There is still time to bet on Manchester City to win the title
The European football calendar has reached the second international break of the 2021-22 season after a full week of European and domestic matches across the continent. Manchester City ended one of the toughest weeks in European football with road trips to Chelsea, PSG and Liverpool in the same week. They have won at Chelsea, lost at PSG and have tied Liverpool 2-2 in the game of the season so far.
Chelsea recovered from their back-to-back Premier League defeats to Man City and Champions League defeats to Juventus on Wednesday to win 3-1 this weekend against Southampton and claim first place in the PL after seven weeks of games.
We’re not even 20% of the season in the big five European leagues (excluding the Bundesliga), but now that we have around seven weeks of data matches, we have a pretty good idea of how good the matches are. teams.
Here are some observations from the Premier League after seven weeks of games and what we learned from the past weekend:
We don’t know how good Manchester United are yet, but we’re about to find out after the break.
Here is a list of the next Red Devils matches after this international break and before the next international break on November 7:
- City of Leicester (A)
- Atalanta (H)
- Liverpool (H)
- Spurs (A)
- Atalanta (A)
- Man City (M)
Two tough Champions League games with Atalanta, games against rivals Man City and Liverpool, who are better than them, and tough trips to Spurs and Leicester.
The last two have not started the season well at all, but they will all be a bit difficult for the Red Devils. Despite the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, Manchester United do not look any better than last season.
The possession structure is rambling and relies on moments of individual brilliance instead of complex attack patterns and ball progression. The defense is vulnerable in transition and with Harry Maguire absent, it looked absolutely lost to Everton and Villarreal last week. Even with Maguire in the lineup, they didn’t play much better against Aston Villa either.
Here’s a list of the teams that have beaten United over the past two weeks: Villarreal, Everton, Aston Villa, West Ham (in stretching) and Young Boys (with an extra man). The Red Devils have eluded the results of games against West Ham and Villarreal with stoppage winners, but at some point they will fall back on both ends of the pitch with the finish.
Running in front of goal has saved Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job so far, but United are a nice streak of finishes and the United manager’s results end up like Frank Lampard at Chelsea last season.
United very clearly have one of the top six or seven teams in the world and one of the top four in the PL.
While some of their upcoming clashes could be stylistically better for the Red Devils, Manchester United are sixth in the xG differential and haven’t faced any team expected to finish in the top six PL this season.
On paper, they should be able to compete with almost anyone. But as long as the performance remains poor, I will try to play against them.
It was always going to be difficult for the Chelsea defense to replicate the incredible end of 2021, and they are nowhere near that.
The Chelsea defense have allowed an expected 10.68 goals in the last 17 game weeks of the 2020-21 Premier League season after Thomas Tuchel was hired as manager. The Blues’ defense was not only excellent, but historic. In fact, they were cold defensively and allowed 13 goals in 17 games because the numbers say it should have been even lower.
The system based on Tuchel’s possession against the lower sides, and the mid-block and against approach against the bigger teams completely stopped the opposing attacks. They allowed 0.5 xGA or less in 12 of those 17 games. With almost the same staff returning with the club, many expected the Blues to be the best defense in the league again and completely smother teams again.
It didn’t exactly happen. Chelsea have played well above their level defensively for a long time, but it has proven difficult to replicate this historic game. The first two games of the season against Arsenal and Crystal Palace saw no scoring chance and 0.6 total xGA conceded.
It looked like a continuation of dominance, but the Blues allowed 1.4 xGA at Southampton, 0.8 at Spurs, 1.7 at Manchester City and 1.5 at Aston Villa. Chelsea also appeared vulnerable in the first 45 minutes at Anfield which were evenly matched.
While the Chelsea unders were one of my most profitable betting angles because the betting market hadn’t caught up with Tuchel’s adjustments, the market is now slow to react to Chelsea’s decline to return to numbers. more normally good defenses.
Tuchel made the tactical choice to be more open to try to create more chances. Chelsea lost points last year on the home stretch settling for a tie because the offense didn’t create enough performance. With Romelu Lukaku on the side and more aggressive picks in possession, Chelsea both create more and allow more opportunities in the new season.
I played both teams to score in the Blues’ game against Southampton last weekend and will look to bet more against Chelsea’s defense in the next few games until the market makes Tuchel’s adjustments and the regression that followed.
Match of the weekend: Liverpool 2, Manchester City 2
The difference between Chelsea v Manchester City last Saturday and Liverpool v Manchester City this Sunday was stark. Chelsea and City’s playing styles often cancel each other out and have resulted in relatively uninspiring games between them.
In their four games since Thomas Tuchel became Chelsea manager, there have been three 1-0 games and one 2-1 game. Goals are not always synonymous with excitement, but the same state of play has now happened on several occasions.
City have the ball, and Chelsea are trying to obstruct midfield, forcing City to extend and attack quickly in transition out of their mid-block and block style. City’s defensive transition and counterpress were excellent last week and Chelsea barely looked on goal in Saturday’s game. They lost 1-0 and the game lacked excitement or many clear scoring chances.
Eight days later, Liverpool and City were playing one of the most fascinating games of recent seasons. Liverpool were much more competitive than Chelsea against the defending PL champions.
The first half was careful. City controlled the flow of play and slowed it down to a breakneck pace, smothering the Reds with possession and their extra assists in midfield. This is how City manager Pep Guardiola would have wanted the game to go. Liverpool took a hit and managed 0.02 xG.
City created the best chances and almost got past Phil Foden, but the finishing touches never came to beat Alisson.
Liverpool flipped the switch at half-time and increased the tempo. Advantage Liverpool. The heavy metal pressing and quick second half were played on the Reds’ terms as Liverpool enjoyed success in transition and went through moments of individual brilliance from Mo Salah and Sadio Mané.
Twice the Reds led in the second half and twice they were caught by Manchester City. The contrasting styles between the slow, methodical City and the fast, flying Liverpool made it the game of the year. Both could have won it, James Milner probably should have been sent off at 1-1 and the end result – a draw – is ultimately fair considering the balance of odds.
I would much prefer to be Manchester City in 38 games as they have a stronger defense and Liverpool have looked more open at the back at the expense of supporting their top three this season.
City have taken one point behind in the first seven games but have played a moderately more difficult schedule so far. The Cityzens faced Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Leicester and Chelsea, while Liverpool faced just two of the other six best sides scheduled to start the year.
City have the performance advantage, the schedule advantage and got the result at Chelsea and Liverpool, while the Reds lost points at home to both sides.
The Cityzens are -120 to lift the Premier League trophy in May and have the team depth that Liverpool lack to withstand the potential injuries that come with the build-up of games.