While League One and League Two sides enter the FA Cup this weekend, Premier League and Championship sides are hoping to go into the final international break of 2019 with a win. The game of the weekend takes place at Anfield where last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City take on Liverpool who finished second, one point behind City. Charlie Mullan takes a look at some of the games taking place in the top two leagues that could be worth considering when you put your accumulators together.
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Over 2.5 total goals and BTTS between Leicester and Arsenal
Only Manchester City (34) have scored more goals than Leicester’s 27 in the Premier League, thanks to the nine goals the Foxes netted at Southampton. Arsenal have not been as prolific in front of goal as they would like, but there is plenty of quality in their attack to suggest this could be a high-scoring game, and when the two sides meet each other, goals have been a common factor.
The last four meetings have produced a total of 18 goals and the corresponding fixture last season saw Leicester win 3-0 thanks to two late Jamie Vardy goals. Vardy leads the market in scoring the first goal with odds of 3/1 and the former England striker is also 10/11 to score against the Gunners. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tops the market for Arsenal at 4/1 to be first scorer and 6/5 to get on the scoresheet anytime during the game.
SportPesa are offering odds of 5/6 for both teams to score and over 2.5 total goals scored. Three of the last five games played by both Leicester and Arsenal have seen BTTS and over 2.5 goals scored. Leicester, who are third in the league before the 12th round of fixtures, are 7/4 to win with over 2.5 total goals scored. Arsenal, who can close the gap between themselves and the Foxes to three points, are 15/4 to take all three points with a minimum of three total goals scored.
BTTS: Liverpool v Man City, Barnsley v Stoke, Leeds v Blackburn
Games don’t come much bigger than a fixture between the defending champions and the side that pushed them all the way last season to miss out on the title by a single point despite losing fewer games than Manchester City. This time around, the roles are reversed with Liverpool sitting top of the table holding a six-point lead and City doing the chasing.
Both sides come into this fixture having come from a goal down to win their last league game 2-1. Aston Villa were seconds away from taking a share of the spoils from Jurgen Klopp’s side only for Sadio Mane to steal all three points from their trip to Villa Park last Saturday. City didn’t leave it quite as late as their rivals with Kyle Walker, who finished City’s Champions League tie against Atalanta as goalkeeper following Claudio Bravo’s dismissal nine minutes from time after he replaced Ederson at the interval, scoring City’s winner four minutes from time.
Liverpool (17/10) are 8/1 with SportPesa to win this game from a losing position while Sunday’s visitors to Anfield are 29/4 to win from behind. Liverpool are also 33/10 to win with goals for both them and City who are 59/20 to claim victory with both teams finding the net. City’s Sergio Aguero leads the market for first goalscorer at 7/2 and the Argentinian is 11/10 to be an anytime scorer.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is 5/1 to open the scoring at Anfield and he is 8/5 to find the net anytime during the game which could see Liverpool extend their lead to nine points or see City close to within three points of their rivals. The two sides met in the curtain-raiser to the season in the Community Shield which City won 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. A 1-1 draw on Sunday is priced at 21/4.
While the Premier League sees a top of the table clash take place, the Championship has a bottom of the table battle taking place at Oakwell. Barnsley (37/20) host Stoke (6/4) one point better off than the Potters who have taken just eight points from their 15 games played. Spectators making their way to the game will hope for a similar game the last time these two sides met which came during the 2007/08 season which ended in a 3-3 draw. Jon Macken had given Barnsley the lead with five minutes to go only for Barnsley’s Stephen Foster to be sent off in injury time before Liam Lawrence completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
Barnsley’s 2-2 draw at home to Bristol City last Friday night when Cauley Woodrow equalised in the last minute, was the Tykes’ seventh successive game in which BTTS has landed. Stoke have won once away from home when they beat Swansea 2-1 and after sacking Nathan Jones earlier this week, they will hope to register their second win on the road this season. The Tykes are 17/4 to win with goals for both them and Stoke who are 33/10 to win and BTTS with a score draw priced at 3/1.
Leeds (5/11) welcome Blackburn (6/1) to Elland Road for their latest Championship fixture with United looking for a win to keep the pressure on West Brom and Preston who are the only teams ahead of Marcelo Bielsa’s side going into this weekend’s game. Blackburn need the win to lift them up the table and away from 16th place where they find themselves ahead of this game. This fixture last season had one of the most dramatic finishes with three goals in the 90th minute or later. Charlie Mulgrew thought he had snatched victory for Blackburn in the 90th minute, but Leeds had other ideas.
There was still plenty of time for Kemar Roofe to strike twice in injury time to deny Rovers the win and give Leeds the three points. A goal to be scored between the 76th minute and the end of the game is priced at 1/1. Leeds to win with both teams scoring is available at 21/10 while Blackburn are 12/1 to win with Leeds getting at least one goal. If BTTS lands, it will be the fourth successive meeting between the two sides in which it has occurred while seven of Blackburn’s last eight games has seen both them and their opponents score.
Over 2.5 Goals: Burnley v West Ham, Birmingham v Fulham, Hull v West Brom
After losing their last three games with three or more total goals scored in each of those losses, Burnley (13/10) would happily take a 1-0 win when they take on West Ham (41/20) at Turf Moor in a battle of claret and blue. The Hammers are looking to bounce back from the disappointment of losing 3-2 at home to Newcastle after trailing 3-0 at the break.
With an international break coming up after this fixture, both sides will want to win this game either by a single-goal or in a high-scoring shootout. Sean Dyche’s side have conceded an average three goals in their last three games and he will hope his coaching during the week will help shore up the gaps that have been exposed in recent games. Burnley are 11/5 to win this game with at least three total goals scored while West Ham are 7/2 to win this game with over 2.5 total goals netted.
Hull (23/10) find themselves just three points off the play-off places in 11th place in the Championship after winning their last three games. And Grant McCann’s team are climbing the table by playing good football and scoring goals. Last weekend’s 3-0 win at Fulham was the fourth consecutive game in which the Tigers have scored two or more goals. Four of City’s last five games have produced three or more total goals and the visit of West Brom (23/20) to the KCOM Stadium has all the ingredients to see three or more total goals netted.
Jarrod Bowen has scored five goals in his last four games for City and he is 5/1 to score the game’s first goal and he is 17/10 to be an anytime scorer. Matt Phillips has scored two goals in West Brom’s last two games and he 6/1 to be first scorer and 21/10 to find the back of the net any time during the game. City are 33/10 to win this game with three or more total goals scored while the Baggies, who started the week top of the Championship, are 37/20 to stay in first place with a win and over 2.5 total goals scored.
Fulham travel to Birmingham looking to make amends for last weekend’s 3-0 home loss to Hull City while the Blues are also hoping to show bouncebackability after they were beaten 4-2 at Cardiff. That was the second successive game in which Birmingham were involved in a game with three or more total goals were scored. The last meeting between these two sides at St Andrew’s came in Fulham’s promotion-winning season in 2017/18 when the Blues won 3-1. Both teams to score and over 2.5 total goals this weekend is available at 5/4 while Birmingham are 4/1 to take all three points with a minimum of three total goals scored.
Fulham are 53/20 to return to the capital with the three points in a game that has three or more total goals scored. Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored eight goals in his last seven games and he leads the first goalscorer market at 7/2 and 27/20 to be anytime scorer. For Birmingham, Lukas Jutkiewicz is 5/1 to be the game’s first goalscorer and 2/1 to be an anytime scorer. All four of Jutkiewicz’s goals this season have come at St Andrew’s.