Tuesday Football Tips: Best bets for Premier League and EFL play-offs

  • Max Liu
  • 4:00 min read
Brendan Rodgers and Thomas Tuchel
We meet again - it's Rodgers v Tuchel at the Bridge on Tuesday

Get the best bets for Tuesday's big matches in the race for the Premier League top four and the play-offs in Leagues 1 and 2...

"If the match result markets are likely to be something of a lottery, then the goals markets should be more reliable. Under Tuchel, Chelsea's games rarely produce many goals. The FA Cup final was the 23rd game from 27 under the German, that has seen less than three goals."

Manchester United v Fulham: Red Devils to edge enjoyable encounter

Manchester United v Fulham
Tuesday May 18, 18:00
Sky Sports

Manchester United are heavy odds-on to finish second in the Premier League and four points ahead of nearest rivals Leicester with two matches to play. They're in a strong position and can seal the runners-up with victory against relegated Fulham. But United have lost their last two Premier League matches, albeit Leicester and Liverpool, and if they were to suffer a surprise defeat here that second-place finish could be in jeopardy.

Key Stat: Since 2009 Manchester United have beaten Fulham 12 times, drawn twice and lost none.

Mark O'Haire says: "With Manchester United now investing time into preparation for the Europa League final, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be tempted to rest and rotate his squad. That potential scenario, plus the absence of Harry Maguire suggests the hosts' are an untrustworthy proposition from a defensive standpoint, even against powder-puff opposition.

"Fulham have managed a measly goals per-game output of their own of only 0.72 with the Whites preferring to play a pragmatic style, built around their well-drilled, organised and capable backline. However, with only pride left to play for, Scott Parker could be willing to release the shackles at Old Trafford and contribute to a more open and expansive game.

"Eight (44%) of United's 18 Old Trafford league outings have produced Over 3.5 Goals 2.727/4, as well as 17/36 (47%) matches overall - both divisional high figures. In fact, five of the hosts' past six games have also featured at least four goals."

Mark's bet: Back Man Utd to win and Over 3.5 Goals at 3.2011/5

Oxford United v Blackpool: Tangerines can dream of final spot

Oxford United v Blackpool
Tuesday 18th May, kick-off 18:00
Live on Sky Sports Football

Blackpool 3.55 are the shorter price in the Exchange market on promotion from League One after finishing the regular season in third. But their opponents Oxford 4.3100/30, who squeaked into the play-offs on goal difference, won't be worrying about that when they host the first leg of this tie.

Key Stat: Blackpool kept 28 clean sheets in 2020/21 - six more than any other season in their entire history.

Alan Dudman says: "The market has the hosts installed as the 2.588/5 favourites against Blackpool's 3.1511/5, and there's an argument to say that both prices represent a fair bet. Oxford usually go off a bit shorter at home, and they have won 13 at the Kassam this season.

"We saw in the two legs with Portsmouth 12 months ago that teams can soak up Oxford's ball retention style, and this pits a good attack against the league's best defence. Matty Taylor is excellent, but he can become isolated somewhat and the Tangerines are masters at soaking up pressure. It worked with the 0-0 during the regular season, and there's no reason not to have a trade on the 0-0 Correct Score for Tuesday night.

"Although at 6.411/2, that is a lot shorter than you would normally expect. There's still a chance to trade though.

"In terms of the strongest selection, Blackpool on the Draw No Bet or Double Chance will do. They ended the season with real momentum and hit four successive victories. And with Oxford failing to score in both of their matches against Blackpool (seven shots without scoring), it looks the sensible backing option at around the 1.84/5 mark."

Alan's bet: Back Blackpool Double Chance @ 1.84/5

Brighton v Man City: Champions to maintain 100% record against Seagulls

Brighton v Man City
Tuesday 18 May, 19:00
Live on BT Sport

With the title secured, Manchester City minds are turning to the Champions League final the weekend after next and Pep Guardiola will be rotating his squad again here and in Sunday's last Premier League match against Everton. But Guardiola wants to win every game and will expect his side to take three points here.

Key Stat: Against the top six this season Brighton's record is W1 D4 L6. City won the reverse fixture 1-0.

