Premier League Picks Week 16

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY

In case you hadn’t noticed thus far, the margins are razor-thin in this prognosticating racket. Liverpool was up 2-1 over Watford at Vicarage Road on Wednesday in second-half added time. I had taken Liverpool to win and under 3.5 goals, and it looked like I had it right. Xherdan Shaqiri had other ideas, though, scoring during that added time and turning a winner into a loser. Leroy Sane had done the exact same thing to me at West Ham a week and a half prior, scoring very late in added time to put the number over 3.5 in Man City’s 4-0 win at London Stadium.

So the mid-week fixtures did me no real favors, but thankfully there is another full slate of matches set for the weekend. Time to get back on track with some winners.

LEICESTER CITY v. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

The Foxes have played remarkably composed, professional football in the wake of the loss of their owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and four others in a tragic helicopter accident — the details of which are now known.

In the time since that sad day, Leicester has secured results against a succession of subpar and in some cases woeful opponents: Cardiff City, Burnley, Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford and Fulham. Of those five clubs, only Brighton is currently in the top half of the table, and the Seagulls are 10th. Simply stated, Leicester has not faced top-gear competition since dropping a 3-1 decision to Arsenal at the Emirates on October 22. Their only other encounter with a top-5 side saw Leicester lose at home to Liverpool earlier this season.

It all adds up to Leicester’s ninth-place position in the table being very suspect. The Foxes have yet to play Manchester City or Chelsea (those encounters are slotted for December 22 and December 26, by the way). Spurs, meanwhile, are their usual unpredictable selves, having won 11 of their first 15 matches (awesome!) but lost the other four (brilliant!)

So this should be a Spurs pick…but it’s not. Spurs visit Barcelona in the last of their Champions League qualifying round matches on Tuesday, and they most likely need to win that match to survive to the knockout round. Therefore, Mauricio Pochettino will be compelled to rest some of his key players (perhaps even star striker Harry Kane) in advance of that match. Spurs may struggle to score (and, per that Tweet above, to defend), so take Leicester to win OR draw at 4/5.

CHELSEA v. MANCHESTER CITY

City swept the season series in 2017-18 and also took the Community Shield from Chelsea in August. And Chelsea are wobbling right now, coming off a poor effort at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers and perhaps still stinging from the derby defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur on November 24. You could be forgiven for taking City here; the Sky Blues haven’t lost a league match yet and have only dropped points twice in 15 league starts.

But when something looks too easy, it usually is. City is still without Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero. You can make do without your two best offensive players home to Bournemouth and away to Watford. Doing without them at Stamford Bridge is another story entirely. The last three results between these teams were two 1-0 scorelines and a 2-0, all to City. The last time City traveled to a top-5 club, Pep Guardiola took the air out of the ball at Liverpool and ground out a 0-0 draw. I expect similar tactics from Guardiola here; his charges are exhausted, the festive period is about to begin, and the club has a Champions League match mid-week following this encounter with Chelsea.

If we’re being honest, Chelsea could do with a draw here, too. They’re not catching City this season, and while a win would be nice, just taking a point from City would go a long way toward Chelsea’s drive to put themselves back in the Champions League places. Take Chelsea to win, draw no bet, at 4/5.

MANCHESTER UNITED v. FULHAM

Another week, another week of uncomfortable questions for United manager Jose Mourinho. Why did he leave both Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku out of his XI at home to Arsenal mid-week? It really does seem at times as though The Special One is trying to get himself sacked.

It won’t happen this week, though. Fulham is coming to the Theatre of Dreams, and Fulham is really not good. Dead last in the table, a goal difference of -21…it’s exactly the tonic Mourinho needs to stop the recent bleeding. Fulham can score goals, but in the entirety of their last five league matches against top-seven sides (Everton, Arsenal, Bournemouth, Liverpool and Chelsea), the Cottagers scored just once. Take United to win to nil at 7/5.

Good luck this weekend.

MID-WEEK RESULTS

Liverpool to win at Burnley AND under 3.5 goals at 21/20: LOSS

Chelsea to win at Wolverhampton at 4/5: LOSS

Arsenal to win at Manchester United, draw no bet, at evens: PUSH

Tottenham Hotspur to win against Southampton at 4/11: WIN

MID-WEEK: -$164

TOTAL TO DATE: -$655

 

 

The post Premier League Picks Week 16 appeared first on Crossing Broad.

from Crossing Broad https://ift.tt/2PoBiag
via IFTTT

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s