We have two Premier League games taking place on Sunday - first at Bramall Lane, followed by the Etihad. Paul Higham and George Pitts looks at the betting.
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Sheffield United v Bournemouth (Paul Higham)
- 2pm BT Sport 1
It’s about time Chris Wilder and his Blades got a bit more respect in this league, there are pleasantries flying about but they seem to be a bit on the condescending side to me and many still don’t believe that Sheffield United can go the distance.
Three points here though and they will go above Tottenham and into fifth, just two points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League place. Now, they’re 16/1 and greater to finish in the top four and that may be just beyond them, but they should be getting confident of finishing in the top six (they’re 5/2 to do so).
Every single member of Wilder’s side know exactly what they have to do and when they’re supposed to do it, they know how to play, when to play and how to react in almost any situation, and that cohesion is why they’re flying high in the Premier League.
Certainly higher than Bournemouth, who have scrambled their way clear of the drop zone with two wins in three, but they were both at home. By contrast, they’ve got one win in nine away from the Vitality and are still well in trouble just a couple of points clear of the drop zone.
The Blades don’t run away with games by any means. They’ve won their last three Premier League games 1-0 and average precisely one goal per game at Bramall Lane – with six of nine wins this season coming by just one goal.
That looks likely to be the case again against a visiting side that have only scored ten goals on their travels and, while their need is seemingly greater on the surface, Wilder will know full well what three points will do in the table – the home side are more equipped in a dogfight and can just about edge it.
Prediction: Sheff Utd 1-0 Bournemouth (Sky Bet odds: 9/2)
Key Opta stats
- Sheffield United have lost just one of their 15 previous league meetings with Bournemouth (W9 D5), going down 0-1 at home in August 1987 in the second tier.
- Bournemouth’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on the opening weekend ended a run of seven consecutive league defeats against the Blades.
- The last three league meetings between Sheffield United and Bournemouth at Bramall Lane have produced a total of 17 goals, with the Blades winning all three by an aggregate score of 11-6.
- Sheffield United’s Premier League games have seen fewer goals than any other side in the competition this season (49), with only Liverpool conceding fewer goals than the Blades (23). However, the Yorkshire side also haven’t scored more than once in any of their last eight league games.
- Bournemouth have won their last two Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 17 in the competition (W2 D4 L11). They’ve not won three in a row within the same season since March 2016.
- Sheffield United have 36 points from their 25 Premier League games this season – just two fewer than they earned in the entirety of their last campaign in the competition (38 in 2006-07).
- Sheffield United have lost just seven of their 25 Premier League games this season, the fewest by a promoted side at this stage since Fulham in 2001-02 (6).
- Bournemouth have faced 32 shots from opponents’ high turnovers in the Premier League this season, more than any other side. They’d only faced 32 such attempts in the whole of the 2018-19 campaign (5th most).
- No Premier League side has benefitted from more Premier League own goals than Sheffield United this season (3, level with Brighton). Two of these three own goals have ended up being the winning goal in the game, including in their most recent match against Crystal Palace.
- Harry Wilson has scored 50% of Bournemouth’s 10 away goals in the Premier League this season. Only Teemu Pukki (67%) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (64%) have scored a higher share of their teams’ goals on the road this season.
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Manchester City v West Ham (George Pitts)
Man City’s aggregate score against West Ham in the Premier League this season could enter double figures if Pep Guardiola’s side are on song.
At the Etihad. In the aftermath of a loss. With a break on the horizon. There’s every chance against a West Ham side best priced at 25/1 to win.
The Citizens usually bounce back well from a defeat and they are generally strong at home, barring the odd slip up (see Wolves and Palace) – winning 10 of 12 this season.
They hit five past West Ham without reply in the reverse fixture at the start of the campaign and, although some may be concerned by their defeat at Tottenham last weekend, it was not for want of trying. It was more a story of their missed opportunities, failing to find the back of the net in 19 shots (just six on target).
A furious Guardiola reportedly kept his players in the dressing room in north London and stern words were said by both parties. As opposed to a crisis, a positive reaction is most certainly expected here as they look to keep their place in second.
Against a West Ham side that shipped three goals against Brighton last week, surrendering a two-goal lead at the end, that has failed to win their last six in all competitions, City should be pretty confident.
Whether they score two, three, four, or five, the feeling is they will come out firing and the odds-against price for the hosts to net at least two first-half goals is eye-catching.
It can be difficult finding value in a City win, but they have scored 30 first-half goals this season, only Liverpool (31) have achieved more while West Ham have conceded 16 in this period.
West Ham fans have got to be cautious travelling north and City may only worsen their fears of relegation.
Prediction: Man City 4-0 West Ham (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Key Opta stats
- Manchester City have won each of their last seven Premier League meetings with West Ham, scoring 23 goals and conceding just three in reply.
- West Ham have taken just four points from a possible 39 in Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium (W1 D1 L11), drawing 1-1 in January 2008 and winning 2-1 in September 2015.
- West Ham have lost 20 of their 23 Premier League away games against reigning champions (W1 D2), with their only victory coming at Manchester United in December 2001 (1-0).
- Manchester City have lost six Premier League games this season – as many as they had in their previous two campaigns combined. Manager Pep Guardiola has never lost seven matches in any of his previous 10 top-flight campaigns.
- West Ham haven’t won any of their last 16 league games in which they’ve conceded at least once (D4 L12) since winning 3-1 at Watford in August. The Hammers haven’t kept a league clean sheet against Man City since November 2012, conceding in all 14 since.
- Manchester City have conceded 15.6% of the shots they’ve faced in the Premier League this season – the highest ratio registered by any team in a single campaign since we have this data available (2003-04).
- West Ham have dropped a league-high 19 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with the Hammers failing to win eight of their 14 games in which they’ve scored first this season (W6 D5 L3).
- Man City boss Pep Guardiola has won all eight of his meetings with West Ham in all competitions – in his managerial career, against no side does he have a better 100% winning record (also 8/8 vs Malaga and Watford).
- Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Man City’s Raheem Sterling has been involved in 11 Premier League goals in seven appearances against West Ham (6 goals, 5 assists), netting a hat-trick at the London Stadium in the reverse fixture this term.
- Despite not registering a goal involvement until late October, Robert Snodgrass has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other West Ham player this season (9 – 5 goals, 4 assists). The Scotsman was involved in all three of their strikes against Brighton last time out (2 goals, 1 assist).
Odds correct as of 1400 GMT on 07/02/19
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