Jake Pearson takes an early look at the weekend's Premier League action, determining which sides are worth backing sooner rather than later, in order to beat the market.
1pt Burnley to beat Southampton at 3/1 (General)
1pt Liverpool to beat Manchester United at 27/20 (Unibet)
Armando Broja’s first Premier League goal against Leeds on Saturday earned Southampton their first victory of the season, and though they deserved to win the match according to Expected Goals, creating 2.13 chances to Leeds’ 0.39, Marcelo Bielsa’s men were hugely depleted, missing key players such as Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Raphinha.
Burnley, on the other hand, lost 2-0 away at Manchester City, which, considering they have lost 5-0 in each of their four previous visits to the Etihad, seems like a good result.
It ended a run of three games without defeat for Sean Dyche’s men, and though they are yet to gain their first league win of the season, a visit to St Mary’s presents a good opportunity for them to pick up three points.
Burnley’s away record is poor this season, but each of their road matches have come against teams from last season’s top eight, and Southampton’s home form has been far from convincing, scoring just twice on home soil this term.
For all these statistics though, the point of this column is to identify prices that are likely to shorten, and 3/1 about BURNLEY TO WIN fits the bill.
At home to a depleted Leeds team last weekend, Southampton were 11/8 as the market closed – having previously been priced up at 8/5 – yet against Burnley, who are one place behind Leeds, the Saints are a very slim 10/11, the shortest they’ve been priced up all season.
Away at Leicester and Everton this season, Burnley could be backed at 4/1, meaning the layers predict only a 5% higher chance of a Clarets win at St Mary’s, than at the King Power or at Goodison.
Also, no team have shortened more from opening prices to closing prices in away matches this term than Burnley, averaging a positive expected value of +1.05%
As much as this game could end up being the annual good result Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pulls off against a good team, you know, the one that keeps him in the job for another 12 months, it is difficult to side against a Liverpool team that have been in red-hot form this season.
Manchester United are going through a tough time at present, Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to a Leicester team that have had their own issues this season piling the pressure on their Norwegian manager, as well as ending their long unbeaten away record.
If United were the big losers of the weekend, then Liverpool were probably the biggest winners, not just in terms of scoreline, thrashing Watford 5-0, but also in the sense that their title rivals struggled in victory, Chelsea looking rattled against Brentford and Manchester City again not looking their imperious best at home to a Burnley side they usually dish out a fair old hammering to.
The only team yet to lose a Premier League match this season, Liverpool have been ruthless, scoring 22 goals from a league-high Expected Goals For of 22.8, all the more impressive given they have already faced Chelsea and Manchester City.
United's toughest game of the season came at the weekend, and they failed the test, but it is the Red Devils’ price this season that gives even more confidence to the fact that LIVERPOOL TO WIN is a good bet at Old Trafford.
In every match United have played this season, they have been priced up shorter than in the corresponding fixture from last season, on average given a 9.35% higher chance of victory this season over last, and despite the signings they have made, there just isn’t the justification for that sort of price shift.
United’s price has also drifted in each of their four home matches this season, an admission of incorrect pricing by the layers, and it is a surprise to see Liverpool priced up at as big as 27/20.
There is also the very real possibility that punters pile into Liverpool in the couple of hours leading up to kick off, and it would not be surprising if Jurgen Klopp’s men were sent off closer to even money.
Odds correct at 1230 (18/10/21)
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