Saturday Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Terriers to keep it respectable

David Wagner's Huddersfield aren't likely to concede many against Man United on Saturday
David Wagner's Huddersfield aren't likely to concede many against Man United on Saturday
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The two Manchester clubs are in action on Saturday afternoon and Mike Norman believes recent performances will be mirrored as City again win easily while United might struggle for goals...

"It suggests that Huddersfield - who have failed to score in any of their last four games in all competitions - will struggle to break the United defence down, and you'd have to favour strongly yet another clean sheet for Mourinho's men."

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ [2.12] in Huddersfield v Man Utd

Huddersfield [11.5] v Man Utd [1.37]; The Draw [5.3]

(Significant Opta Stat: Manchester United have kept seven clean sheets in their first eight Premier League games this season.)

Whether it's because of a growing injury list or not, United have become a bit tepid in recent games, mirroring how they performed for large parts of last season.

There are however some huge positives. United currently sit second in the table, just two points behind leaders Manchester City. They are top of their Champions League group following three wins from three. And of course, ignoring the pre-season European Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid, United remain unbeaten this term, winning 10 and drawing two of their 12 games played in all competitions.

Performances mean very little when you're getting results of course, but you sense Jose Mourinho's men are going slightly off the boil; they again showed a distinct lack of ambition at Anfield last Saturday, and they were very unimpressive in defeating Benfica 1-0 in midweek.

But United are keeping clean sheets, and lots of them too. As the Opta stat above tells us they've recorded seven shut-outs in eight Premier League games, meaning they have the best defence in the country, and they've also conceded just a single goal in their three Champions League outings this term.

It suggests that Huddersfield - who have failed to score in any of their last four games in all competitions - will struggle to break the United defence down, and you'd have to favour strongly yet another clean sheet for Mourinho's men.

The Terriers are in fact without a win in any of their last seven games, and they've failed to score a single goal in six of those outings. But they also rarely get a good hiding; only a rampant Tottenham side, who have a better away record than United, beat David Wagner's men easily, and six of the last seven games involving Huddersfield have paid out on Under 2.5 Goals.

So with the odds stacked against the home side getting on the scoresheet, and United misfiring themselves in recent games, a low-scoring affair has to be the call at an odds-against price.

Recommended Bets
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ [2.12] (best bet)

Manchester City [1.12] v Burnley [30.0]; The Draw [12.5]

(Significant Opta Stat: Manchester City have won all of their last three Premier League home games by a five-goal margin.)

Burnley have been excellent away from home this season, incredibly remaining unbeaten and taking eight points from a possible 12 in games at Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Everton. I doubt there'll be another team in the Premier League who will amass as many points this season in those fixtures.

Apart from Man City perhaps, who just look incredible right now and are breaking, or are on the verge of breaking, records left, right, and centre.

On Saturday Pep Guardiola's men became the first top-flight team in over 120 years to score 29 goals in their first eight league games of a season. They'll also become only the third team in history to win four consecutive home games by a five-goal (or more) margin should they do so against Burnley at the weekend.

And there's other records too, like the one Chelsea hold for scoring five or more goals seven times in league games in a calendar year - City have done so on six occasions and still have another 11 league games in 2017 to play. You wouldn't bet against them not just equalling, but breaking that record.

So as much as you have to stand up and respect Burnley's away form this term, especially after it was so dire last season, the gut feeling is that this game is all about Man City and how they apply themselves. If they carry on as they have been playing then another four or five goals isn't out of the question at all.

And the reason City just keep running up big numbers is because they have so many top class players who just don't let off when the game is won. They are scoring goals from all over the pitch, and whoever is on the field wants to perform and get on the scoresheet.

Guardiola's men have won 10 consecutive games now; they've scored 36 goals in the process and an average of over four per game at the Etihad. Backing the Citizens to win, and score at least four again, is the logical call.

Recommended Bet
Back Any Other Home Win @ [2.2]

Swansea [2.9] v Leicester [2.74]; The Draw [3.3]

(Significant Opta Stat: Swansea have allowed their opponents 75 more shots in total than they have attempted themselves this season; the biggest negative differential in the division this term.)

Perhaps I'm putting too much faith in this Leicester City team, but I really do like them and believe they should comfortably finish mid-table, if not slightly higher.

Maybe the club owners think exactly the same, and that's why they pulled the trigger and ended Craig Shakespeare's reign as manager earlier this week. But to me that was a very rash, and harsh decision.

It's been well documented that the Foxes endured a very tough set of fixtures to start this campaign, and although they lost all four of their clashes against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United it's worth remembering that they are unbeaten in their other six games this season.

Okay, too many draws in there perhaps, but Leicester didn't have the look of a team that weren't playing for their manager, or a team that had gone completely off the boil, and if anything, with the fixtures they have coming up I'd have come out and backed Shakespeare even more, rather than sack him.

Ahead of Saturday's game at the Liberty, Leicester can take encouragement from having a decent record against Swansea, winning four consecutive matches by an aggregate score of 12-1 prior to February's 2-0 loss in Wales. By pure coincidence, that defeat resulted in Claudio Ranieri being sacked, and here we are now back at the same fixture and the Foxes don't have a manager. Next Leicester manager take note!

Swansea themselves haven't exactly set the world alight in the early months; their two league wins were against a dreadfully out of sorts Crystal Palace team and against a Huddersfield side who have scored just a single goal in their last seven outings.

I understand why Leicester are favourites to win, and if, like so many teams do when they change boss, they have an immediate upturn in performance levels then I can see them claiming all three points.

Recommended Bet
Back Leicester to Win @ [2.74]


With unparalled access to Premier League managers, the Weekend Wager aims to arm with all you need to make your Premier League bets, as the team discuss the key games in the Premier League over the coming days.

You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

Premier League 2017/18 Season P/L

Staked: 33 pts
Returned: 37.81 pts
P/L: +4.81 pts

*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet

- 2016/17 P/L = +42.63 pts from 160 pts staked (26.64% ROI)
- 2015/16 P/L = +14.99 pts from 234 pts staked (6.4% ROI)
- 2014/15 P/L = +35.30 pts from 215 pts staked (16.42% ROI)

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