EPL Betting: Man U clean sheet no certainty
United's statistical chance of beating Villa computes to 71.9% on the Soccer Widow spreadsheets.
The pressure is on the Reds to stay on track to win the title, and the Soccer Widow would like to suggest a few best bets for when they meet Aston Villa in their Sunday Premier League game.
Despite hovering above the relegation dogfight, Aston Villa have lost only four games away from home all season, a record which is second only to United's brace of losses on the road.
However, Villa's results against United have been nothing short of appalling, with just one victory, nine draws and 22 defeats in the last 32 league meetings.
Wigan Athletic's triumph last Wednesday must have been a shock to the system but, statistically speaking United 'only' had a 75% chance of winning, whilst the Latics had just 10%. That match was a good example of the concept that a 10% chance is not 'zero' and 75% doesn't mean a guaranteed win. Sunday's game is in a similar statistical constellation but with home advantage to the Red Devils, where they have won 88% of their last 25 last home games.
Villa are six points clear of the drop zone with a substantially better goal difference than the teams below them, so effectively this is a seven-point margin of safety. Plus they have a game in hand, which is crucially at home against 18th placed Bolton. Beat Bolton and they should be safe but the Trotters will not be lying down and Villa's other five games are all tough fixtures against: United (away) as we know, Sunderland (home), (then the Bolton game), West Bromwich Albion (away), Tottenham Hotspur (home) and finally Norwich (away). They are going to have to fight hard to make it mathematically safe and will perhaps take comfort from United's last three performances where opponents stood up and said to United, "Come and break us down". United have struggled to do so and are looking a little jaded.
With Paul Scholes certain to return to the fold on Sunday, United will look to rebound from the lacklustre Wigan performance and turn the screw on Manchester City again.
It's still all up for grabs despite this week's mind games between the two managers...
Salient statistics for the betting recommendations...
Head-To-Head (Manchester United home, Aston Villa away: 14 matches since 1999, all competitions):
•Half-time: Manchester United six wins (42.9%), six draws (42.9%), Aston Villa two wins (14.3%)
•Half-time: Last six (most recent first): H-A-D-H-H-D
•Manchester United clean sheets: six (42.9%)
•Under 4.5 goals: 13 times (92.9%)
Manchester United's last 25 Premier League home games:
•Half-time: Manchester United 16 wins (64%), seven draws (28%), two defeats (8%)
•Half-time: Last six (most recent first): W-W-W-D-W-W
•Manchester United clean sheets: 13 (52%)
•Under 4.5 goals: 18 times (72%)
Aston Villa's last 25 Premier League away games:
•Half-time: Aston Villa five wins (20%); 13 draws (52%); seven defeats (28%)
•Half-time: Last six (most recent first): W-L-W-D-D-L
•Opposition clean sheets: six (24%)
•Under 4.5 goals: 22 times (88%)
As the season draws to an end and United close in on title number 20, their odds have become more and more under-valued each week since embarking on their solid run of form at the turn of the year. Indeed, once again there are not a huge range of outstanding value bets available for this match.
United's statistical chance of beating Villa computes to 71.9% on the Soccer Widow spreadsheets and therefore the 'true' odds should be in the region of [1.39]. At the moment, you can only get [1.24] but, realistically speaking, the odds have to be nearer [1.50] to obtain any value out of backing United. Laying them is the other option to consider as this does hold good value, but such a bet would have to be part of a long-term strategy and the bettor would have to sit out many losses on similar long-shot bets (or short-priced lays to be more exact) before seeing an upward turn in the profits curve. But of course, betting on the principle of value means that this will happen eventually.
Soccer Widow has therefore looked at the half-time market and there are options to lay United or back the draw and/or Villa. The stats also indicate that it is likely that Villa will score at least once and that the match will probably finish under 4.5 goals.
Value Betting Recommendations: