Spurs vs Aston Villa
After that magnificent start to Ange Postecoglou’s reign in north London, reality has begun to bite just a tad in the last few games.
It’s two defeats in a row for Spurs – if the 4-1 loss to Chelsea was a romantic feat of doomed derring-do, the 2-1 defeat to Wolves must have just felt like a kick in the teeth for the visitors, who conceded both goals in stoppage time.
Now Big Ange looks to restore the good vibes, but he’s doing so against a Villa team that are not to be underestimated.
It’s true that Unai Emery’s surge up the table is based chiefly on home form; but Villa won this fixture last season, and Tottenham remain without influential players like James Maddison and Mickey van de Ven.
Villa striker Ollie Watkins could shine here; the forward has four goals in his last six appearances for the Villans. Watkins is 29/20 to score at any time.
Everton vs Man Utd
No-one on the planet thinks Erik ten Hag is doing an exemplary job at United right now. But statistics, perverse as they are, seem to have the Dutch coach’s back.
In his first 50 league games with Man Utd, Ten Hag has won 30 of them, accruing 96 points in that spell. Which is a better record than any other United manager. Yep, Fergie included.
If you’re keen to point out the side have been rubbish lately, again, the stats say otherwise. With four wins in their last five league games, are United in fact the Prem’s form team right now?
Honestly, it’s not a claim that stands up to a whole lot of scrutiny. Those wins – all by a single goal – have come against Brentford, Sheffield United, Fulham, and Luton. But even if the wins have been unspectacular, the Manchester side are at least getting the job done.
On Sunday, it’s off to Goodison Park, where Everton will presumably be keen to demonstrate their resolve after recent developments; last week, the club’s breach of the Premier League’s financial rules saw them receive a 10 point deduction.
That setback has sent the Toffees down to 19th in the table. But results have been good under Sean Dyche and on current form the Merseyside team could still avoid relegation.
That’s a concern for later in the season; right now, Everton would just love a win against United. Is it a possibility? Against the form team in the Prem?
United have won their last three away games in the Prem. Meanwhile, Everton have won just once in their last eight meetings with Man Utd. It’s a terribly humdrum conclusion, but United’s underwhelming route to success may continue on Sunday. The visitors are 31/20 to win.
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