Week in Sport Betting Preview : Mourinho to shine, England to bounce back and Arsenal to suffer
- 26 Nov - 1 Dec
- Live on BT Sport and Sky Sports
A busy week of sporting action sees football in the Champions League, Europa League and Premier League while England’s Test series with New Zealand continues and the Formula One season comes to a close in Abu Dhabi.
Tottenham vs Olympiakos – Tuesday 26 November
Jose Mourinho takes charge of his first Champions League game as Tottenham manager after a successful start to his spell in charge on Saturday against West Ham. Spurs looked vibrant going forward against the Hammers but shoddy at the back, conceding twice late on and they have serious problems in their defence, at full-back and in the middle.
Olympiakos are dangerous in attack, scoring twice in the reverse fixture and twice at home against Bayern Munich, while they sit top of the Greek league. They will also be able to break through a vulnerable Spurs defence, however, they won’t be able to keep out the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min. Mourinho can keep up his embryonic 100% record, but he will not have fixed his defensive problems yet.
Manchester City vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Tuesday 26 November
Manchester City can secure top spot in Champions League Group C on Tuesday night with just a win over Shakhtar Donetsk and they should do so extremely comfortably.
The reverse fixture in Ukraine finished 3-0 to the Premier League champions and that largely sums up the difference between the sides, if not flattering Shakhtar somewhat. Pep Guardiola’s side can wrap up top spot with a game to spare and they would love to have that final match stress-free against Dinamo Zagreb by seeing off Shakhtar on Tuesday night.
City are not quite at their best at the moment, but they are pretty ruthless in the Champions League and will be given few problems by their visitors. The only struggle may be breaking down the visitors who would be delighted with a point, but they never tend to have an issue with that.
Having conceded three against City at home and five goals over two games with Dinamo, things do not look good for the Ukrainians and they are in for a heavy defeat in Manchester.
Arsenal vs Frankfurt – Thursday 28 November
It has been a torrid time for Arsenal and their manager Unai Emery of late and they are without a win in six games in all competitions. They look catastrophic in defence and even their reasonably potent attack appears to be blunted as they lack confidence or any sort of a plan at all.
The Gunners picked up a pretty remarkable 3-0 win away to Frankfurt in the reverse fixture, but the result was extremely flattering to them. Emiliano Martinez had a fine game in goal and a rare display of clinical finishing gave the London side an impressive-looking win, but in reality it was a tight game.
Since then Arsenal have been ridden of morale, and while Frankfurt haven’t been consistent since that loss, they have battered Bayern Munich 5-1, something Emery could not even dream about right now.
Arsenal are odds-on favourites to win this game but they are not worth backing against anyone right now and the double chance on Frankfurt or draw is a much better option.
New Zealand vs England Second Test – 28 Nov-2 Dec
England had a very, very poor first Test against New Zealand, falling to defeat by an innings and 65 runs in Tauranga. Not many Englishmen came out of the contest with much credit, while Kiwis such as BJ Watling, with his double-hundred, and Neil Wagner with his second innings five-for were very impressive.
However, England do this quite often. They do not start tours very well, regularly crumbling to pitiful defeats in their first Tests of foreign series. Last time they toured New Zealand something similar happened, losing by an innings after being bowled out for just 58. They didn’t quite bounce back to draw the series, but they did draw the second Test, nearly pushing for victory as the hosts hung on with eight wickets down.
These swings in performance are common on England tours and they should be able to vastly improve for the second Test. Joe Denly, Ben Stokes and Rory Burns look capable of scoring runs, while Joe Root must find form at some stage. The bowling attack is slightly more concerning, but Stuart Broad was unlucky in the previous match and will also improve in the second Test.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Sunday 1 December
The Formula One season ends in Abu Dhabi this weekend with Lewis Hamilton claiming yet another world title, but the Brit will not necessarily end the campaign with a win. The world champ dominated the first half of the season but has actually been far less reliable in the second half, winning just two of the last eight races and missing the podium in a couple of them. Certainly at the short prices he is to win Grand Prix, he is no longer particularly appealing.
Set to finish second in the Drivers’ Championship is Valtteri Bottas and he is a remarkable price just to make the podium on Sunday. The Finn has managed 15 podium finishes so far this season, winning four races, including two of the last four. He also won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix just two years ago so knows what he’s doing at the Yas Marina Circuit.
He may not win again, but a top three finish is very foreseeable for Bottas and a great price.
Leicester vs Everton – Sunday 1 December
The form of Leicester City has been absolutely exceptional so far this season and they continue to be a bit underrated by the bookmakers. They are second in the table with nine wins from 13 games and have won nine of their last 10 games in all competitions. The Foxes have conceded just eight goals in 13 Premier League matches, fewer than any other side, and have kept clean sheets in each of their last four league games. Only Manchester City have scored more than their 31 league goals.
In contrast Everton are struggling down in 15th, scoring just 13 goals, conceding 20 and winning just four league games. Marco Silva is on the verge of the sack and he may well get it after the weekend after a comfortable defeat at the King Power.
Leicester are better than almost every team in the country right now and they are certainly comfortably better than the Toffees who don’t score goals, while the Foxes don’t concede. This one seems cut and dried.
- Tottenham have kept just two clean sheets in their last 10 games, both againt Red Star
- Olympiakos have not won a Champions League group game this season
- Man City have scored seven goals in their two home Champions League games this season
- Arsenal have not won in six games
- England have only lost one of their last seven Test series
- Lewis Hamilton has only won two of his last eight races
- Valtteri Bottas has won two of his last four Grand Prix
- Leicester have the best defence in the Premier League
- Only Man City have scored more goals than Leicester in the Premier League this season
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