Matchweek 11 Preview

This Season: 69-62-30 (+6.2 Units)
MW 10 and MLS Semis: 7-3-3 (+4.3 Units)

If you missed my midweek MLS preview, I mentioned how I had a very great weekend with my back against the wall in Matchweek 10. On the verge of my first negative tally in the history of the blog (1,144 picks) I came up with a 6-2-3 +4.4 unit weekend which puts me back in place. My split this week in MLS Cup Playoffs has me at at total of +4.3 units since my last Matchweek Preview.

Let’s keep the train rolling here though and get those units closer to double digits.

English Premier League
Saturday, November 2nd
8:30 am EST

Manchester United @ Bournemouth (TV: NBCSN) – Bournemouth’s record in the league this season hasn’t been a lot to write home about on the surface but let’s dissect it a little bit more. Two of their three losses came away from home with their only loss at home coming against Manchester City. In their last six matches in the Premier League they’ve had two wins, three draws and one loss (failing to cover only once in that stretch). United meanwhile are enjoying their first good stretch of form all season, with three straight wins in all competitions and a draw to Liverpool just before that. But United are beginning to play a lot of matches now and this will be their fourth in only nine days. They’re also battling a few injuries with Pogba out for at least a month and Maguire, Rashford and Lindelof all picking up knocks in Wednesday’s match against Chelsea. I don’t feel comfortable taking a banged up and tired United team as favorites on the road where they’ve only won once in the league this season. I love the home dogs here. Bournemouth +0.5 (-130).

11:00 am EST

Wolves @ Arsenal (TV: CNBC) – Wolves suffered their first loss in eight matches this week at Aston Villa where they played a ragtag starting XI in the League Cup. They’ve been fighting for results all year and even though they sit in 12th on 12 points, they have a 0 goal differential and only two losses. To put that in perspective, they are the only team outside of the top five with two or fewer losses. They’ve also only lost once away from home and even went to Man City and got a 2-0 win. Arsenal have been a massive defensive liability this season especially the last few games. In their last three matches in all competitions they’ve allowed nine goals and blew a 2-0 lead to Palace in their last home Premier League game. They’ve now only covered the spread twice in ten matches this season and that’s due to their several blown leads and lack of defensive discipline. You can’t do that to a team like Wolves who will take their chances and defend their lead well. They also have the managerial upper hand in Nuno Espirito Santo. I’ll take Wolves as underdogs here knowing their tendencies to keep games tight and steal points away from home. Wolves +0.5 (+105).

Liverpool @ Aston Villa – This match is tough to pick because Aston Villa are the type of team who will likely not be afraid of Liverpool and will attack them with little to no fear. In their last seven matches in all competitions, none have had less than three total goals scored in it and only three of their thirteen matches this season have had less than three goals. Liverpool meanwhile have been scoring for fun recently. They’ve scored more than one goal in five of their last six matches and have only been kept to a clean sheet once this season in sixteen total matches. Adding to that, twelve of their sixteen matches have had at least three total goals along with five of their last six. The spread sits at 1.5 which for me could totally go either way and I don’t feel comfortable taking a side. Instead, I’m going to take the over which sits at 3 total goals. I feel good that this will be a goal-fest possibly from both teams and if not, Liverpool could score all three goals themselves. Over 3 Goals (-125).

Norwich City @ Brighton – Brighton got a big win last weekend at home against Everton thanks to an own goal in stoppage time. But their league form, and specifically their home form has been somewhat convincing. Yes they have three losses in their last seven league matches but they have come to Chelsea, Man City and man down at Aston Villa. At home they’ve only lost once in five matches and they’re playing a Norwich team who have only earned one point away from home this season. Norwich have also been immune to draws this season, helping my thought process in predicting another loss here. I’ll take Brighton at home. Brighton -0.5 (-130).

Southampton @ Manchester City (TV: NBCSN) – Oh no Southampton. Last weekend Southampton lost to Leicester 9-0 after going man down early on, suffering the worst home defeat in English top flight history. They then had to go to Man City and play them in a League Cup match on Tuesday where they lost 3-1. City started at least five reserve/bench players this week and was up 3-0 on Southampton by the 56th minute in a match where the Saints mostly played their starters. I think this weekend could be even worse especially if City decide to play their full team, which I expect them to do. Worst-case scenario this one pushes, but I think there’s a high upside on a blowout. Manchester City -3 (+105).

