11th December 2020
One of the biggest rivalries in the Premier League adds another chapter this Saturday, and we’re not talking about Wolves and Aston Villa’s clash in the Midlands. Manchester United host Manchester City in a very important derby at Old Trafford, with both lurking just outside the top four looking to break back in. Elsewhere, Tottenham and Liverpool look to maintain their superiority in games away at Crystal Palace and Fulham respectively, while Sheffield United head to Southampton in search of their second point of the campaign, with Arsenal and Burnley involved in what is becoming more and more like a proverbial six-pointer on paper. As ever, we have all of the Premier League previews and the latest UK sports betting odds right here at LeoVegas.
Five other teams are sandwiched between these two, but in actual fact only three points separate them. Leeds will be delighted with their points haul in their first season back in the Premier League, and their brand of football has been impressive, with a few scalps claimed. Manager Marco Bielsa made the surprising move of naming his entire planned starting eleven for this clash, and it’ll be interesting to see how David Moyes responds. West Ham have also had a better-than-predicted start to the season, and if they can put a second-half capitulation against Manchester United behind them, they could move three points closer to European football.
This fixture has generally been good-natured in the past, with both co-existing while their Midlands neighbours are considered more traditional rivals. However, with both sitting in mid-table and knowing the result here could define their first half of the season, there’s slightly more to this clash than meets the eye. Wolves have had fairly inconsistent form recently, not having the same result in a row since two wins against Fulham and Leeds at the start of October. Aston Villa, meanwhile, have found wins tough to come by since they saw victory in each of their four opening games. Disruption to their schedule hasn’t helped, but we can see them being just a couple of steps behind Wolves here, which may be crucial.
Newcastle’s form has been patchy, but four wins from ten games and sitting eight points clear of the relegation zone will be more than welcome on Tyneside. They undoubtedly have work to do, especially with several of the squad only just having overcome illness, but this is the kind of fixture that they arguably need. West Brom have only earned a point away from the Hawthorns this season, and the way they fell apart against Crystal Palace in the second half last weekend was disturbing. They’ll need to dig deep if they’re to rally against Newcastle’s marauding pacey players, and we think that might be slightly too much of an ask.
Despite Manchester United’s historic preoccupation with Liverpool, the Manchester derbies are always massive affairs. This one is particularly important, as neither wants to give an inch in their quest to climb the table and challenge for the title. Despite defensive unease, United have managed to win four games on the spin, but being eliminated from the Champions League in midweek will have hurt. The blue half of Manchester has more cause for optimism, as they boast the joint-second-best defence in the league, and they’ve just got Sergio Aguero back. We’re going with Pep Guardiola’s men to take the three points here.
Everton vs Chelsea is almost always an entertaining game, but doesn’t always get the focus it deserves. It could once again suffer a similar fate, as Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea connections are likely to dominate headlines, especially given that the Toffees’ form has dipped since their impressive start. Chelsea will still need to be wary, however, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin has proven to be a thorn in the side of some of the league’s best defences. On the flip side, Everton’s backline has sprung something of a leak, and Chelsea’s front line could have a field day. That said, they’ll be missing Hakim Ziyech, and possibly Christian Pulisic too, but we’ll still back goals to be scored.
Threatened by relegation two years ago, and finishing mid-table last year, the early signs of Southampton’s season indicate they could be in European contention by the end of it. James Ward-Prowse has been key, alongside Danny Ings, who made his return from injury by coming on in the second half against Brighton and netting the winner. Meanwhile, Sheffield United have failed to build upon last year’s top-half finish. In fact, they’ve actively dismantled that success, sitting bottom of the league with a single point to their name after 11 fixtures. While it’s largely the lack of goals over the number conceded that have hindered them, Danny Ings is surely going to get chances against Blades ‘keeper Aaron Ramsdale. He’ll tuck one away in our eyes too.
Another weekend, another outing for the Premier League’s most lethal combination, but there’s more to this game than Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke. Jokes aside, Crystal Palace’s demolition job on West Brom last weekend was hugely entertaining to watch, but Roy Hodgson will be under no illusions that this is as simple a task. Tottenham have the strongest defence in the league on paper, and the third-best goal tally, which is largely down to Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane’s telepathic displays. Jose Mourinho has instilled confidence and belief in his team, and while Palace will be determined to put up a fight, we see Spurs staying top of the table.
Fulham were dead and buried in the eyes of many at the start of November, but Scott Parker is determined not to let his team’s appalling penalty antics be the final nail in the coffin. A win at Leicester was followed by a spirited display at Manchester City (although they were two goals down fairly swiftly). Much like City, Liverpool will be expected to score four or five against the Cottagers, but it’s not that simple. They still have some key injuries to contend with, and while Caoimhin Kelleher was rarely tested against Wolves, Aleksandar Mitrovic could cause some issues. Still, the reigning champions and league’s top scorers will get a fair few chances you’d feel, adding value to this bet in our opinion.
Even the most pessimistic of Gunners fans surely couldn’t have anticipated adopting the “there are three teams worse than us” mantra more than ten games into the season, but 15th place after 11 games is the price they pay for their worst start to a season since 1981. Burnley could really do with some points as well, as they sit top of the relegation zone. A well-earned draw at home to Everton might have boosted their spirits though, meaning they’re likely to put the pressure on a defensive-minded Arsenal. We think they’ll at least get a goal, and Chris Wood is the most likely man to profit.
Leicester have had to contend with a wide variety of criticism from all quarters; “not clinical enough”, “not defensively strong enough”, “reliant on Jamie Vardy” etc., but you can’t argue with the fact that they’re currently a top four side. That said, they arguably play with more freedom when they’re the away team. That’s a mentality that could play into Brighton’s hands. Despite hovering just outside the drop zone, the Seagulls haven’t been blown away by any side so far this season, and can count themselves a little unlucky not to have more points on the board. Get an early goal, and they could claim another point. Unfortunately for them, we can still see Leicester edging it.
In addition to football and sports betting, you can also try out some excellent online casino games here at LeoVegas, King of Casino. If you enjoy the spin of a Roulette wheel, then why not check out our immense Live Casino section? Plus, we have an incredible collection of online slots that are ready to play whenever you are.
*all odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change