Andrew Atherley says: "City have been full-on in previous matches against Brighton, winning all seven meetings in the Premier League plus another in the FA Cup semi-finals two seasons ago.

"Brighton have failed to score in six of those eight matches in all competitions and another City win to nil here is 2.427/5.

"City have won six of the eight meetings by two or more goals and Guardiola's side are 2.466/4 off -1.5 on the Asian handicap to secure that type of winning margin again.

"While a City win is hard to oppose on hard form, there is a chink of hope for Brighton in the champions' performance against Newcastle after the title had been secured.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City.jpg

"Letting in so many goals in one match is almost unheard of for City (the only other time it has happened this season was back in September when they were torn apart by Leicester's counter-attacking in a 5-2 home defeat) and there might be a lack of focus that Brighton can exploit.

"Both teams to score is worth considering at 1.9720/21 and win to nil backers might be on shaky ground if the champions leave themselves open again."

Andrew's bet: Back Manchester City to win with over 2.5 match goals at 5/4 with Betfair Sportsbook

Newport County v Forest Green: Defence key to Exiles win

Newport v Forest Green
Tuesday May 18, 20:15
Sky Sports

A trip to Wembley to compete for promotion to League One is the prize on offer as Newport host Forest Green Rovers in their League Two play-off semi-final first leg. Newport are the marginal favourites to qualify from the tie over all but if Forest Green can avoid defeat here then they will hold the advantage.

Key Stat: Both of these teams reached the play-offs two seasons ago for the first time and both lost in the semi-finals.

Ian Lamont says: "Both teams are short of abundant goalscorers this season. Newport's Lewis Collins scored a first league goal a couple of weeks ago aged 20, but it's his older brother Aaron - of Forest Green - who is the leading goal getter among the two squads this season, in Matt's absence.

"Aaron Collins' 131 shots this season was only bettered in League Two by Cambridge striker Paul Mullin (169). Collins might not have had the best conversion rate, netting 10 times, but he has scored in his past two matches - both penalties. He last scored in three in a row in 2019 (for Morecambe) - with the third in that run coming against Newport.

"Collins is near the top of the "first goalscorer" market at [6-1] on Sportsbook. Leading the list is Newport's Nicky Maynard at 3-1 and Amond at [9-2] - and he's a conundrum. He has often been used as a substitute but will surely start for this big game.

"Demetriou is a surprising [13-1]. If you would prefer to leave him for "anytime scorer" at [13-2] then also consider the [7-1] on Kevin Ellison, League Two's second oldest outfield player at 42, a frequent substitute and creator who still adds the odd goal or two. Amond is the obvious one, but Demetriou's recent trio of goals are hard to ignore."

Ian's bet: Back Mickey Demetriou for first goalscorer @ 14.013/1 on Sportsbook

Chelsea v Leicester: Expect another low scoring match between cup finalists

Chelsea 1.758/11 v Leicester 5.59/2; The Draw 3.953/1
Tuesday 18 May, 20:15
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Chelsea have not had to wait long for a chance to gain some revenge on Leicester, as the two teams meet just three days after the FA Cup final. Thomas Tuchel's side are 1.51/2 for a top four finish while Brendan Rodgers' cup winners are the longer price at 1.728/11 even though they sit third, two points ahead of Tuesday's opponents. For both sides this is the penultimate match of the season. There is an enormous amount at stake.

Key Stat: Chelsea come into this match having lost consecutive matches for the first time under Tuchel.

Dan Fitch says: "Chelsea are the 1.758/11 favourites, with the draw at 3.953/1 and Leicester at 5.59/2.

"If the FA Cup final had not taken place, then these set of odds would seem about right. Yet with Leicester having already dealt a big blow to Chelsea this week, it ramps up the pressure on the hosts.

"There could be value in backing Leicester to avoid defeat. They are 2.285/4 in the Double Chance market, while the draw also holds appeal at 3.953/1.

"If the match result markets are likely to be something of a lottery, then the goals markets would appear to be more reliable. Under Tuchel, Chelsea's games rarely produce many goals. The FA Cup final was the 23rd game from 27 under the German, that has seen less than three goals. Under 2.5 goals therefore looks great value at 1.84/5."

Dan's bet: Back under 2.5 goals between Chelsea and Leicester at 1.84/5

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