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EPL Betting in Game Week 22 – Odds, Predictions, and Picks for Tottenham vs. Manchester United and More
After the hectic festive period in the English Premier League, clubs had the chance last weekend to rotate their players in the FA Cup and prepare for the rest of the league season.
There are now 17 games until the end of the season, so there is enough time for each team to change its fate, but not much room for mistakes. Some clubs have already changed their manager, while others decided to stick with the man in charge.
It remains to be seen what strategy works better, but one of the positive examples of a switch is the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as an interim manager of Manchester United.
The Norwegian is supposed to go in the summer, but he’s got off to a winning start and made some people believe that he should receive the position permanently.
I feel this is a bit premature, but the positive effect is obvious. The Red Devils are playing with passion and enjoy the game once again, but it’s time for them to visit Tottenham and face their first serious challenge after Mourinho was sacked.
I will see what the top EPL bookies offer for this game and share my predictions. As always, the game between Spurs and Man Utd won’t be the only one I cover extensively.
Featured Game – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United
Let’s start with the odds you can find for the main betting markets.
Someone has forgotten the struggles of Manchester United so far during the season. I don’t know if it’s the bookies, the fans, or both, but Spurs have been way better than the Red Devils up to this point of the campaign.
They also have the home advantage, so the price of 2.07 for the hosts to win here seems way too high. I will try not to jump to conclusions, but I feel that Tottenham is the big favorite here, and the odds don’t reflect that.
I can see a lot of value in the match result market, so I will probably ignore the goals market. Everything seems normal there, so let’s move on to the analysis.
We all wondered what was going to happen to Spurs when Pochettino wasn’t given the money to sign anyone in the summer. In modern soccer, it seems unthinkable to avoid big spending sprees and still stay competitive.
And yet, Tottenham showed the world that you can improve the old-fashioned way by working hard and developing your team. I admire the work Pochettino has done so far, and for me, he is the best manager in the world right now.
The club has somehow managed to stay in touch with teams who seem to have a much stronger squad after 21 games. I don’t think that Spurs will be able to finish above the reigning champions and Liverpool, but it would be foolish to write them off.
At the very least, I don’t think there are any doubts that Spurs are among the best three teams in the country. The spine of the squad consists of local lads who love the side and top-quality foreign players that are working together to ensure that Pochettino’s ideas are displayed on the pitch.
The Argentinian has installed strong defensive discipline, exceptional work rate, and a breath-taking attacking brand of soccer up front. When Spurs are at their best, they are absolutely unstoppable.
The only big problem is the lack of trophies, which is the main reason why the manager started a strong team against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. Spurs took a 1-0 lead before the second leg of the semi-finals, and this is their most realistic chance of winning something this year.
And yet, I don’t think they will have any fatigue issues when they face Manchester United on Sunday. They had enough time to rest, and the confidence of the side will be strong.
Another reason to believe that is that Spurs enjoyed a 3-0 win against the same opponent at the start of the EPL season. I don’t think they can replicate such a scoreline again, but they are certainly the favorite in this match.
The attacking line that includes Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Eriksen will certainly cause troubles to the Man Utd defense. The Red Devils have looked vulnerable despite the improved results recently, and Spurs can certainly hurt them.
At the same time, Tottenham’s defense is solid and receives a lot of support from the midfield.
I think that the sacking of Mourinho has been carefully planned by the Manchester United board.
The first four games of Solskjaer came against Cardiff City, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, and Newcastle. Three of those teams could easily get relegated this season, so it was the perfect opportunity for a flying start.
The disgruntled Manchester United players took the chance to prove that they are better off without Mourinho, but the true tests are just starting.
A big issue for United is that the defense of this team is simply not working right now. Even the likes of Newcastle and Huddersfield had a lot of chances to score, so I don’t see how the Red Devils will be able to keep a side like the Spurs at bay.
Another issue lies in the middle of the park, where Solskjaer must find the proper balance. The quality and the motivation of the players was enough against weaker opposition, but sending out the right starting eleven will be crucial against Spurs.
If Manchester United is too open, it could end up in a disaster. The attacking players like Rashford, Lukaku, and Martial look unleashed under the caretaker manager. Their contributions were enough to make up for the defensive deficiencies so far, but I don’t think this is possible against Tottenham.
The roles of Herrera and Matic will be the key for United in this game. They will have to protect the defense well while making sure that the team manages to pass the ball around without stupid mistakes at the back.
Spurs will be pressing deep for large periods of time, so Manchester United’s midfield will have to find a way to bring the ball to the forwards without losing it in dangerous areas. I don’t think that the Red Devils are ready for such a challenge, as it takes a lot of cohesion and work on the training ground.
Betting Pick and Prediction
I don’t see a reason why the win for Spurs should be priced 2.07 by BetOnline. That’s simply too low. The home side is a well-oiled machine, and the core of the squad has been playing well for years now.
The system is working both in defense and attack under the guidance of Pochettino. The manager knows how to win big games, so I expect Spurs to be ruthless here.
Manchester United might have the personnel and spirit to match their opponents, but they certainly lack the years of hard work on the training ground. I think this will tell on Sunday, so the price of 2.07 is too high to pass.
Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town
The first thing I want to do is take a look at the odds for this match.
The second game I would like to explore is the derby at the bottom between Cardiff City and Huddersfield. I expected both clubs to go down this season, and this could very well be the case. Both sides rely on their spirit and organization but lack the quality to compete.
