Bet Butler betting logic, Dec 20
Our good friends at Bet Butler have returned with more vital titbits to help influence your tipping as the weekend's key clashes approach.
Sunday's tussle at the Liberty Stadium sees tiki-taka-lite favourites Swansea hosting former boss Roberto Martinez and Everton, while in Serie A there's the Milan derby as Inter 'host' AC Milan at the San Siro.
Then, on Monday night, Jose Mourinho looks to defend his nine-game unbeaten streak against Arsenal when Chelsea head to the Emirates Stadium.
We'll also give you the lowdown on the sides in England and Italy missing key men and begging to be taken on - featuring Man City, Aston Villa and Lazio.
Swansea might be unbeaten in five home games, but Everton have been beaten just once all season – and everyone loses at the Etihad these days. Martinez has got the Toffees playing some excellent football and they’ve won this fixture comfortably in each of the past two seasons. Four of Swansea’s five wins this season have come against the current bottom five, while they’ve lost 5 of their 7 games against current top-half teams.
Gerard Deulofeu’s injury is a blow but the young Spaniard has only started twice in the league and James McCarthy returns from a ban. In fact, the absence of Angel Rangel for Swansea could be more significant. The right-back has missed 12 games since the start of last season, and without him the Swans have only won once. Furthermore, they’ve conceded 17 times in the last 8 he’s missed. With Everton being so hard to beat this season they look good value, particularly with some cover on the draw by taking the Asian Handicap -0.25 at 2.10. This returns half your stake if there’s a draw.
Eighteen of Swansea’s 27 home games since the start of last season have had at least 3 goals, while Everton have been providing plenty of entertainment this season, with 7 of their 16 games having seen 4 or more goals – behind only Man City and Liverpool. Eight of Swansea’s last 12 home matches against top-half teams have had more than 2 goals and Over 2.5 Goals looks the best bet in this match at 1.95.
Both teams are searching for their best form. Inter haven't won in four games, but can be reasonably satisfied with their first half of the season when compared with their local rivals. Milan progressed in the Champions League but domestically they’ve been awful, with just four wins – all against bottom-half teams – in 16 games. Inter have also had the better of the derby in recent years. Despite Milan finishing above them in the past two seasons Inter have W3, D1, L0 of those four meetings.
Milan have conceded 16 away goals so far this season – the 5th worst record in the league – as their only win has come at last-placed Catania. Moreover, they’ve won just 1 of their last 10 trips to top-half teams while losing 5 times and failing to keep a clean sheet. Inter, meanwhile, have only lost at home to high-flying Roma and they are a very generous 1.90 on the Draw No Bet market.
Given Milan’s defensive woes there's a good chance of a high-scoring encounter, particularly when Inter have conceded in 14 of their last 17 home games. The first derby of the season has tended to be a tight affair in recent years, averaging 1.6 goals per game in the first meet and 3.2 in the second over the last five years.
However, with Inter having seen at least three goals in 11/13 games against top-half teams and Milan seeing 4 or more strikes in 14 of their last 24 on the road, we’d still be backing ‘overs’ here. Over 2.5 Goals is a best price 1.9 and looks too good to ignore.
After their mauling at Man City, another defeat here could see Arsenal slip as low as fourth by the time they tuck into their Christmas dinners. Chelsea won both fixtures between the teams last season but their recent form, while enough to get results, has not been that impressive.
We highlighted Arsenal’s awful away record at the best teams last week, and their home stats are far from impressive either. They’ve won just 6/15 home games against top-six finishers in the past three seasons, while losing 4. Chelsea, meanwhile, have not won in 4 trips to teams currently in the top half this season. However, they won 4 of 5 trips to the top-six last season and, in what looks a tough game to call, the match outcome prices are best avoided.
There’s the potential for goals here, though. Nine of Chelsea’s last 10 matches have had at least 3 goals, and they’ve kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 7 away games. Arsenal, meanwhile, looked far from secure at the back last weekend and have seen at least 3 goals in 14 of 18 home matches since the start of last season when conceding. Chelsea have scored at least twice in 7 of the last 9 meetings between these teams and 7 of the last 10 have had at least 3 match goals. Over 2.5 Goals can be backed at 1.80.
Just as City were looking to turn around their away form they lose their best forward for up to two months. Since he joined the club Aguero has played 31/46 away matches and they’ve scored 35% fewer goals per game when he’s been missing. This has led to just 5 wins in 15 games and fewer than 3 match goals on 9 occasions. Fulham look a worthy punt on the Double Chance market at 3.25.
Villa have relied on their away form in the past couple of seasons, but they’ve only won 1 of their 8 away matches without Agbonlahor since 2012/13. Stoke are good value favourites at 2.3.
The Brazilian is suspended, and while Lazio have lost just 10 of 36 games with 'The Prophet' since the start of last season, they’ve lost 9/18 that he’s missed, picking up just two points from seven away matches without him. High-flying Hellas Verona look massively underrated at 2.85.