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Football Betting Preview As 2020 Gets Underway

Football Betting Preview as 2020 Gets Underway

All SportPesa’s Football Odds Can be Found Here

The first games of a new decade take place this week and gives teams a chance to get 2020 off to a winning start. This is also the final league game before the Premier League and Championship clubs turn their attention to this weekend’s third round of the FA Cup. Charlie Mullan has assessed all the midweek games in England’s top four divisions and picked out some of the bets that might be worth considering when putting accumulators together this week. 

Charlie’s Choice:

BTTS and over 2.5 between West Brom and Leeds @ 1/1

Leeds United’s trip to the Hawthorns promises to be the game of the season in the Championship. United (7/5) and their hosts West Brom (37/20) have been the best two sides in the league all season and they go into this fixture first and second with 51 points from their 25 games played. The Baggies had held pole position for a number of weeks but were usurped by United following the latest round of festive fixtures on Sunday. West Brom were surprisingly beaten 2-0 at home by Jonathan Woodgate’s Middlesbrough. It was the first time in 15 games the Baggies had failed to score since Leeds beat them 1-0 at Elland Road at the start of October when a Kyle Bartley own goal gave the home side the three points.

In their last game, Leeds were involved in the game of the day in any of the top four divisions when they came out on top of a crazy nine-goal thriller at Birmingham when another own goal, this time by Wes Harding gave the points to Marcelo Bielsa’s side. It was the four successive game in which BTTS had landed in games involving Leeds while there have been goals for both teams in three of West Brom’s last four. West Brom have the strike-force to capitalise on any defensive errors by their visitors who have conceded 10 goals in their last four games. SportPesa are offering odds of 1/1 for both West Brom and Leeds to score and combine for over 2.5 total goals. 

BTTS: Arsenal v Man Utd, Sheffield Wednesday v Hull, Birmingham v Wigan

Over the years and Arsenal (8/5) and Manchester United (8/5) have put on some memorable matches. In 2001, United won 6-1 at Old Trafford while in 2011 the Red Devils racked up an 8-2 win at the same venue as Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger locked horns for domestic domination when they were challenging for the Premier League title year after year. Neither side looks like mounting a title challenge this season or for a few seasons to come, but getting a win over the other is as good as it gets for their supporters other than winning their respective derbies. Both clubs like to attack and more often than not, this leads to games with goals for both sides.

Earlier this season at Old Trafford, Scott McTominay opened the scoring for United on the stroke of half-time before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earned the Gunners a point in a 1-1 draw. It was the fifth time in their last six meetings that BTTS has landed. In seven of United’s last nine Premier League games there have been goals for both them and their opponents which has happened in eight of Arsenal’s last 10 games in all competitions. SportPesa are offering odds of 10/19 for there to be goals at both ends while a score draw like this season’s reverse fixture is trading at 3/1. The home side are 3/1 to win with at least one goal for United who are 59/20 to win with both teams finding the net. 

Sheffield Wednesday (20/21) host Hull City (29/10) with the Owls occupying sixth place in the Championship while the Tigers can move level with their hosts on 39 points with a win. The last three meetings at Hillsborough have ended in score draws with City scoring first in the last two. SportPesa are offering odds of 16/5 for a fourth successive score draw at Hillsborough between these two promotion-chasing sides while goals for both sides is trading at 5/7. Wednesday are 51/20 to win this game with Hull scoring at least one goal which would be the 10th time in the Owls’ last 12 games in which that has occurred, and that includes their 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff on Sunday when all three goals were scored in the opening 18 minutes. Cardiff led 2-0 after eight minutes thanks to goals by Robert Glatzel and Junior Hoilett while Tom Lees pulled a goal back for the Owls.

Hull are no strangers to game in which BTTS lands. Their 2-1 win at Loftus Road at the weekend was the fourth time in their last five in which it has occurred. And they had to do it the hard way against QPR who led 1-0 after Ilias Chair’s opener. But Jackson Irvine secured the win for the visitors in the 89th minute after George Honeyman had equalised. Goals at both ends in this game is available at 20/27 with SportPesa who are also offering odds of 13/5 for the home side to win and goals for both them and the Tigers. Grant McCann’s visitors are 23/4 to win with BTTS landing at Hillsborough. 

