Premier League 19/20 MatchDay 16: The Manchester Derby

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THE MANCHESTER DERBY IS UPON US AND WAG HAS YOUR BEST BETS OF THIS WEEKEND’S PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES.

Record: 26-22

Welp, going 1-6 last week slapped me in the face, and made Christmas shopping a whole lot harder financially. Now I gotta win that money back , and some. But this weekend’s slate is everything we could have dreamed of with the Manchester Derby in place, and a Monday night game where Arsenal can provide comedy to the Premier League. We haven’t even reached the peak of the Premier League season, but it seems like it gets more exciting as the weeks fly by. Let’s see what the bookies want from us this weekend.

Watford vs. Crystal Palace

PREVIEW
Watford are onto their third manager of the season as they try to climb out of the relegation zone with a win against the visiting Eagles. Since beating Norwich away, Watford have scored one goal in their last three Premier League fixtures adding more misery to their campaign this season. Watford can barely keep the ball to create chances which Juan Carlos Oliva, the new Watford manager, will need to bolster if Watford want any chance in staying in the top flight. Crystal Palace had an impressive win over visiting Bournemouth where the Eagles were able to score the lone goal with ten men. That was Palace’s second consecutive win which places them in seventh place in the Premier League standings. Jeffrey Schlupp has now scored in consecutive games for the Eagles, showing us an unfamiliar offensive Palace side.

KEY STATS

  • Watford won all 3 fixtures vs. Palace in all competitions last season.
  • Palace lost 1 of last8 away League fixtures vs. Watford
  • Watford still don’t have a home win this season, losing 4 / drawing 3

PREDICTION
Watford are a completely different team this season. They have fired their second manager in this season alone proving how distraught the organization is. In comparison to last Premier League season, they are doing the complete opposite. Crystal Palace is hanging in there, but their offense is starting to wake up as the Eagles are getting more consistent in finding the back of the net. I think Palace can take care of business against Watford, as they continue to wait for their first home win of the season.

PREVIEW
Right from the Merseyside Derby into the Manchester Derby. Fuck Christmas, this is like Hanukkah with the consistent gift giving. And I’m having fun. Manchester City have broken out of their funk as they thrashed Burnley away winning four goals to one. Gabriel Jesus was in the zone curling City’s first goal, followed by the second goal. Aguero’s absence was not felt as the City legend is expected to sit out for the Manchester Derby. Top 10 ranked player of the year Riyad Mahrez made his case scoring the fourth goal in that fixture. Manchester City have a lot of ground to make up if they want to make Liverpool feel nervous as the season heads into the second half. On the red side of town, Manchester United have gifted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer another game to manage as the Red Devils held on against the Spurs to spoil Mourinho’s Old Trafford return. Marcus Rashford is a star when he plays against a top six opponent, adding a brace against the Spurs on Wednesday. Manchester United dominated the first half, followed by a clumsy Spurs tackle that lead to a penalty for the Red Devils. Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson so many years ago, Manchester has been blue ever since. In the last 14 Manchester Derby’s, the Cityzens won eight. This couldn’t have been a worse time for United to play City because United are feeling good which can only lead to disappointment, and City played 2 horrendous fixtures prior the game against Burnley with Gabriel Jesus holding the torch in City’s ‘revival’. Buckle up folks.

KEY STATS

  • United have lost 1 of their last 4 away Premier League games vs. City
  • City have won 24 of their last 27 home Premier League games
  • United have won 1 of their last 11 away Premier League games

PREDICTION
William Hill bettors are no idiots. Manchester United have no chance in beating City at the Etihad. Manchester United looked too good against the Spurs, which I believe their performance was inspired by emotion because they finally had something to play for, Ole’s job. The Cityzens have found their spark that Pep has been searching for since Aguero’s injury in that of Gabriel Jesus Christ. Now thinking back at his curling goal against Burnley, the ball trajectory was hitting the post 99% of the flight path it took. But Gabriel Jesus Christ did some holy things to shift that ball into the side netting, and his powers are only going to get stronger as we get closer to Christmas. City is having a goal fest with a sprinkle of Marcus Rashford on the side, bet the Over 3.5 total goals.

