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Watford is almost assured of retaining its English Premier League status one season after achieving promotion but the Hornets are not positioned 10th on the ladder thanks to their heroics against the division’s leading lights.
Seven English Premier League matches against the elite’s top five teams have resulted in seven defeats for Watford, one of which was a 1-2 home loss to Manchester United. There is an argument for Watford being the English Premier League’s most flattered side because the Hornets have not only come up short frequently versus the division’s heavyweights but also failed to register many attempts on target irrespective of their opposition – their average of 3.26 is lower than every team except Aston Villa and West Bromwich.
Manchester United is fifth on the English Premier League ladder and, while the Red Devils have dropped unexpected points to several of the division’s strugglers, they have performed quite well against the big guns – they ought to be in the thick of the title race and that is in spite of them being boring to watch under Louis van Gaal’s leadership.
One’s English Premier League collateral form analysis puts Manchester United ahead of Watford 9-3-7 but the Red Devils lead the Hornets 5-0-0 in games featuring the top-five sides and, of course, the men from Old Trafford won November’s reverse fixture, albeit courtesy of a late own goal.
Coral, Paddy Power and William Hill are listing Manchester United at odds of -149 to get the better of Watford on Wednesday and complete what would be just its second English Premier League double – the Red Devils accrued six points from their tension-packed matches versus Liverpool.
One thinks that goals may be in limited supply in two of Tuesday’s English Premier League games, with the matches in question being the regional derbies between Leicester and West Bromwich and Bournemouth and Southampton.
Marathonbet is offering odds of -123 about Leicester and West Bromwich combining for two and a half goals and that price is too big given the latter’s probable gameplan at the King Power Stadium. West Bromwich manager Tony Pulis is likely to set up the Baggies negatively away to the English Premier League leader and challenge the Foxes to find a way past a parked bus. Leicester’s strength is on fast breaks and one cannot see West Bromwich allowing the Foxes to tear it to shreds on the counter attack. Unless Leicester breaks the deadlock in the early stages and forces West Bromwich to abandon its strategy of containment then there is every chance that the match could end up with no goals at all.
An English Premier League-leading 16 of West Bromwich’s 27 games have gone under two and a half goals, including a division-high 10 of its 13 away matches. Leicester is an English Premier League overs team but seven of its 13 home games have gone under two and a half goals. Leicester won 3-2 at West Bromwich in the reverse English Premier League fixture but the change of venue will change the attitude of the Baggies and not for the better for any neutral viewer.
Southampton boasts the English Premier League’s second most stingy defence and that is one of the reasons why the Saints have featured in 15 divisional matches that have gone under two and a half goals. Southampton is particularly tight on its travels – nine of its 13 English Premier League road games have gone under two and a half goals – and one is tipping that its local argument against Bournemouth will fall under the popular line as well, just as the reverse fixture did in a match that the Saints took out 2-0. Marathonbet offer -141 about the two teams recording less than 2.5 goals between them on Tuesday night.
Finally, here are one’s English Premier League collateral form analysis results for every one of Round 28’s 10 games. The asterisk signifies the direct head-to-head winner.
Norwich 8-0-11* versus Chelsea
Sunderland 5*-2-12 versus Crystal Palace
Aston Villa 5-0-14* versus Everton
Bournemouth 5-2-12* versus Southampton
Leicester 14*-3-2 versus West Bromwich
Arsenal 12*-2-5 versus Swansea
West Ham 6-2-11* versus Tottenham
Stoke 11*-2-6 versus Newcastle
Liverpool 6*-3-10 versus Manchester City
Manchester United 9*-3-7 versus Watford
Manchester United to beat Watford
Wednesday 2nd March, 20:00 GMT
Leicester v West Brom Under 2.5 goals
Tuesday 1st March, 19:45 GMT
Bournemouth v Southampton Under 2.5 goals
Tuesday 1st March, 19:45 GMT
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