruc or someone else between the sticks.


[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Spurs, Leicester City, Southampton
Away: Wolves, Manchester United, Man City, Everton

Predicted finish: The Cherries stay up, just, as King and Callum Wilson deliver the goods in front of a determined and improved midfield.

Premier League clubs will reportedly be allowed preseason friendlies

Premier League return
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Premier League clubs will be allowed to play preseason matches ahead of the 2019-20’s restart season later this month.

There will be strict protocols due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, and the matches will likely be officiated by club coaching staffs (We have so many Jose Mourinho as ref quips to make here, but let’s keep going anyway).

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Sky Sports says clubs will be limited to opponents within 90 minutes of their venue, and that players will have to drive themselves to the stadiums and go directly to the field in uniform.

With the League One and League Two seasons still hanging in the balance, it’s likely PL sides will be limited to each other and Championship sides. Presumably clubs will not want to meet others still on their fixture list.

We assume some players will get dressed in their vehicles outside the ground, but allow yourself some levity in these challenging times and imagine a fully kitted-up Virgil van Dijk driving the roads from Liverpool to Wigan Athletic.