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Saturday 5/1 Bet Builder – Watford v Tottenham 12:30 KO

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The early kick off on Saturday comes at Vicarage Road as a rejuvenated Watford host an inconsistent Spurs side.

We’ll be using the free kicks’ market with Bet365. They are the only bookmaker who use these markets and they are proving lucrative through a little bit of research!

 

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Since Nigel Pearson has took the helm at Hertfordshire the Hornets have been buzzing.

Pearson hasn’t changed much in terms of personnel, however the straight talking former Leicester gaffer has made a few tactical tweaks that have seen Watford pick up four wins and one draw in their last five premier league fixtures.

Firstly he has moved from a narrow 4-2-2-2 formation which was favoured under previous managers Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez-Flores to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The tricky Gerard Deulofeu and pacey Ismaila Sarr occupy the wide berths whilst the impressive Abdoulaye Doucoure has slotted into a more advanced attacking midfield role to help the powerful Troy Deeney at the top of the pitch.

It’s the additional presence of Doucoure in the box that has been a major benefit for Watford, he’s got the size to be a threat in the air but he’s clever with his movement and has a decent strike on him too, it’s shown with back-to-back goals for the former Rennes man.

Adam Masina came in at left back last week against Bournemouth and provided a man of the match display, it’s testament to Pearson’s galvanising man management that even peripheral players are making a positive impact. They will fancy their chances of upsetting champions league finalists Spurs on Saturday, that’s for sure.

Jose Mourinho once again saw his side make hard work of an FA cup replay against Middlesbrough during the week and that lack of killer edge is costing them at the moment.

That narrow 2-1 victory was their first in five games and the injury list is not helping Mourinho’s cause.

Tanguy N’Dombele and Danny Rose remain out in the cold whereas Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane and Ben Davies all remain on the treatment table, not to mention doubts over Christian Eriksen’s future.

Without a natural back up for Kane at the top of the pitch it makes it difficult for Jose to play his preferred direct style, the amount of long balls that Spurs play has dramatically increased since ‘the special one’ arrived at the Lane but Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura are anything but target men.

Against low blocks they therefore find it difficult to get the frontmen in behind and with a dysfunctional midfield and less than convincing backline they cannot be backed as favourites here.

That thought process is only further encouraged when you look at Spurs’ away record, not only this season but for a good 12 months now.

It’s just two wins out of eleven on the road this campaign for the North London outfit but look at that away form since February 2019 and it reads played 17, won 2, drew 4, lost 11.

Shambolic.

The Betting Angle

I’m once again happy to utilise the handy ‘BetBuilder’ feature on Bet365 to get a same game multiple that will hopefully gives us a run for our money. If you don’t have an account get one here.

I want to get Watford on side here and wouldn’t be surprised if they ran out victorious, however I’d prefer to get the draw on our side as well as it looks a player. So the first part of this will be Watford ‘Double Chance’ which is effectively them to avoid defeat.

Secondly I’m not expecting a barrage of goals, Pearson has set his side up well defensively since he’s come in, conceding just twice in five league games.

With that in mind we can chuck ‘under 5 goals’ in to boost it up a bit. It’s landed in 17 of Spurs’ last 18 on the road and it’s also copped in all Watford’s league home games this season.

I’m also happy to delve into the free kick market once more as this looked like it could be a fiercely contested match up.

These two are ranked as 2nd and 3rd for cautions in the league this season with both averaging around 2.3 cards per game which shows how much both like to commit a foul or two. Spurs also rank as one of the highest for offsides too which also lead to free kicks.

With the likes of Son and Moura for Spurs, Sarr and Deulofeu for Watford, we have enough tricky players on the pitch to draw in the free kicks. Therefore I’ll chuck in both teams to collect over 9.5 free kicks.

Following on from that train of thought, and the potential for fouls and the respective disciplinary records for both teams the final part of the multi will be for both teams to collect over 1 card.

Michael Oliver has the whistle and he isn’t shy of dishing them out. When you combine all 6 selections we come out with a tasty 5/1 shot and that looks just the ticket.

Watford ‘double chance’, under 5 goals, both teams over 9.5 free kicks, both teams over 1 card – 5/1 (Bet365 – BetBuilder)

Sat 11/4 Bet builder winner!

With injuries mounting up at Selhurst Park and incessant rumours about the future of Wilfred Zaha returning as we hit January, they need to be careful to not get dragged into what looks like an almighty relegation battle.

It was a surprise to see them still in the top half given they have won just 1 in 7 and 3 in 14, it’s an indictment of how many poor teams there are in the premier league this season.

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In recent history, Arsenal at odds-on away from home has been a layers cash cow, their record over the past 2 years on the road has been pitiful and a large amount of that is down to their non-existent backbone, lack of shape and poor attitude.

However, since Mikel Arteta has come into the hotseat the Gunners have been a much more backable side and the 17/20 quotes on the visitors look more fair now they have a bit about them. The North London club were decent in the first half against Chelsea before running out of steam, but since then they’ve recorded back-to-back wins to nil which will be a welcome sight to fans.

Bet365 Betbuilder The Betting Angle

I’m not convinced that this will be a brilliant game to watch, however there does seem to be a bit of value in the BetBuilder feature on Bet365 which allows you to combine all manner of markets to get a same game multi.

The one that catches my eye is ‘over 10.5 free kicks for Crystal Palace, over 10.5 free kicks for Arsenal, over 0 cards for Crystal Palace, over 0 cards for Arsenal and under 4 goals for both teams combined’ which garners a nice 3/1 shot.

It is a game where I am anticipating a lot of niggly fouls, after all these are 2 of the top 4 when it comes to winning fouls. Palace are fouled on average 12.3 times per game whereas Arsenal are fouled 12.1 times per game. It’s no surprise when you look at the players on both sides, Zaha is the 2nd most fouled player in the league and teammate Jordan Ayew is 4th on that list.

Arsenal’s midfielders regularly pick up a lot of fouls, particularly Matteo Guendouzi who is a good progressive runner with the ball with excellent close control.

Nicolas Pepe is another who is a threat out wide and full backs often resort to bringing down the former Lille man. With these stats in our favour, taking both teams to have over 10.5 free kicks each looks a worthy play.

Naturally, when there are more fouls there are more cards.

Arsenal have picked up more yellow cards than any other side this season (52) whereas Palace aren’t as prevalent on the card front I expect them to be defending for the most part and the likes of James McCarthy (3 yellows in 4 starts) could come into the team due to injuries and suspensions.

Throwing in both teams to have at least a card each is a nice way to bump up this Bet Builder.

I’m also keen to get against a goal heavy game. 19 of Palace’s 21 games this season have seen fewer than 4 goals and Selhurst Park is the ground that sees the least goalmouth action in the entire league.

Since Arteta has taken charge of Arsenal they have seen under 3.5 land in all 5 of those. Palace will probably sit deep and try hit the visitors on the break whereas Arsenal will be happy to control the game and try get a goal and sit on it. Under 4 goals will be the final addition to this bet.

Bet365 Betbuilder Selections

  • Over 10.5 free kicks for Crystal Palace
  • Over 10.5 free kicks for Arsenal
  • Over 0 cards for Crystal Palace
  • Over 0 cards for Arsenal
  • Under 4 goals for both teams combined

11/4 (Bet365 – BetBuilder)

Bradford City fan. Yeadon FC’s answer to Becks. I am a writer having pieces written Eastbridge sportsbook amongst others.

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