Manchester City vs. Sheffield United 12/29/19 English Premier League Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
12/29/19 1 pm
Over 2.5 (-225), Under 2.5 (+175)
Manchester City is welcoming Sheffield United to Etihad Stadium in part of round 20 of the English Premier League.
Manchester City isn’t playing as controlling soccer this season as they did last season and for that reason, they are 3rd place in the EPL with 38 points, 14 points behind Liverpool at the top. City is the best offensive team in the EPL with 52 scored goals, but that is not enough this season. On the defensive end, the Citizens haven’t been as stable or consistent as they should have been, and they conceded 23 goals in 19 games. In their latest match in the EPL against Wolverhampton away from home, Manchester City had only 39% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal, 1 corner kick, and 79% of the correct passes. I think that the only reason why City lost this match 3-2 is the stupidity of their goalkeeper Ederson who conceded a stupid foul in 12th minute, got a red card, and left his teammates hanging out dry. Sterling has 11 goals so far and has taken over leading goal scorer spot from Aguero who has 9 goals. De Bruyne is Manchester’s best player this season who can’t seem to stop assisting for goals and now has 12 assists in 18 games. Sane and Laporte are injured, while Silva and Stone are questionable. If Stones will be ready for this match, that would mean a lot for Guardiola because he would bring some stability to their defense, which desperately needs that. I think that City’s race for the EPL title is over and they should focus on the Champions League where they are playing versus Real Madrid in the first round of the knockouts. It’s a hard matchup for City, but they are good team, whit a lot of offensive firepowers and I like their chances.
Sheffield is the nicest surprise in the EPL this season. They have 29 points from 19 games and are in 7th place in the standings. For the team that got promoted to the EPL this season, this result is fantastic and unexpected. Sheffield has lost only 1 of their last 12 games and hasn’t scored at least 1 goal in only 2 of those 12 games. In their latest EPL match versus Watford at home on the Boxing Day, Sheffield was the better team with 58% of ball possession, 4 shots on goal, 9 corner kicks, and 76% of the correct passes. It was a fun game to watch which ended in a 1-1 draw. Sheffield’s attack is solid this season with 23 scored goals, but their defense was outstanding with only 17 conceded goals in 19 games. Mousset is the top goal scorer for Sheffield with 5 goals, while Fleck has scored 4 goals. Simon Moore is the only injured player which means coach Wilder will have his best players ready, and more importantly enough depth on the bench. Sheffield is playing nicely balanced soccer and can beat any team in the EPL, after all, the only 2 teams from the top 5 Sheffield has lost to are Liverpool and Leicester. I really enjoy it when smaller teams like Sheffield, Leicester, Wolverhampton, and Crystal Palace are having a good season and are the real threat to the big teams because that is what makes the competition interesting. It will be hard for Sheffield to climb into the top 5 in the standings, but I believe they have the quality to stay in 7th place where they are now.
Manchester will head into this match eager to get back on the winning track and they are huge favorites here but giving Sheffield’s record against big teams this season, I’m not so sure about that. I will pick something on goals here.