I had the feeling yesterday that when I was betting against the United team, I was going against the judgment of Erik Ten Hag, who obviously selected the team. In fairness to ETH, he seems to have built a base at United where he understands what his players are capable of and gives them clear instructions that they can follow consistently. What we are seeing now is a United team that is very steady, has not been making many individual errors, and is working well as a unit. United are also consistent through the course of a game, with their shots and goals well balanced throughout the game.
ETH is also not a gambler and is quite risk-averse, so when they take the lead in matches, the team is focused on keeping the lead and winning the game rather than developing a deep footballing philosophy in any great sense.
By cutting ties with Ronaldo, it seems to have improved the morale and we are now seeing players like Rashford relish in the vaccum. ETH has to be credited with this. We will see Rashford have his best goalscoring season as a result.
ETH has also found the right position for Eriksson in a double pivot alongside Casemiro. Eriksson has six assists in 16 games. That said his expected assists is only 2.81 so we might see him regress to the mean, so this is one to watch. Bruno Fernandez is the opposite with the data expecting him to have almost 6 assists, when he only has 3.
United as a team are underperforming their xG with the expectation that they would have 30 goals when they only have 25.
Given the sound judgment from ETH and their xG it is time to look at United as a solid bet option for incremental wins which can help build the bankroll and within that include bets on Rashford to score.
Newcastle performed very well against Leicester where they completely dominated the game from start to finish. Leicester were no match for them and as mentioned in the preview it was a good test for Eddie Howe this Newcastle team. I get the feeling off them now that they have a huge amount of momentum and high morale in the camp at the moment along with a fantastic defense.
Similar to United it is time to give them credit and include them in bets for small gains for the blog. They had 22 shots from 9 different players against Leicester last night, which shows how good a unit they are becoming. Similar to Arsenal in how well the unit is working, this is hard for teams to defend against. We also have to ask the question: are Newcastle going to replicate Leicester’s run to the league title from 2015-2016? This is worth exploring in a longer post shortly.