Best bets for Saturday February 13

10 Min Read

Manchester City v Tottenham

Tottenham landed a 16/5 winner when we tipped them to beat Manchester City in their meeting in North London. They are a huge 8/1 here, but given the dominate performances from Pep Guardiola’s side in recent months, there is no desire to back Jose Mourinho’s men for success again here.

Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Swansea in the FA Cup meant City broke the English top-flight record for consecutive wins in all competitions (15). A few hours later, Spurs were dumped out of the competition by Everton in a 5-4 thriller where the Toffees hit the winner in extra-time.

That result led to an old Mourinho quote from his time at Chelsea resurfacing across social media, where he launched an attack on title rivals Arsenal after they beat Spurs in another nine-goal contest in November 2004.

“5-4 is a hockey score, not a football score,” Mourinho said at the time. “In a three-against-three training match, if the score reaches 5-4 I send the players back to the dressing rooms as they are not defending properly.

“So to get a result like that in a game of 11 against 11 is disgraceful.”

Well, surely Jose, it’s going to be worse for your reputation in the long run when you eventually lose a game 5-4 and you’ve told people that it’s disgraceful? They won’t remember.

We shouldn’t expect a similar scoreline here but the result should go the same way. Spurs have lost the mojo had at the start of their campaign. They’ve won just one of their last five in all competitions and the last three away wins were against Marine, Sheffield United and Wycombe.

In the last two months, they’ve been beaten by Chelsea, Leicester and Liverpool (twice). Having previously been mentioned as part of the title race, Spurs have now found it difficult to compete with those at the top and City’s form will give them so much confidence.

Ilkay Gundogan’s value in the goalscorer markets has long gone given his prolific form in front of goal, but there are a few defenders worth targeting following their recent performances. Joao Cancelo delivered an 11/1 winner when we tipped him to score against West Brom and it’s worth a small play on the 22/1 available on the full-back netting from outside the area here.

Comfortable on the left or right side of defence, he’s been playing like an attacking midfielder for most of the season. His traits going forward are far more noticeable given how advanced he plays. Despite not recording a shot against Liverpool, he had three in each of his three Premier League starts before.

Seven of those nine shots were also from outside the area, including that goal at West Brom. He struck the woodwork against Aston Villa and it’s a surprise that he hasn’t scored more than once this season. With the majority of his shots coming from distance, it’s worth taking the 22/1 on a strike from outside of the box rather than the 9/1 for anytime.

His advanced role has also brought two assists this season and again Betfair provide the best price of 5/1 on a helper here. Cancelo scored and assisted at the Hawthorns but it acts a nice bet to sit alongside the goalscorer selection if it’s one or the other. That price doesn’t feel like it factors in how strong he is in attack.

Elsewhere in defence, Ruben Dias has made himself undroppable in a team vulnerable to rotation. Regular solid performances means he has played his part in the strong connection with John Stones but the surprise is how he hasn’t yet scored this season.

The centre-back is averaging a shot every other game and has come close on numerous occasions to grabbing his first goal in City colours. With a high corner count expected for the hosts, Dias is worth a play at 10/1 to score anytime on Saturday.

City are now the heavy odds-on favourites for the title. Another positive result here will only see those odds shorten and the pressure mount on Mourinho as he finds himself towards the front of the sack race betting.

Score prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Tottenham (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)

Manchester City v Tottenham best bets

Odds correct at 1500 GMT (11/02/21)

Will the real Aston Villa please stand up? In their last five matches Dean Smith’s side have gone lose, win, lose, win, lose, win.

Victories over Newcastle, Southampton and Arsenal have been interlaced with defeats to Manchester City, Burnley and West Ham. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of pattern with Villa. Some games they win and some games they lose.

Contrast that with Brighton. Before their 1-1 draw with Burnley in their last Premier League match, only Manchester City had collected more points from their previous four games than the Seagulls.

Is a 7/4 upset on the cards then? I wouldn’t rule it out, but at the same time I’m not banking on it. I just can’t quite work Aston Villa out.

In their 3-2 loss to Burnley for example, Villa won the expected goals (xG) battle 2.98 to 0.79 according to Infogol. Yet in their 1-0 win over Southampton, the Saints dominated and were up 2.51 to 0.77.

You can use expected goals to overrule results when looking for trends. A tipster could argue that an out-of-form team is due a result after a good run in the xG model.

But with Villa it remains impossible. They’ve been yo-yoing since January in both expected and actual results.

If we’re avoiding the outrights then where do we turn to?

I particularly like Ross Barkley’s odds as an anytime goalscorer at 4/1 with Bet 365. The midfielder has an average expected goals per match of 0.3. If we were to back him at those odds for the next three Villa games and he keeps his form, mathematically we’d be highly likely to come out with a profit.

I think Barkley scores in this game. Back as a regular starter, the former England international found the net against Southampton three games ago.

The last five goals Brighton have conceded in the league have all been against midfielders, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson of Burnley, Phil Foden of Manchester City and Ruben Neves and Romain Saiss of Wolves all finding a way past Robert Sanchez.

I believe Potter’s side will likely double up on Jack Grealish, just as West Ham did so effectively in their 3-1 win at Villa Park last week. If that’s the case, then Barkley is going to have a lot more time on the ball.

Also, check the team sheets an hour before kick-off for Anwar El Ghazi. I’m expecting the midfielder to be named amongst the substitutes having been benched during Villa’s win over Arsenal last time out.

If he starts though I’d definitely urge you to back him having 2+ shots on target at 7/4 with Sky Bet. The former Ajax man averages 2.4 shots on target in his Premier League games this season. By putting him odds against, the bookies have made a real oversight.

Taking on Brighton’s defenders I can see him getting at least three goal-bound shots at odds of 5/1. Have a glance at the teams as soon as possible before his price shortens.

Score prediction: Brighton 1-1 Aston Villa (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)

Brighton v Aston Villa best bets

Odds correct at 1400 GMT (11/02/21)

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