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EPL Betting in Week 25 – Odds, Predictions, and Picks for Manchester City vs. Arsenal and Other Games

| January 31, 2019 12:00 am PDT
EPL Betting in Week 25

The weekend ahead will feature the games from English Premier League matchday 25.

It is one of the occasions in which there were other games in midweek, so plenty of teams will carry some heavy legs.

The game that draws most of the attention is the one between Manchester City and Arsenal, for a couple of reasons.

One is that the hosts are in a position in which they simply can’t afford to lose more points, or the title will be gone.

On the other hand, Arsenal has improved in the big games under Unai Emery and will be hoping to take something. Even a point here would be a huge boost to the team’s morale, which could be vital in the chase of the top four.

The pressure is building at the bottom of the EPL table too, as there are several teams that could end up relegated. They are all desperate for points and running out of time, so every single match counts, especially against fellow strugglers.

In this EPL betting preview, I will take a closer look at the odds provided by the EPL betting sites for this weekend’s games and see if there are some good bets in there.

Featured Game – Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Let’s take a look at the odds for this Super Sunday EPL game.

Manchester City to Win1.29
Draw5.20
Arsenal to Win9.25
Over 3.5 Goals1.89
Under 3.5 Goals1.92

I can agree with the fact that Manchester City is the overwhelming favorite in this match, but a price of 1.28 is still ridiculous. The champions have already lost four games this season and are far from the juggernaut they were last year.

With that being said, Arsenal is struggling hard, and Unai Emery can barely find four fit defenders to build a backline after so many injuries. Under the circumstances, I would stay away from the match results and the handicap options.

However, the over/under goals market might be somewhat interesting.

The bookies expect a lot of goals because of City’s might and Arsenal’s problems at the back right now. And yet, I feel the Gunners have improved a bit recently, while Pep’s men are far from their best.

I will stop right here, though, and take a look at each team separately before sharing my final Man City vs. Arsenal betting pick.

Manchester City

I’m not sure what’s going on with Manchester City in this campaign. The squad is as strong as last season, but it’s not capable of finding the same consistency. In fact, the champions have already lost more points this year than the previous one.

If I had to make one assumption, it would be related to the mentality of the team. For a start, there is a real contender this time around. Liverpool’s remarkable run has put Manchester City under severe pressure to perform.

Jurgen Klopp has managed to build a team that can compete for the title, and this changes everything. Man City can’t afford to lose any points, and the players play with fear at times. This wasn’t the case last year, when the Blues were hardly out of their comfort zone at any given moment.

The consequences of this change in the EPL environment are plain to see. The Manchester City players make more mistakes at the back, they often rush their attacks, and their efficiency is nowhere near the levels of last season.

A couple of teams have managed to take full advantage already, as Pep Guardiola’s side registered its fourth defeat on Tuesday night in Newcastle. Despite scoring in less than a minute, Man City was held by the hosts and even conceded twice by the end of the game.

The damage from the defeat at Newcastle could have been worse, but Liverpool failed to beat Leicester at home, so they only gained one point at the top.

It’s curious to see that the current title holders lost three of their four games against Crystal Palace, Leicester, and Newcastle. With all the respect I have for those teams, they are nowhere near City’s level.

At the same time, the champions have been strong against teams from the top of the table. They only lost away from home against Chelsea, and there was a lot of luck involved there.

More importantly, Manchester City beat Liverpool at home recently, so they certainly know how to dismantle quality opposition at the Etihad.

Another reason to be confident is that every single team that managed to beat Guardiola’s side so far has a better defense than Arsenal. Despite all the problems in the current campaign, Manchester City is still more than capable of punishing weak defenses.

The style of the team is such that the only opponents capable of taking something are the ones who can defend properly for large periods of time. Pep’s men will have more of the ball against Arsenal, too, and I feel that they will patiently keep it and try to find an opening.

Considering the number of injuries and the inconsistent form of the Gunners’ defense, I feel that City will certainly score in this match.

I would expect that even against the best backline Arsenal has to offer, but with Sokratis, Bellerin, Holding, and potentially Koscielny out, it will be easy for the hosts to find openings.

This is why I believe that Guardiola’s main target in this game will be to stay patient and solid at the back. They have conceded too many stupid goals lately, and this is among the reasons City is behind in the title race.

Pep will want to avoid that, especially since this is where Arsenal is the strongest. If Manchester City manages to keep the ball well and avoid individual errors, I feel that a clean sheet is an achievable goal.

Arsenal

Just when it seemed that Arsenal was down and out of the top four chase, the Gunners managed to pull one of the best performances of the season and beat Chelsea at home. The defense looked strong, while the attacking players pushed the Blues and disrupted their rhythm.

As a result, the Gunners won 2-0 and are now back in the hunt for a Champions League place. I believe that one of the reasons for that was the partnership between the returned skipper Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis at the heart of the defense.

Unai Emery decided to return to four at the back and used those two as his center backs, and it worked. The problem is that the Greek defender has an ankle problem, while Koscielny suffered a nasty jaw injury recently. Both are recovering better than expected, but I don’t think we will see either of the two against City.