And yet, Cardiff City has been able to grind results so far, which is why they have as many as 8 points more than Huddersfield. The Welsh club has a realistic chance of staying in the EPL, and the main reason why is related to its ability to win points against other struggling sides.
This is exactly the case here, so I feel Cardiff City is the favorite in this match. The home advantage and the hope that the current standings provide to the hosts should be enough for them to have the upper hand.
It will be tight, though, which is why I understand the low line of the total goals market. Even a single strike could determine the winner here.
Here’s what I think about both sides.
I will start by giving Cardiff City and Neil Warnock the credit they deserve. The club doesn’t have the resources of most of the competition but is fighting as hard as possible to keep its place in the English Premier League.
We’ve seen other teams succeed in the past, so Cardiff City is not doomed. The key to success lies in games like this one, and an experienced manager like Warnock knows that. He will send his boys out there with a clear goal – win this game.
I don’t expect Cardiff to be reckless, though. The players will try to win every 50-50, fight for every ball, run tirelessly, and take full advantage of every opportunity. This is how you make up for the lack of talent on the top level.
The good news is that the club will face another team that hardly has a strong squad. Huddersfield has the worst attack in the EPL, and it failed to break Cardiff City in the first game between those two.
I think this will be the key once again, and the Welsh side will manage to keep a clean sheet. The question is if the hosts can find the net themselves. They should have some opportunities to do it, so the game will be decided by the composure of the Cardiff City players in the key moments, as far as I’m concerned.
I feel for Huddersfield, as the team should’ve probably won more points based on its performance so far.
The main difference between the club and Cardiff City lies in the efficiency. David Wagner’s side isn’t taking its chances often enough and has scored only 13 goals so far.
The attack is abysmal and is the main reason why Huddersfield is in last place, 8 points behind the safety zone.
What concerns me even more is the fact that the gap to 17th place is too big right now, which might discourage the team. If Huddersfield doesn’t close it in the next couple of games, I don’t see any chance for the club to stay in the English Premier League.
The good news is that Wagner managed to convince Jason Puncheon to join on loan from Crystal Palace. It’s hardly a groundbreaking transfer, but the midfielder has a lot of experience and can contribute a lot. He can both score and create goals and will be eager to regain some form.
And yet, I just don’t think that Huddersfield has the quality to stay this season. The lack of goals is hurting the team badly, and I expect more of the same against Cardiff City.
Betting Pick and Prediction
I had some doubts if I should go for the under 2 goals market for obvious reasons, but I feel that the price for the home side to win this game is the better option.
2.25 for a Cardiff City win is too high, in my opinion, as the hosts have proven they can snatch points from teams around them in the table.
At the same time, Huddersfield’s confidence must be broken after failing to get something from a couple of decent games around Christmas. This is why I will back the home team to win and expect to see something like 1-0 or 2-0 at the end.
Predictions for This Week’s Other EPL Games
Here are the other games and what I think about each of them.
West Ham vs. Arsenal
I was very close to backing West Ham to take something from Arsenal in this London derby. The Hammers are a solid team that can hurt the weak defense of their opponents.
However, a lot of the issues of the Gunners around the festive period were related to fatigues and injuries. With some time to rest and some players back, Arsenal should improve once again.
I still think that the draw is likely here, but I don’t like backing this result, as it can easily go wrong in seconds.
Brighton vs. Liverpool
There’s not much to say here, to be honest. Liverpool is much better and will be eager to bounce back after losing against Manchester City. The club got knocked out from the FA Cup, and it’s obvious that Klopp is focusing on the EPL title.
Games like this one must be won at all costs, and this is what I expect to see. And yet, the price for Liverpool is pathetic, and I wouldn’t bet on it.
Burnley vs. Fulham
This game is interesting, as both sides are improving. I feel that the home advantage could be enough to see Burnley win, but the game is too unpredictable for my taste. Fulham might actually take something here, and I don’t see value up for grabs.
Crystal Palace vs. Watford
This tie is between two of the most unpredictable teams in the English Premier League. You simply never know what to expect from those, so I’m not sure what to pick either. The value probably lies in the odds for the visitors, but I wouldn’t back my statement with a wager, and I recommend you stay away, too.
Leicester vs. Southampton
Leicester has been doing great so far, but the improving Southampton will certainly be a threat here. I have a gut feeling this one will end in a draw, but as I mentioned earlier, this simply isn’t my type of bet.
Chelsea vs. Newcastle
This is another game where the favorite will probably win with ease, but the odds are quite pathetic. In fact, the prices for the hosts are so low that it’s probably smarter to try your luck in the opposite direction. I don’t really think that Newcastle will win, but a price of 12.50 is too high.
Manchester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
You can pretty much copy and paste the same thing I wrote about the Chelsea match. Sure, City will probably win, but 14.50? And after the champions actually lost against Crystal Palace and Leicester recently? I would stay away from this one if I were you.
Big-Priced Bet of the Week – Bournemouth to Beat Everton
Everton has been one of the rather inconsistent teams recently, while Bournemouth has hit a rough patch.
I feel the issue with the visitors came from the lack of depth in the squad. They should be better after resting, and Callum Wilson should be back firing.
The price of 4.40 for an away win is totally worth a shot, if you ask me, so this is my EPL big-priced bet of the week.
Let’s see how the teams perform after a bit of a rest in the EPL. I feel this should change the performance of at least a couple of them, but I might be wrong.
What do you think will happen this weekend? Feel free to share your EPL picks below.