Manchester City putting on clinic over rest of EPL
December 26, 2017 5:04 PM
by Alan Berg
Where do we take this crazy train called the NFL? On a detour to London, of course, for some Premier League Soccer!
Thanks to the holidays, the paper is out a little later than usual and if it’s prior to Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. PT, we have just enough time to squeeze in the Manchester City-Newcastle United game before the first ball is kicked. If not, fear not for I have some Thursday and Saturday action for ya.
First let’s do a little recap. Now I am never one to say the race is over before we have reached the New Year, but ladies and gentlemen it’s over. Manchester City, my club, is putting on a complete clinic over the rest of the English Premier League clubs.
City has no losses at home in 2017 in any competition, including Champions League. They are the first English team to score 100 goals since 1982 in a calendar year. Possibly the most impressive feat thus far was setting an all-time win-streak record, currently at 17 straight –most in the 129-year history of the league. They have a 13-point lead over the entire league with 19 games left to play. Amazing.
Even with that domination there are still plenty of storylines in the Premier League this season. As always, the No. 2 and 3 spots on the table qualify for the Champions League next season, No. 4 gets a play-in opportunity. Right now, Manchester United sits second with 42 points followed by Chelsea with 39, Liverpool 35, Tottenham 34, Arsenal 34 and Burnley 32. Talk about the usual suspects minus one.
Burnley FC is the only club not a household name around the world, recently earning promotion to the top flight of English Soccer back in the 2016-17 season. The Clarets finished 16th, only 4 points ahead of regulation, so to be in the running with the big boys in their second year up is quite the accomplishment. Burnley has done it with defense – and lots of it. The Clarets have given up only 15 goals in 19 games, but have only scored 16 on the year. However, the formula has worked thus far with a 9-5-5 record.
Manchester City at Newcastle United: So, you guessed it, Man City is a giant favorite, -500 in the three-way and -2 goal spread for anyone willing to take the shot. The Citizens have won their last three games 12-1 and the total reflects that domination, sitting at 3.5 UNDER -140. Newcastle sits at No. 15 in the table and are 5-3-11 on the season. They shouldn’t be much trouble for City but the correct play for me is taking Under 3.5 hoping they can contain City long enough to keep the game under. Teams like United will probably play very defensive and do the best they can to control the ball. UNDER
Arsenal at Crystal Palace: This is another matchup that shows the difference of quality as we see Arsenal heading on the road as a -140 favorite. The Gunners sit sixth and Palace is only two points above relegation. The Eagles have had decent form and are unbeaten in the previous eight. If you feel brave take a shot. CRYSTAL PALACE +360
Rather than go over each game let’s just take a swing on a three-team chalk parlay here with Liverpool, Watford and Manchester United. Should be around +210 to +230 for each dollar invested.
Hope everyone had a great holiday season. Catch everyone in 2018!