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Premier League tips – Sunday, Nov 29: A precious win for Tottenham at Chelsea, Saints to end Man Utd’s fine away run

November 25, 2020

'JUST when they thought I was out' Jose Mourinho may have paraphrased this week, 'I pull them back in'. Yes, reports of The Special One's demise appear to be exaggerated particularly this weekend when he takes his league-leading Tottenham side to Stamford Bridge for a grudge match against fellow challengers Chelsea.

There's so much spice in Sunday's main game, it would outrank a Scotch bonnet on the Scoville scale. So, let's get straight to the preview, of that game and the rest of the top half of the table sides, and of course Arsenal, who are in action this Sunday.

 

Southampton vs Man Utd | Sunday November 29, 14:00
 

Since Project Restart began in June, Southampton have lost just four of 19 games, and three of those came in a particularly bad September week. Long gone are the days when the go-to reference was their 9-0 defeat at home to Leicester, instead the discussion has moved onto hopes of a top six finish (or better) and which bigger clubs should be considering Hasenhuttl as their next boss. Only Spurs (eight games) are on a longer unbeaten run than Southampton (seven games).

Saints have won each of their last three home games 2-0 but Man Utd's away form must be acknowledged. Stretching back to last season, United have won seven consecutive away games in the league, having never managed eight at any previous point in their history. Sure this side has problems, but their ability to carve teams open on their own patch is second to none at the moment.

But let's give Hasenhuttl his due credit. Southampton will go out on Sunday with better structure, a better gameplan, and their players will put in more effort. This is true most weeks, but it's particularly true when he's up against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who is yet to lay down any sort of tactical blueprint. Keep that high line in check and press as effectively as they have in recent home games, and there's a win here for Southampton. And if the impressive away record goes, so too may Solskjaer…

Match odds: Southampton (14/5) Draw (49/20) Man Utd (21/20)
Correct score: Southampton 2-1 Man Utd (21/2)
Tip: Southampton to score first and win (33/10)

 

Chelsea vs Tottenham | Sunday November 29, 16:30
 

No manager has ever won three consecutive league games against a team coached by Jose Mourinho, but after Chelsea's 2-0 and 2-1 victories last year, Frank Lampard has a chance. This will of course be the first meeting between master and apprentice since October's Carabao Cup win for Tottenham during which Mourinho snapped at Lampard because Chelsea were winning, and then amusingly insisted he was merely offering advice. There will be no love lost here, and in a second versus first encounter, that's exactly what we want.

Without throwing Kepa Arrizabalaga under the bus, Lampard always insisted a new keeper would show Chelsea really have improved their defence. He was right. In his first 10 Chelsea matches, Eduoard Mendy has conceded just three goals. Tottenham have upped their defensive effort too. Since conceding three against West Ham, Spurs have allowed just one in the next four games. Mendy has raised Chelsea's standards to the extent they have the league's second best defence, but Spurs have the best.

Tottenham are currently on the league's longest unbeaten run, with Chelsea level second, but the calibre of opponents faced gives Spurs an edge. Chelsea may have won six straight but their opponents were Krasnodar, Burnley, Rennes (twice), Sheff Utd and Newcastle – as easy a run of Premier League and Champions League fixtures as you could hope for. Against a higher tier of opponent – Liverpool, Southampton, Sevilla, Man Utd – Chelsea have no wins, which is in stark contrast to Spurs who trounced Southampton (2-5) and Man Utd (1-6), beat Man City (2-0), and of course overcame Chelsea in the Carabao Cup. Both teams have been tested this season, but only Spurs have passed that test.

Spurs have won all four of their away games so far, and despite conceding from two penalties, have only allowed three goals in total, scoring 13 at the other end. They can become only the fifth side ever to win all their first five Premier League away games, but then again, Spurs have an awful record at Stamford Bridge (just one win in the last 34 matches, with 22 defeats). 

Although it was a home game, last week's 2-0 win over City should give Mourinho a template for this match: sit back, soak up pressure, spring the counter, rely on Harry Kane and Son Heung-min – who have a combined 27 league goal involvements this season at a rate of one every 59.9 minutes – to do the damage. Spurs will be comfortable with this approach, Chelsea will not, so I'm taking the away win.

Match odds: Chelsea (27/25) Draw (5/2) Tottenham (27/10)
Correct score: Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham (10/1)
Tip: Tottenham to score over 1.5 goals (9/5)

Afford

Arsenal vs Wolves | Sunday November 29, 19:15
 

It's 112 years since Arsenal lost three consecutive home games without scoring but after losing to Leicester (0-1) and Aston Villa (0-3), they can update that stat this weekend. They have also gone seven games without a league clean sheet at the Emirates, their longest such run since 2007. Averaging just 9.1 shots per game (Arsenal's lowest total since 1997/98), the Gunners have now gone over eight hours without a goal from open play. The Mikel Arteta era started with trophy very early on, but 11 points down on Unai Emery's first 29 matches, he's struggling now.

Only Spurs (nine conceded) boast a better defensive record than Wolves this season (10) which does not bode well for Arsenal, but then again Nuno Espirito Santo's side are the lowest scorers in the top half this season with just nine goals. Wolves' away games have been a real mixed bag: smash and grab defensive performances at Sheff Utd (0-2) and Leeds (0-1), and weak, scoreless defeats at West Ham (4-0) and Leicester (1-0). In fairness, that West Ham game was a bit of an aberration – only the third time in the last 17 matches Wolves had conceded more than one.

Arsenal have lost just one of their last 19 top-flight clashes with Wolves (13 wins, five draws), but the last three meetings at the Emirates have all ended 1-1. Given both sides' current problems with scoring, I think a similar result could be in the offing however at 7/4 for the Draw No Bet, I'll be leaning towards Wolves on Sunday.

Match odds: Arsenal (27/25) Draw (47/20) Wolves (29/10)
Correct score: Arsenal 1-2 Wolves (23/2)
Tip: Wolves Draw No Bet (7/4
 

Click here to read Premier League betting tips for Saturday November 28, 2020
 

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