Norwich City vs. Sheffield United

PREVIEW
Norwich City host Sheffield as one of the Premier League fixtures this Sunday. Both teams come off loses as points are beginning to get scarce for the Canaries. Norwich City are not what I have hoped for them to be as they are in 19th place in the Premier League standings. After drawing an Arsenal team in bad form, their 2-1 loss to Southampton certainly damaged them in the fight to avoid relegation. Sheffield suffered a much unexpected loss against Newcastle who are getting impressive results. Sheffield United controlled the whole game, but the early goal from Newcastle’s Saint-Maximin proved to push the Blades too much, which allowed Jonjo Shelvey to put the game away. After scoring three goals in consecutive home games, including a clean sheet, Newcastle definitely put a dent in Sheffields morale.

KEY STATS

  • Norwich won 3 of 4 Premier League games vs. Sheffield
  • Sheffield are unbeaten in last 2 away League games vs. Norwich
  • Norwich haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League home games

PREDICTION
As much as I want to say the Canaries are going to pull through against Sheffield, they couldn’t beat the Blades in any of their Championship matchups last season. It doesn’t help that Sheffield United lost at home to Newcastle, and they have been very strong at home this season. Sheffield Money Line is the easiest bet of the day.

Aston Villa vs. Leicester City

PREVIEW
The mighty Foxes are back in business Sunday as they travel to Birmingham to play Jack Grealish and Aston Villa. The Villans did not look pretty against the Chelsea Blues letting them shoot the ball 25 times. But Villa is having some success against teams in the current top six which is opening my eyes towards this Premier League fixture against Leicester, who are having another historic season. The Foxes are 3 points ahead of Manchester City for second place. They have the best defense in the league conceding nine goals so far. Jamie Vardy has scored in seven consecutive Premier League games. And Brendan Rodgers just received a contract extension to 2025 diminishing any Arsenal rumors. Times are good in Leicester, but I think it’s time for some diversity.

KEY STATS

  • Villa have lost 1 of their last 8 home league games vs. Leicester
  • Leicester have won their last 3 away games by and aggregate of 13-0
  • Villa have won 2 of their last 3 home games

PREDICTION
Y’all want to hear a funny story. I had a perfect prediction that I was going to suede you to bet Aston Villa, but my computer had a glitch that backed me out of Word Press and everything I wrote in my prediction was deleted. So by the power of the gambling gods and my shitty computer, Leicester City is going to win this game.

West Ham United vs. Arsenal

PREVIEW
It is a London Derby for our Monday viewing pleasures as the abysmal Gunners travel to the London stadium to play the Hammers of West Ham. West Ham are at the end of their tough schedule that saw them play Tottenham, Chelsea, Wolves, and now Arsenal in consecutive Premier League fixtures. Recently, they lost 2-0 to the Wolves where Patrick Cutrone bolted the dagger in the 86th-minute. The Wolves fully deserved that win as West Ham continue to search for their momentum they had earlier this season. Arsenal are extraordinarily bad, and I think David Luiz is a big part to blame for the Gunners defensive woes. Arsenal are on their ninth consecutive game without a win in all competitions. My Frankfurt boys beat them at home with no Frankfurt Ultras allowed in the stadium. We beat the Gunners with a player who hasn’t scored a goal since September, and he had two that Thursday night!

KEY STATS

  • West Ham won this fixture 1-0 last season
  • Arsenal have most of their total away wins vs. West Ham
  • Arsenal have won 2 of last 12 away London Derbies
  • No side has lost more Monday games than West Ham

PREDICTION
Although Arsenal are in terrible shape, are having the worst Christmas of their lives, and are the new laughing stock of the Premier League, they may have a chance here. I know only 3 points separate from the 2 teams and Arsenal have nothing going for them at the moment. I think Freddie Ljunberg has things more in grip and will look to shake up the lineup on Monday. He has had more time with the team and can introduce his philosophy that will help the Gunners to a win on Monday.

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