If you add the injuries of Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin, it doesn’t look good for the Gunners. Unai Emery will have to send a makeshift defense against the best attack in the league. I’m not sure what to expect, but the only logical choice would be to provide enough cover from the midfield.

The Spanish manager will probably instruct the likes of Xhaka and Torreira to help the defense as often as possible. The problem is that we saw a more defensive approach against Liverpool, and the Gunners were crushed.

If Emery doesn’t find the right balance, his team could struggle badly on both ends of the pitch against Manchester City.

I expect a bit of a different system compared to the visit at Anfield. The Arsenal manager will probably send a hard-working third man in the middle, but one that also poses some threat to the opponent. The one that fits this description the best is Aaron Ramsey.

The Welshman will be part of Juventus from the summer on, but this hasn’t affected his performances. Ramsey has stayed professional, and his work rate will be needed against Manchester City.

I believe that the team selection against Cardiff City on Tuesday night suggest the midfielder will start on Sunday. He was left on the bench and played in the last 20 minutes or so.

Another one that got some rest is Granit Xhaka, and I expect both to start in an attempt to limit Manchester City’s midfield.

Betting Pick and Prediction

I obviously expect Manchester City to win, but the price of 1.28 for the home side is way too short against an opponent like Arsenal. In fact, I would normally back the hosts with some handicap, but the lack of defenders in the squad is worrying.

This is why I will stay away from the match result and try something different. BetOnline offers the price of 1.92 for the game to finish under 3.5 goals.

It’s quite tempting, as I think that Man City will focus on controlling the flow and not letting Arsenal find any opportunities to score.

I could easily see a result like 2-0 or 3-0 in favor of the home team. This is why I will go for this particular option, and this is my final Man City vs. Arsenal betting pick.

PICKUnder 3.5 Goals1.92

Tottenham vs. Newcastle

Let’s see what the bookies offer for this one.

Tottenham to Win1.42
Draw4.09
Newcastle to Win7.80
Over 2.5 Goals1.83
Under 2.5 Goals2.00

I won’t talk too much about the match results odds, as I feel they are quite accurate. Tottenham is the obvious favorite here, and Newcastle will be hoping for a draw at best. I don’t see any value, so let’s move on.

The total goals market is what seems tempting. The Magpies will come with a lot of confidence after the win against Man City, and they will rely heavily on their defense. At the same time, Spurs will be missing a bunch of attacking players.

Under such circumstances, it might be wise to explore the under 2.5 goals option, but let’s dig a bit deeper before making any final conclusions.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham is showing remarkable resilience in the English Premier League this season. With 54 points after 24 games, the team should’ve been among the title favorites at this stage. But Liverpool’s phenomenal run leaves Pochettino’s side 6 points behind the top spot.

I don’t think that Spurs will be able to erase this deficit by the end of the season, because both Man City and the Reds have more depth in their squads.

The biggest problem of Tottenham lies in the injuries of their creative players. A quick look at the EPL injury table shows that the two best players of the Spurs, Harry Kane and Dele Alli, will be out until the middle of March.

The talismanic skipper has been the most prolific striker in the EPL in the past couple of seasons, while Alli serves both as a playmaker and a finisher.

Missing either Alli or Kane would be bad enough, but both at the same time is nothing short of a disaster.

You could see how losing key players affected Spurs in the 2-1 win against Watford. Tottenham had to wait until the dying minutes of the game to get the victory and struggled to unlock a rather average Watford defense for most of the match.

I could certainly see similar issues against the visiting Newcastle on Saturday. The Magpies rely heavily on their defense, and Rafa Benitez is a master of nullifying the opponent.

I don’t think that Spurs will have many chances to score, so keeping a clean sheet will be vital. I expect Pochettino to instruct his side to play it safe and control the tempo, because if the hosts concede, they might not have enough opportunities to make up for that.

Newcastle

I’m glad to see Newcastle enjoy such a magical moment against reigning champions Manchester City. The supporters of the club have suffered a lot, so they deserve some joy. On top of that, the Magpies’ chances of staying up certainly received a strong boost.

Newcastle showed a lot of resilience and fight in this game, somehow managing to keep City at bay after the 1st-minute goal of Sergio Aguero. If it can be done against Guardiola’s team, it can be done against every club in the EPL.

I think that the Magpies will enter the game against the Spurs with the confidence that they can take something from it.

Benitez will send a lot of men to defend against Spurs, and with Kane and Alli out, this will make the life of the hosts a nightmare.

The big question is if Newcastle will manage to muster some chances up front. The return of Salomon Rondon was crucial against City, and the forward scored one of the goals. He certainly represents the biggest threat, but he needs at least some support.

I feel that Benitez will be reluctant to provide that, at least initially, as his game plan would be to keep a clean sheet. I think this is sensible under the circumstances, but his team will certainly have to be close to perfect.

