We’re into the second month of 2021 and as we’ve come to expect this season, Matchday 21 provided some surprising results. Tottenham were beaten by Brighton, Leeds ran riot over title-hopefuls Leicester City, and Manchester United were held to a dull draw by 10th place Arsenal.
This has certainly been one of the most unpredictable English Premier League seasons to date and we expect it to just keep getting more exciting as we push into the second half of the 2020/2021 season.
Let’s take a look at the games that are going to have the biggest impact on the congested top spots in the table, as well as the rest of the EPL betting odds to keep an eye out for across the League.
Tuesday, February 2nd
Manchester United vs. Southampton
Betting odds: Man Utd: -200 Tie: +333 Southampton: +550
For a fleeting moment, United were on top of the table and all they needed to do was beat Sheffield United to remain there. However, they were overcome 2-1 by the team sitting at the bottom of the league and Manchester City moved into the top spot. Solskjær’s team had another opportunity to keep up their title charge when they faced Arsenal on the weekend, but they could only manage to see out a dull 0-0 draw, with plenty of their players looking off the pace. If they are to have any hope of keeping within touching distance of their Manchester neighbors, they need to take all three points from Southampton on Tuesday.
The Red Devils should, on paper, be able to win this game, but we all know that is far from guaranteed. Southampton started the season brightly but they have slipped down to 11th in the table and have lost all three of their last League games. Ralph Hasenhüttl will take confidence from Sheffield’s win over United and hope that his team can dent their title run even further.
United’s form has been less than spectacular at home this season and they really need their strikers to be at the top of their game if they want to win against a spirited Southampton team. The betting odds are going in United’s favor for a win at Old Trafford, but Southampton will certainly cause them problems.
Wednesday, February 3rd
Burnley vs. Manchester City
Betting odds: Burnley: +1200 Tie: +550 Man City: -450
If there is one team that Burnley manager Sean Dyche would have preferred to give a wide berth at the moment, it’s undoubtedly Manchester City. Guardiola’s team have reclaimed the top spot on the table and are looking absolutely lethal. Keep in mind, however, that it was this Burnley team that ended Liverpool’s record unbeaten run at Anfield just a couple of weeks ago and they are certainly a team that should be given more respect than their 16th place seems to demand.
Even without their talismanic midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, Man City have simply looked unstoppable in recent weeks. They have comfortably won all of their last five League games and they seem to have goals coming from all over the pitch at the moment. Guardiola is undoubtedly confident that his team can do damage against Burnley and we aren’t expecting the Citizens to have too many problems against the Clarets.
Fulham vs. Leicester City
Betting odds: Fulham: +320 Tie: +260 Leicester: -115
Despite sitting in 18th place on the table, Fulham has not had a monumentally bad season. Most of their losses have been by incredibly tight margins, with just a goal going against them, and they have three draws in their last five League games. Young manager, Scott Parker, will hope that his team can replicate the form which saw them draw to both Liverpool and Tottenham this campaign.
Leicester City have had a bright, if inconsistent, season so far and their 3-1 loss to Leeds encapsulates that form and they now find themselves in 4th spot behind Liverpool. Brendan Rogers has not been able to rely on the injured Jamie Vardy for his goal threat and although midfielder James Maddison has been getting on the scoresheet with a lot more frequency, they are still missing that killer instinct upfront.
Chances are that the Foxes will be too much for the Cottagers, but expect Fulham to fight for every ball at Craven Cottage.
Liverpool vs. Brighton
Betting odds: Liverpool: -300 Tie: +450 Brighton: +700
It’s been a couple of shaky weeks for Klopp’s team and Liverpool were facing time outside the top four if they didn’t get their act together soon. Losses to Southampton and Burnley and the draw to United knocked the Reds out of their comfort zone at the top of the table and they needed a response. They scored three magnificent goals against West Ham on Sunday and it looks like Mo Salah is back to his best. This will give Liverpool the confidence boost that they needed to host Brighton at Anfield.
Brighton are sitting 17th in the table, but their position shouldn’t belie their threat, as Mourinho’s Tottenham team found out on Sunday. The Seagulls played their best soccer in two seasons when they beat the Spurs; a great goal, hard defending, and exciting attacking play that should be a concern to even a team like Liverpool.
Of course, it’s expected that Liverpool will run out winners in this one, but this is a clash between two teams that are confident after their last game and that should make it an exciting one to watch.
Tottenham vs. Chelsea
Betting odds: Tottenham: +225 Tie: +240 Chelsea: +125
Tottenham’s early-season title charge certainly looks over. The Spurs needed a response after their 3-1 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool, but they simply managed a shock loss to Brighton. Spurs find themselves in 6th spot and have only won two of their last five league games. Although they have a depth in attacking talent, this is a side that is severely missing the consistent goal-scoring services of Harry Kane. The forward will be out for another couple of weeks with two ankle injuries, and Tottenham will have to find a quick solution if they wish to remain around the Champions League places.
Chelsea have just appointed new coach Thomas Tuchel and although they haven’t exactly lit the League on fire just yet, there does seem to be a new sense of determination from this Chelsea team. A draw and a win in their last two games mean that Tuchel is unbeaten with this Chelsea team, but of course, it is still early days. Whether this season is going to be a success for the Blues depends entirely on whether Tuchel can get the best out of new boys Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who have failed to impress since their big-money moves.
This should be an interesting game between two teams fighting to get back into the top 4. The odds are leaning towards Chelsea on this one and Mourinho will have to get his team firing on all cylinders if they want to win at home.
What’s happening in the rest of the league?
- Sheffield United vs. West Brom: Sheffield: -115 Tie: +250 West Brom: +340
- Wolves vs. Arsenal: Wolves: +240 Tie: +240 Arsenal: +115
- Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace: Newcastle: +170 Tie: +240 Crystal Palace: +160
- Leeds United vs. Everton: Leeds: +135 Tie: +275 Everton: +180
Aston Villa vs. West Ham: Villa: +120 Tie: +230 West Ham: +240
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