Tactical Preview: four Premier League matches to bet on this weekend

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Tactical Preview: four Premier League matches to bet on this weekend

Alex Keble

Based on the four most popular betting categories, Alex Keble uses tactical analysis to make some Premier League tips – and builds a tasty 93/1 accumulator.

 

The Outsider

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Manchester United vs Crystal Palace: Back Palace to win at 13/5 with Ladbrokes

Just three days before the Europa League final Jose Mourinho will field a reserve side for the visit of Crystal Palace, which should hand the advantage to Sam Allardyce, who has already masterminded wins at Liverpool and Chelsea recently.

Palace counter-attack almost exclusively down the flanks via Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, which could be hugely problematic for the youngster Axel Tuanzebe and an out-of-position Matteo Darmian. Those long balls to Christian Benteke should allow the Belgian to outmuscle an awkward-looking Phil Jones, while Yohan Cabaye and Jason Puncheon will win plenty of the second balls that fall around Benteke; Wayne Rooney is far too immobile to play against a quick, long-ball team.

Palace attempt 23 crosses per match (third highest in the division) and should be able to swing plenty of crosses in when quickly breaking. Neither Henrikh Mkhitaryan nor Juan Mata track back effectively, leaving Zaha and Townsend free to attack the byline. There are plenty of reasons why Palace’s favoured attacking lines will be left open to them at Old Trafford.

At the other end, Manchester United remain too slow in their build-up play and rarely make incisive runs in-behind the opposition defence. Consequently, they should struggle to break down a tightly compact Palace back four, particularly given that Marcus Rashford will surely be rested. Back Palace to win at 13/5 with Ladbrokes.

 

The End-to-End Match

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Hull City vs Tottenham Hotspur: Back BTTS at 4/5 with Ladbrokes

Hull City’s extraordinary home form since Marco Silva’s arrival ensures they will boldly attack a Tottenham Hotspur side on Sunday who have nothing left to play for. Averaging two goals-per-game at the KCOM since Silva’s appointment, they will seriously threaten Spurs in the spaces behind the visitors’ roaming wing-backs. But Tottenham, who have scored 40 goals in their last 15 matches in all competitions, are also highly likely to get on the score sheet.

Kamil Grosicki and Lazar Markovic have been superb for Hull since January, completing 2.3 key passes and attempting 8.8 crosses per match between them. Their boldness in attack was the main reason Palace could counter-attack down the flanks so successfully last weekend, but it should be far more effective against a very narrow Spurs team.

Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier will hold high starting positions throughout the match, leaving them vulnerable to the brave tactical strategy of the hosts, which will be particularly care-free during Hull’s final match in the Premier League. Their aggressive attitude is likely to help them against Maurico Pochettino’s deflated team.

However, both Curtis Davies and Andrea Ranocchia made crucial errors at Selhurst Park and thus will hardly be brimming with confidence when faced with Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen. Spurs’ narrow attacking lines will likely overwhelm Hull’s two-man midfield, leading to several goals in this low-pressure final game of the season. Back BTTS at 4/5 with Ladbrokes.

 

The Goal Fest

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Watford vs Manchester City: Back over 3.5 goals at 15/8 with Ladbrokes

Manchester City have rediscovered some of their verve over the last few weeks thanks to the reintroduction of Gabriel Jesus and Pep Guardiola simplifying his team’s tactical strategy. The inverted full-backs have been restored, but more importantly he has embraced a more direct attacking system that aims at getting in-behind the opposition before they have a chance to retreat into a defensive shell.

Long diagonal passes towards Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane – both of whom are constantly making out-to-in runs – have been a key feature of their last two home matches. Yaya Toure and Kevin de Bruyne look to switch the play as quickly as possible, which completely baffled Crystal Palace a fortnight ago; Watford, in a disjointed 5-3-1-1, should suffer a similar fate.

Walter Mazzarri’s side have lost each of their last five Premier League matches using a variety of different formation, which is causing chaos in the Watford defence. Sane and Sterling should easily find ways to break into space between the wing-backs and centre-backs, while De Bruyne and David Silva will dominate in a horribly confused midfield.

Another wild match like the 4-3 defeat at Chelsea on Monday night is highly likely. Back over 3.5 goals at 15/8 with Ladbrokes.

 

The Goalscorer

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 18: Gary Cahill of Chelsea celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Bet365 Stadium on March 18, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)

Chelsea vs Sunderland: Back Terry score at any time at 4/1 with Ladbrokes

This should be one of the most lopsided contests of the season, and with nothing left to play for we are likely to witness plenty of goals at Stamford Bridge. John Terry will be given a warm send-off by the fans and could easily grab another goal from a Chelsea corner.

Chelsea have scored more set-piece goals (21) than any other side, while Sunderland have conceded the join most headers (15). They will win plenty of corners during the onslaught on Jordan Pickford’s goal, and if Chelsea already hold a healthy lead may even be willing to hand penalty duties over to their captain. Back Terry score at any time at 4/1 with Ladbrokes

 

The Accumulator

Back all four together at 93/1 with Ladbrokes