The Premier League action returns this weekend
January 28, 2019 3:00 AM
by David Cash
The Premier League action returns this weekend, as three of top-five placed teams continue their Champions League promotion race.
Liverpool and Manchester City are already on the verge of reaching the most prestigious club competition in Europe. The Reds and the Citizens go head-to-head for the Premier League title, but they are four other sides trying to finish in top four.
Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United all have equal chances of securing one of the two remaining Champions League slots.
Sitting third in the table, the Spurs have more chance than other contestants, but the recent injury of Harry Kane can make Maurizio Pochettino's life unpleasant. Severely weakened by the absences of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, the London outfit prepares to welcome a struggling Newcastle United side to the Wembley Stadium.
Pochettino's men are yet to play out a draw after the opening 23 Premier League fixtures, which makes them one of a kind in the English top tier. However, the Spurs are still uncomfortable when playing at their temporary home, having secured six wins while suffering four defeats in ten Premier League clashes.
Tottenham have gone from four consecutive PL home triumphs to two straight losses, in which they've scored just one goal while conceding four in the process. The encouraging fact for Pochettino is that his players outplayed all teams stationed from 14th to 20th place, including the once they had faced twice (9/9).
The Spurs firm defense has so far conceded just ten goals in ten PL home outings, allowing over 1.5 goals per match only once during the run. The fourth best defense is going to take on one of the weakest Premier League attacks (19 goals scored in 23 games). This is probably one of the reasons Bet365 placed them as 2/5 (1.4) favorites to win this clash.
Although Pochettino may rest assured his side won't concede over 1.5 goals, the fact he won't have Kane and Son on the field remains his biggest concern. Even with those two in action, the Spurs have scored over 1.5 goals in 40% of their PL home encounters. Things would hardly improve without the aforementioned stars. Bet365, therefore, offer 'over 2.5 goals' at a reasonable 4/5 (1.8), and the bookmakers offers always track the latest movement in the sports betting area, in case something changes in the meantime. Goals have been in short supply in a majority of Tottenham's home meetings this term. Although 60% of their games at Wembley produced over 2.5 goals, they required the Spurs to score over 2.5 goals in 83% of the cases - something that should be very difficult to accomplish here.
The visitors won't be the ones to dictate the pace of the game considering they would be more than glad to accept a draw in this one. Currently involved in a relegation battle, the Magpies are sitting just two points clear of the relegation zone and are still struggling to establish consistency and balance.
Winless in their last three PL road encounters (D1, L2), Newcastle are priced at 13/2 (7.5) to win this by Bet365. Newcastle's road form is not something that can encourage Rafael Benitez ahead of a trip to London (W2, D5, L4). Three of the Magpies' five stalemates away from home ended with the identical 0-0 scoreline, while the remaining two finished 1-1.
The Magpies' immense problems in the final third have seen them failing to find the back of the net in four of 11 PL road games while scoring under 1.5 goals per match five times in the process. For Newcastle, the majority of the action happens in the first half, as eight of nine goals they've scored on the road this campaign came before the halftime break.
Their inability to handle the best English sides is still causing a sizeable headache to Rafa Benitez. The Magpies have lost all eight encounters with top-five teams, conceding 17 goals while scoring seven in the process.
The Spaniard can't be satisfied with his backline either, especially with their displays against top-five Premier League sides. Newcastle's road meetings with Liverpool and Chelsea have seen them concede six goals in total, while they've also allowed over 1.5 goals per match against Manchester United and Manchester City.
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