The WhoScored Tipster is back again with yet more tips for the weekend's action across Europe's top 5 leagues, with a look into if and where there are any bets worth placing in the key games on Sunday. While most of the headline clashes are on Saturday this week, there are still a number of notable ties towards the latter part of the weekend, with some intruiging markets worth looking at.
It's not unusual to get a feeling of 'this is too good to be true' when you see a team with odds longer than you might have expected on them claiming victory, and there may well be reason to doubt those potential winners, but there are a few this Sunday which might well be tempting to turn down.
First up is Lyon, who host an out of sorts, mid-table Lille side in a game that would have been considered key in the race for Europe in any of the last 5 seasons. This time around though, Lyon are 2nd in the league with the best home record in the league (26 points from 11 games) having only lost on home soil once all season. Lille, down in 10th, do not by any means have a terrible away record, but 2 wins from 12 games on the road does not inspire confidence ahead of this game.
With Lyon also having won each of their last 3 games at home to Rudi Garcia's side - in spite of the fact that they have had a man sent off in each game - there is good reason to back this season's title challengers to triumph once again. Odds of 2.00 on a home win are certainly worth a wager.
In Italy, Mario Balotelli's arrival at AC Milan spurred them on to an eighth win in their last ten matches, with two goals against Udinese (although the second - and winner - was from an extremely suspect penalty). Nonetheless, after a poor start to the season, Allegri's men are making huge strides up the table and are closing in on bitter rivals Inter, behind them only due to an inferior head to head record. They will be motivated by the prospect of overtaking the Nerazzurri, and three points in this game will put them above their rivals for a few hours at least.
Milan have won their last 8 matches against Cagliari, and at odds of 1.67 are favourites to do so again. However, they have also been ahead at half time and gone on to win in 6 of those games, and should start quickly again here, keen to put pressure on the teams in the upper reaches of the table. A late push for the title is almost certainly out of the question, but coming third is a real possibility, so at 2.50 Milan are good value to be winning at both half time and full time.
In the Premier League on Sunday there are two games, both key, but for very different reasons. In the early kick off West Ham, with the 3rd worst away record in the league, travel to Aston Villa, who hold the 3rd worst home record. West Ham have scored just 5 goals in their last 9 away league games, while Villa have netted only once in their last 5 on home soil, and one might therefore expect a low-scoring game. There is more to it, though. The Hammers have conceded 11 goals in their last 3 games on the road, while Villa have gone 14 games without a clean sheet, shipping an unbelievable 34 goals in the process.
In their last few games Villa have looked markedly better going forwards but also terribly vulnerable at the back, traits epitomised perfectly in their 3-3 draw at Goodison Park last week. Villa have only seen fewer than 3 goals once in their last 14 outings in all competitions and it could well be the same old story, with both Benteke and Carroll likely to run riot in the opposition boxes, and 2.00 on over 2.5 goals is therefore worth a punt.
Later on in the Premier League, Everton take on Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Toffees triumphed in the reverse fixture to start the season on a bright note, but United bounced back from that tremendously well and have now got more points (62) than they have ever accumulated after 25 games of a Premier League season.
Everton will provide stern opposition for the Red Devils, and the neutral will be hoping for repeat of last season's 4-4 draw. However, that - and the win earlier in the season - was something of an anomaly, with United having won 15 of their previous 18 games at home to Everton since the Premier League began, drawing each of the other games. United are also on a run of 9 consecutive home wins and should continue that run with another victory here. Rarely do you get as good odds as 1.80 on Manchester United to win at home so they should certainly be backed.
If you are looking for more risk and bigger odds in your betting, there are a couple of facts that should be taken note of. Manchester United have scored more headed goals (13) than any other team in the Premier League this season, just ahead of Everton (10) in second. What is more, though, Everton have conceded the most headed goals in the top flight, with 12. United's top scoring player when it comes to headers is a surprise in Patrice Evra (3) - the 5th highest of all Premier League players. Evra can be backed at 8.00 to score at any time, and could be a good shout and while Everton have conceded the first goal 12 times in the league this season, he may even be worth backing to score first at 23.00.