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English Premier League Matchday 22 Betting Preview and Picks

| January 9, 2020 10:05 am PDT
Sheffield United vs West Ham United Premier League Matchday 22

Most English Premier League teams had the chance to rest for a full week after the hectic festive schedule, and it’s time to return for another round of the competition.

As always, I will share a betting preview and predictions for multiple games. The main focus will be on the match between Sheffield United and West Ham, but there is another EPL betting pick included.

The odds are courtesy of our recommended soccer betting sites.

Sheffield United vs. West Ham Betting Preview and Prediction

The performances of both teams throughout the season so far have been on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Sheffield United is the pleasant surprise of the league. The club is punching above its weight and sits comfortably in the top half of the EPL table.

That’s where West Ham was supposed to be right now, but the Hammers are battling against relegation instead. They even sacked Manuel Pellegrini and appointed David Moyes as the new manager.

The change did boost their results instantly, but the visit to Sheffield United is a tough challenge.

Sheffield United vs. West Ham Betting Odds

Sheffield United to Win -111
West Ham to Win +290
Draw +235
Sheffield United (-0.5) -111
West Ham (+0.5) -109
Over 2.5 +101
Under 2.5 -121

The betting sites believe that Sheffield United is a moderate favorite in this match, and I can certainly see why. In fact, the team would’ve been much bigger one several weeks ago, but more on that later.

As for the totals market, they picked the standard line of 2.5 goals, and that makes sense too. I would’ve probably expected more balanced odds, but the defense of the home team plays a big role here.

Sheffield United

Most people wondered if Chris Wilder would find a way to replicate Sheffield United’s defensive performance from the promotion-winning season in the tough EPL environment. After 21 games, I think it’s safe to say that the gaffer did a wonderful job.

Sheffield United is the team with the third-best defense in the top-tier soccer league in England, only behind Liverpool and Leicester. That’s the main reason why the side sits in the prestigious 8th position in the EPL.

And that’s after losing two games in a row. I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from those two matches, though, as they came against Liverpool and Manchester City away from home. Pretty much any team in the league is expected to taste defeat on both occasions.

I think that the bookmakers would’ve made Sheffield United the bigger favorite in this match if it weren’t for those two losses in a row. However, I don’t see how they change the big picture.

The side is still one of the best defensive teams in the league and is expected to often keep a clean sheet against the likes of West Ham at home.

The goals come hard for the hosts, but they usually manage to find the net against teams from the bottom of the table. I believe that’s going to happen on Friday night as well, mostly because West Ham’s defense concedes all sorts of goals.

It must be mentioned that Chris Wilder will have an almost full squad ready for this match, and he was able to rotate most of his starters against Fylde in the FA Cup. The core players will be fresh coming into this game, and that should play an important role.

West Ham

I’m not a big fan of mid-season managerial changes, but something had to be done at West Ham. The Hammers have been underperforming since the start of the season, so the appointment of David Moyes is not a huge surprise.

The new manager started with two wins in a row, against Bournemouth in the EPL and Gillingham in the FA Cup. While both opponents are not exactly flying right now, West Ham played much better than most of the campaign so far.

The Hammers were solid at the back and efficient up front. I would even say that they were unusually efficient in front of goal, and I don’t think that’s sustainable.

I don’t expect the same against Sheffield United, as this is a completely different challenge. The next opponent has a much better defense and the home advantage, so this is the biggest test for Moyes so far.

I believe that West Ham will most likely fail to create many opportunities, and the defense will allow Sheffield United at least several chances.

Part of the reason is the long list of injured and doubtful players that includes the likes of Jack Wilshere, Michael Antonio, Mark Noble, Aaron Cresswell, Andriy Yarmolenko, and more.

Some of them will likely return for the upcoming clash, but Moyes certainly won’t have all of his players available, and that could be an issue.

Sheffield United vs. West Ham Prediction and Betting Pick

David Moyes was able to lift West Ham almost instantly, but the next opponent is something else. Sheffield United has been the much better side over the duration of the season and has a fit, fully-rested squad ready to go.

If you add the home advantage, I don’t think the Hammers will take something from this game. The price of -111 for the hosts to win is too good to miss, in my opinion.

Pick
  • Sheffield United to Win
    -111

Other EPL Free Betting Picks for Matchday 22

I believe that another EPL clash deserves your attention, so let’s take a look.

Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal Betting Pick and Odds

Crystal Palace to Win +290
Arsenal to Win -119
Draw +260
Crystal Palace (+0.5) -101
Arsenal (-0.5) -109
Over 2.75 -106
Under 2.75 -114

I love what Mikel Arteta is doing at Arsenal, but I’m not sure that the team has improved enough to be such a favorite against like a solid mid-table team like Crystal Palace away from home.

The Gunners are still inconsistent and fragile defensively, as we clearly saw in the FA Cup against Leeds United. Arteta fielded a strong side at home, and the visitors still played way better in the first half. Only their lack of composure kept the Gunners in the game.

I don’t think that Crystal Palace would be so wasteful in front of goal. This is a tough team that will receive a lot of support from the home crowd. I won’t be shocked if the hosts even win here, but I prefer to play it safe.

The price of -101 for Crystal Palace to take something from this match represents excellent value, and this is my final pick.

Pick
  • Crystal Palace (+0.5)
    -101

Final Words

I came close to adding two more games here, but one of them will go in my weekly post about the best soccer sleepers in Europe tomorrow, so check back to the sports section of our blog then. In the meantime, feel free to share your comment on my EPL betting picks and add your own ideas for the upcoming matchday.

Good luck!

Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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