Burnley @ Sheffield United – This match is fascinating. Both of these teams, Sheffield United especially, have far exceeded expectations so far this season. The Blades sit in 8th place only three points off of 5th and have yet to have a poor game so far. They’ve also gone the last three matches unbeaten. They’ve scored the 2nd least amount of goals this season but have also conceded the least amount so far (scored 9 and conceded 8 through 10 matches). They’ve gone 8-2 against the spread this season which is far better than anyone else in the league and keep tricking up bookies. Burnley meanwhile sit only 1 point behind them but due to some congestion in the table, they are down in 13th. Their two most recent matches though have somewhat curtailed their good form as they have gone 0-2 and conceded a total of 6 goals. They’re winless away from home so far this season and I think they’ll have some trouble against a Sheffield team who will likely not allow them to sniff the goal. I like Sheffield with a great price here as home favorites in what I see as a low scoring win for the Blades. Sheffield United -0.5 (+120).

Newcastle United @ West Ham United – West Ham’s form has been suspect their last few matches as they’ve gone winless in their last five in all competitions. But there is hope as they’ve only had one loss at home since their debacle against City at the start of the season. I think this is their perfect spot for a bounce back though as Newcastle have been poor all year long and have been extra poor away from home. Their only win away from home was in a fluke match against a Spurs team who was splitting by the seams at the time. I’ll take the Hammers at home here. West Ham -0.5 (-115).

1:30 pm EST

Chelsea @ Watford (TV: NBCSN) – Watford have showed some signs of light recently with a few draws against some solid teams in Spurs, Sheffield and Bournemouth but they’re simply not cut out to beat a top six team right now. They’re also catching a Chelsea team who, before their loss in the League Cup to United on Wednesday, went seven matches unbeaten lokoing really good. Watford also remain winless at home so far this season and they’ve failed to cover the spread seven times this season, tied most with Norwich for league-worst. I’ll take the Blues here even with a high push possibility. Chelsea -1 (+105).

Sunday, November 3rd
9:00 am EST

Leicester City @ Crystal Palace (TV: NBCSN) – Leicester have lived up to the hype so far this season. They’re in 3rd place only two points off of City in 2nd and after their huge 9-0 win last Friday, they have the second best goal differential in the league. But people can’t overlook Palace as they’re solidly in 6th place only one point off of Arsenal and with a two point cushion above United. Although Palace have pushed above their weight so far this season, Leicester have looked as if they belong in the top four. Their only losses were marginal ones away from home against Liverpool and Manchester United and their only draws were in their first two matches of the season against clubs who finished in the top seven last year. I’m going to take a shot here on what is a fantastic price for Leicester to get a win here. Leicester -0.5 (+125).

11:30 am EST

Tottenham @ Everton (TV: NBC) – Who would have thought that this match would feature two clubs in complete disarray 10 matches into the season. Well, maybe some of you knowing these clubs’ recent history, but not to this extent. Spurs now have only one win in their last five matches and only four wins in their entire season (fourteen matches). Their biggest problem is navigating the entire 90 minutes in a match. They can have a lead but totally lose it (like against Arsenal and Bayern) and they can look completely lost for long stretches (like against Liverpool, Watford, Brighton and more). Everton meanwhile are in a very similar predicament, either showing up in a solid 1-0 or 2-0 win or blowing leads and leaking goals to teams who normally don’t score a whole lot. But what makes Everton appealing in this game is that they’re home, and they have the 7th best home record as well as back to back home wins against Premier League opposition. Spurs meanwhile haven’t even won a game away from home and have been blown out by teams like Brighton when travelling. They also have to prepare for a must-win Champions League match on Wednesday in Serbia, making this match a likely “lookahead game”. I’ll take Everton on the home pickem. Everton Pickem (+105).

Fall has commenced which means footy is in full swing and we still have around 6 more months to go in the season. Enjoy the awesome slate of matches (with the possible exception of City/Southampton) in where most matches should be within a goal.

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo

Nico

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