Joe Gleeson offers some betting advice ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action.
Man City V Liverpool Sat 21st November 17:30
Raheem Sterling will be facing his old club on Saturday for the first time since swapping the Red of Merseyside for the Blue of Manchester. The 20 year old may have a bigger part to play then he ever anticipated.
Both Silva and Aguero are still not quite fully fit to start this game, although we may see them from the bench, and with Bony returning from International duty with a knock, there is an opening at centre forward for Sterling.
Pellegrini may not wish to push young Iheanacho into starting such a pressure game, despite his mature displays so far this season. So he may opt for Sterling or even De Bruyne in an ever so fashionable false 9 role.
Liverpool will sorely miss Mamadou Sakho for this game. The Frenchman has averaged 1.6 interceptions and a whopping 4.6 clearances per game. His perception as a “Djimi Traore” type player, who is unsure on the ball is dis-proven by a pass completion rate of over 90%.
With the decidedly weaker Dejan Lovren deputising in his place, expect Jurgen Klopp to protect his back line with reinforcements in the form of Can and Lucas, who have been in impressive form since the German managers arrival. The Brazilian in particular is looking like a player reborn under Klopp.
Expect this game to be a tight affair. If City do opt for a false 9 type formation they will have to be patient and wait for Liverpool to come out before hoping to counter. However with two defensive midfielder’s set up, Klopp will be more then happy to sit back and let Pellegrini’s men pass around the middle. This could be a long 90 mins.
Joe’s TipTopTip – Under 2.5 Goals @ 11/10
Watford V Man United Sat 21st November 12:45
Van Gaal’s men got back to winning ways with a routine 2-0 victory over West Brom before the international break. Jesse Lingard scored a well taken goal that afternoon, after grabbing an assist in the Champions League in Moscow a few days earlier.
The 22 year old attacking midfielder’s progress has helped to ease the pain felt by Martial’s injury picked up while on International Duty with France. Expect him to start on the wing with Mata in the hole and Rooney leading the line.
Watford were unlucky against Leicester in their previous game. The Hornets going down 2-1 away to Ranieri and co. despite displaying some wonderful attacking football. They would have taken away more than hard feelings were it not for Gomes’s failure to keep out Kante’s low drive.
Take nothing away from the Keeper though, while many will argue that we are seeing “The Gomes of Old”, he has been one of Watford’s stand out performers this current campaign. A WhoScored rating of 7.21 and Watford’s defensive record being the best outside the top 6, points to a man that can organise a defence in front of him.
That being said, I still see this tie going the way of United. Watford may be performing well defensively against those around them but when they come up against sustained pressure like they did against Arsenal, eventually the dam bursts.
It is this pressure that Manchester United will bring to Vicarage Road this weekend. With Lingard in confident mood after some assured displays and Mata, Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin and Herrera making up the rest of a potent attacking midfield led by Rooney up top, I can see United getting another routine win here. It should just be another day at the office for Van Gaal.
JoesTipTopTip United to win 2-0 @ 7/1
Bonus TipTopTip – With Lingard in confident mood don’t be surprised if he gets in on the action here. Jesse Lingard to score anytime @ 3/1
Joe Gleeson, Pundit Arena