Regulars to St Andrew’s have been spoiled in recent weeks with Birmingham’s last two home games producing a total of 14 goals against the division’s top two teams – West Brom and Leeds. We might be pushing our luck if we think Wigan’s visit there will be another goal-fest. However, it is fair to assume that both sides will find the back of the net during the 90 minutes. Birmingham (1/1) were never ahead against Leeds like they were twice against the Baggies. But City leveled three times before losing to United in a game that produced a goal every 10 minutes. It was the seventh time in Birmingham’s last nine games in which there were goals for both sides which is the same frequency BTTS has landed in league matches involving Wigan (11/4).

In the corresponding fixture last season, Lukas Jutkiewicz gave the Blues the perfect start with the opener in the second minute before Nick Powell equalised on the stroke of half-time in a 1-1 draw. Both sides are battling it out at the wrong end of the table with Paul Cook’s Wigan propping up the rest of the Championship with 20 points from their 25 game while Birmingham find themselves 17th with 29 points. SportPesa are offering odds of 10/11 for both Birmingham and Wigan to register goals at St Andrew’s while another score draw is priced at 7/2. The home side are 3/1 to win with at least one goals for Wigan who are 13/2 to win with goals for both them and Birmingham. 

Over 2.5: Man City v Everton, Millwall v Luton, Plymouth v Swindon

Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday brought an end to City’s incredible run of 10 successive Premier League games with three or more total goals scored. But it was close as the Blades were once again denied a goal following the intervention of VAR which would have seen over 2.5 goals land. City (5/18) have scored two or more goals in five of their last six games at the Etihad while Everton (19/2) have scored two or more in four of their last six league games away from Goodison Park. The Toffees, now managed by Carlo Ancelotti, are getting goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin who has scored Everton’s last three including both in their 2-1 win at Newcastle on Saturday.

It was the fourth game in Everton’s last seven in which there was a minimum of three goals scored. In the first meeting at the end of September, City took the points following a 3-1 win on Merseyside when Calvert-Lewin was also on the scoresheet. His goal cancelled out Gabriel Jesus’ opener but late goals from Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling gave Pep Guardiola’s side the three points. SportPesa are offering odds of 10/27 for there to be three or more total goals scored in this fixture while odds of 4/5 are available for both City and Everton to score with the two sides combining for over 2.5 total goals. City are 10/17 to win with three or more total goals scored while Ancelotti’s men are 14/1 to make it three wins in a row and see three of more goals netted. 

The way things are going Luton’s spell in the second tier will last just one campaign. They have dropped into the relegation zone in recent weeks but a win at Millwall (5/8) might be enough to see them climb out of the bottom three this week. But if they continue to allow teams to score against them, then their return to League One might be a case of when rather than if. After 25 games, the Hatters (4/1) have conceded 53 goals, the most by any team in the division. That total has not been helped by the six goals they have leaked in their last two games which saw them draw 3-3 at home to Fulham and lose 3-0 at Bristol City.

With games coming thick and fast, it does not give Luton manager Graeme Jones and his coaching staff much time to address their defensive issues on the training pitch. In 13 of Luton’s last 14 games, three or more total goals have been scored. And they face a Millwall side positioned 11th in the Championship with 37 points from their 25 games. In four of the Lions’ last five league games at the Den, there has been a minimum of three goals and it’s fair to expect at least another three this time around. Over 2.5 total goals is trading at 4/5 with SportPesa who are also offering odds of 6/5 for both teams to score and combine for three or more goals. Millwall are 7/5 to win with over 2.5 total goals while the struggling visitors are 7/1 to win in a game with a minimum of three goals. 

Swindon (17/10) travel to Plymouth (6/4) with the Robins holding a slender two-point lead at the top of League Two. It could have been a wider margin had they not lost 2-0 at Port Vale on Sunday when goals from Scott Burgess and Jake Taylor in either half, secured the win for the home side. Swindon face a Plymouth side at Home Park where goals have been a regular feature in recent weeks. Argyle’s 2-1 win at home to Stevenage, which was secured by Niall Canavan’s last minute winner, was Plymouth’s fourth successive league game in which there had been three or more goals scored.

The two sides have met twice already this season. The points were shared in a 1-1 draw in October four days after Plymouth won 3-0 at the County Ground in the Johnstones Paint Trophy. That was the fourth time in the last five meetings in which three or more goals had been scored and SportPesa are offering odds of 20/23 for over 2.5 goals scored this time while odds of 11/10 are available for both teams to score and produce three or more goals. The home side are 29/10 to win with a minimum of three goals scored while the league leaders are 3/1 to win and over 2.5 goals scored. 

A £10 bet on the BTTS accumulator has potential returns of £51.76

A £10 bet on the over 2.5 goals accumulator has potential returns of £48.30

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