EPL Matchday 19 Best Bets: Stopping Erling Braut Haaland is No Easy Task

Erling Haaland Manchester City vs Sevilla
Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the match between Sevilla FC and Manchester City. Cristina Quicler/AFP

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Star power is nothing new for Manchester City. But with 27 goals from 21 appearances in all competitions, Erling Haaland is proving to be one of the greatest to have ever worn a Cityzens jersey.

Read on for this week’s EPL Matchday 19 analysis with statistics, form, and other trends involving Chelsea, Man City, Spurs, and Crystal Palace.

Chelsea FC vs. Manchester City FC

Thursday, January 5, 2023 – 03:00 PM EST at Stamford Bridge

Two of Three

Graham Potter and his Chelsea squad will meet the English champions for the second of three quick turnaround meetings on Thursday as the two sides contend with the EPL schedule, FA Cup, and the EFL Cup fixtures they have against one another.

City overcame the Blues 2-0 at the Etihad on Nov 9, eliminating them from the EFL Cup. And on Jan 8, Potter and his men will travel to the Etihad again, with their FA Cup position at risk. With their only home fixture of these three games arriving on Thursday afternoon, Chelsea will be hoping the support of the London crowd can allow them to avoid multiple defeats to Pep Guardiola and company.

Unfortunately for Blues fans, there isn’t much to suggest they can take a vital three points from Manchester City. Following a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest last time out, Chelsea is ninth in the table and seven points away from a top-four spot.

To make matters worse, Potter’s one EPL win from his previous seven games in charge is a worrying statistic. The only positive that can be taken into Thursday’s game is that Arsenal is the only team to take all three points from Stamford Bridge this season.

Falling Behind in the Title Race

To no surprise, Erling Haaland put his team in the lead on New Year’s Eve. But when Demarai Gray hammered home a goal-of-the-year contender against Manchester City on matchday 18, there was no late reprieve from the hosts. This left Pep Guardiola and co. seven points adrift from table toppers Arsenal, and another unwelcoming result could extend this even further should the Gunners overcome Newcastle tonight.

Arriving at Stamford Bridge without a clean sheet in four consecutive EPL games isn’t a great sign. However, solace can be taken from their away record, which boasts just one defeat from their last 25 games on the road.

City threw Chelsea out of the EFL cup just before the World Cup commenced, and as Haaland was benched for that game, he’ll add a goal-scoring threat the Blues haven’t faced thus far.

Betting Odds and Best Bet

The available EPL odds expect a Manchester City victory, but a moderate price of -155 is too tempting to pass up.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see both teams get on the score sheet, but the clinical edge owned by City and their desperation to keep up with Arsenal should see them edge a narrow victory versus a lost and confused Chelsea squad.

Score Prediction: Chelsea 1 – Man City 2

Soccer Pick: Manchester City ML (-155) [1.55u wager returns 2.5u] at Caesars Sportsbook

Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham

Wednesday, January 3, 2023 – 03.00 PM EST at Selhurst Park

Lackluster Lilywhites

A disappointing performance against Aston Villa this past weekend hasn’t left Tottenham fans with much hope of challenging for a top-four position this term, and surprisingly, manager Antonio Conte has added to this sentiment by admitting fifth place could be the highest his team can achieve.

A lack of confidence from the head coach isn’t what Tottenham players need to hear, and with only two wins from their previous seven Premier League meetings, losing out on a Champions League placement could be the last of their worries.

Defensive woes for Spurs have been an issue; they’ve allowed at least two goals in their last seven games and have conceded first in all of those games. They’ll face Palace, who’ve had no issues finding the net and travel to Selhurst Park, where they’ve failed to win a game in their last four visits.

Starting 2023 Positively

Crystal Palace will look to begin the New Year EPL schedule how they ended it in 2022, as Patrick Viera and his team delivered a comfortable 2-0 for their fans last time out and will be confident in adding misery to Tottenham’s recent record in a midweek London derby on home soil.

If it weren’t for a Fulham loss, Palace would be riding a four-game EPL win streak at Selhurst Park, as this ground has been a difficult challenge for teams this term. And although Viera’s squad hasn’t quite breached the top half of the table yet, a successful outing against their London rivals on Wednesday afternoon could move them up to ninth.

With that said, Palace’s three home losses this season have been against fellow London sides. Arsenal, Chelsea, and Fulham all managed to overcome the problematic playing grounds at Selhurst Park, and capital counterparts Bradford also held the Eagles to a 1-1 draw.

Betting Odds and Best Bet

The available EPL odds at the best sportsbooks have positioned Spurs as the betting favorites, but a price tag of +125 isn’t a decisive vote of confidence from the oddsmakers.

With such red flags surrounding Spurs right now, backing them as favorites to win any game isn’t a betting position that provides much confidence. In contrast, I wouldn’t be so confident in Palace’s efforts either, considering their recent results versus teams from the capital.

Backing both teams to find the net feels like the safest wagering stance for this meeting. Spurs haven’t had a clean sheet in seven games, and Palace has conceded 21 goals in 16 games this season. A high-scoring affair that ends with both teams sharing the spoils is a likely outcome I can get behind.

Score Prediction: Palace 2 – Spurs 2

Soccer Pick: Both teams to Score (-130) [1.30u wager returns 2.5u] at BetMGM

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