Premier League Wk 20 picks: Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea battle at top, Man United, Arsenal, Spurs want top 4
At this point of the 2021-22 Premier League season, we may need Elliot Alderson to put together the fixture list over the upcoming five months.
Or maybe Whiterose, because this might require someone to hack time.
The references above are to USA Network's Mr. Robot, which to date was the best programming on the channel. But NCBSN is disappearing in a few days, so the Premier League is now going to be on USA Network full time, so Mr. Robot now has some company near the top.
As of Monday, December 27, there were already 19 matches that had to be made up somewhere in this condensed schedule: remember, the World Cup is in November and December, so the 2022-23 season is going to start a little sooner. Those 19 matches represent two whole game weeks of action, and some teams already have to make up a lot of games: Burnley has four to make up, while Brighton and Watford have three.
It is no surprise that the teams with smaller squads have more games to make up, as an Omicron outbreak would see them in more trouble. But that is going to be an issue for those teams when the fixture list starts getting jammed up, and they have to play three matches in a week.
Manchester City and Liverpool have not been too affected by the problems so far, but if you take a look down the table slightly, you will see some teams (Tottenham, Manchester United) that have games in hand, so to look at the table is a little misleading.
Except at the top: Manchester City is going to win the league, with Liverpool possibly pushing the Cityzens to May. The top four battle should not be decided until late: maybe Match Day 38.
For Match Day 20, I am going to have my eye on the teams in the top seven, who usually thrive in the festive fixture period with bigger squads.
Also, as a reminder, NBCSN is going dark on January 1, 2022, so all games that used to be on that channel will be on USA Network or CNBC.
Check Paramount+, Peacock, and ESPN+ for TV schedules
ENGLAND PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH DAY 20
Southampton (+255) v Tottenham (+110), draw (+250), 10 a.m. EDT (NBCSN and Fubo.TV)
Watford (+245) v West Ham (+115), draw (+250), 10 a.m. EDT (Peacock)
Leicester City (+650) v Liverpool (-275), draw (+430), 3 p.m. EDT (NBCSN and Fubo.TV)
Chelsea (-250) v Brighton (+750), draw (+360), 2:30 p.m. EDT (Peacock)
Brentford (+1700) v Manchester City (-670), draw (+650), 3:15 p.m. EDT (NBCSN and Fubo.TV)
Everton (-110) v Newcastle United (+330), draw (+255), 2:30 p.m EDT (Peacock)
Manchester United (-315) v Burnley (+850), draw (+430), 3:15 p.m. EDT (NBCSN and Fubo.TV)
Tottenham ML (+110)
West Ham ML (+115)
Liverpool -1.5 (+100)
Liverpool first half -0.5 (-125)
Chelsea -1.25 AH (+100)
Manchester City -2 AH (-115)
Everton ML (-115)
Manchester United -1.5 (+100)
PROP BET PLAYS:
Liverpool over 2.5 goals (+105)
City/Bre over 3 goals AH (-120)
Manchester City over 2.5 goals (-115)
Manchester City over 3.5 goals (+220) long shot play
Manchester City over 4.5 goals (+540) long shot play
Manchester United to score in both halves (+100)