Betting Pick and Prediction

Even without Dele Alli and Harry Kane, Spurs should have enough to beat Newcastle at home. And yet, the price of 1.42 for that to happen is simply too low for my taste.

Since I expect a close game, I stand by my initial impression that the under 2.5 market is where the value lies. The price is 2.00, which is more than enough for a game that I expect to be decided by one goal.

My prediction is 1-0 in favor of Spurs, so under 2.5 goals is my Spurs versus Newcastle betting pick.

PICKUnder 2.5 Goals2.00

Predictions for This Week’s Other EPL Games

Here are my thoughts on the other games from this EPL round.

Brighton vs. Watford

Brighton to Win2.59
Draw2.99
Watford to Win2.86

Brighton looked strong in the first half against Fulham, going 2-0 up. The team collapsed after the interval and lost 4-2, which will certainly hurt the side’s confidence.

At the same time, Watford should’ve probably taken something from the match against the Spurs but conceded twice towards the end to lose.

Both teams are close to the middle of the table and will be comfortable about avoiding relegation, but I feel Watford is simply stronger. The price for the visitors is quite high too, so I think it might be worth a shot.

Burnley vs. Southampton

Burnley to Win2.57
Draw3.05
Southampton to Win3.05

Both teams were in a dreadful position a month or so ago, but they are looking much better now. Burnley decided to stick to Sean Dyche, and he has managed to improve the side. The relegation zone is still lurking, but the team is winning points and playing much better.

The same can be said about Southampton, but it’s curious that the owners’ strategy was exactly the opposite. They sacked the manager early in the season, and it seems to be working so far.

I’m not sure what to expect from this match, but I feel that the value might be in the odds for the home team.

Chelsea vs. Huddersfield

Chelsea to Win1.19
Draw6.00
Huddersfield to Win16.50

I don’t think anyone expected Chelsea to be spanked by Bournemouth in such a fashion. To be fair, the end result of 4-0 is a bit misleading, but the Blues were bad and deserved nothing from this match. They were hapless up front and terrible at the back.

The good news is that they will play the worst EPL team at home on the weekend, which is a good opportunity to bounce back. I expect Chelsea to win rather comfortably, but the price of 1.19 is not high enough.

Crystal Palace vs. Fulham

Crystal Palace to Win1.99
Draw3.35
Fulham to Win3.55

This London derby seems hard to predict, as both teams are inconsistent. Sometimes they are quite good, while in other games they are terrible.

I would normally go for Palace here, but Zaha will be suspended due to his red card against Southampton, and Fulham will be flying after the comeback against Brighton. This makes me think that the visitors might be able to win this one, and the price is quite tempting.

Everton vs. Wolverhampton

Everton to Win2.29
Draw3.20
Wolves to Win3.10

The best two teams, if we exclude the big six, meet each other this week. I believe that the game between Everton and Wolves is unpredictable. The discipline of the visitors might give them an edge, but the Toffees had a couple of unstoppable moments during this campaign.

If they show the same face, they could very well collect the three points here, too.

Cardiff City vs. Bournemouth

Cardiff City to Win2.97
Draw3.15
Bournemouth to Win2.40

Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City is trying hard to survive, and you can see that. The team could’ve gotten something out of the game against Arsenal, too, but the lack of quality up front is preventing the Welsh side from progressing in the table.

Cardiff managed to score only one goal in the last four games from the EPL, and this is the biggest problem. If they keep missing their opportunities, Neil Warnock’s men will certainly go down.

This weekend, they will face a strong Bournemouth side that just beat Chelsea 4-0 at home. It’s a stern test for Cardiff’s credentials and one that I don’t think they will pass. Bournemouth is my favorite here, although I can’t exclude the draw as a possibility.

Leicester vs. Manchester United

Leicester to Win3.70
Draw3.25
Manchester United to Win1.96

The perfect run of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is over, as Manchester United failed to beat Burnley at the Old Trafford. The Red Devils did salvage the point after going 2-0 down, but it was still a disappointing result.

I think that the honeymoon of the new manager is over, as the schedule is starting to look nightmarish from now on. The visit to Leicester is only the first hurdle in a long and tough track that includes games against PSG in the Champions League and the top teams in the English Premier League.

I expect a close game here, so if there is any value, it certainly is not in the price for the visitors to win.

Big-Priced Bet of the Week – West Ham vs. Liverpool

West Ham is one of the few teams that could actually beat Liverpool, I think, especially since the Reds will be under pressure after missing a golden opportunity to go 7 points clear at the top.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are now the favorite for the title, and this is a role that comes with so much expectations and nerves.

You could see that against Leicester, and I expect more of the same against West Ham. Sure, Liverpool is still the favorite in this game, but the price of 8.50 for the hosts is too good to miss.

PICKWest Ham to Win8.50

Final Words

I love the final parts of the EPL season, as the pressure keeps building.

We can now clearly see the teams that will be fighting for the title and the top four, as well as those that will be giving their best to avoid relegation.

What do you think will happen this week? Let me know in the comments section below.

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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