A tired Tottenham will falter at Bournemouth and Graham Potter’s Chelsea will struggle at Brighton, says tipster Jones Knows, who attacks the weekend card fresh from a 6/1 best bet winner last week.
Leicester vs Manchester City, Saturday 12.30pm
Leicester have the attacking weapons to make this a potentially dangerous game for Manchester City but City are just City, so the outright prices look about right to me with City trading at 1/4 with Sky Bet.
There is a bet to consider in the cards market. Wout Faes – a shrewd £15m summer signing from Reims – has made a huge difference for Leicester as he actually seems to relish defending, something his teammates haven’t shown a desire for in 2022. The Foxes have kept four clean sheets in their last five fixtures with Faes leading the way in terms of his authority and aggressive defending. It’s that forceful nature along with Brendan Rodgers’ style of asking his defenders to push up where possible that makes him stand out as a potential card play.
He picked up 14 yellows and two reds from the start of the 20/21 season with Reims and he broke the seal on yellows for Leicester when picking up his first at Wolves. Many more are likely to follow but Sky Bet are wise to that fact with just 5/2 available on him picking up a card yet the 17/2 on him being the first player carded in a game that should average a low card count is worth a look.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-2
Bournemouth vs Tottenham, Saturday 3pm
This will be Tottenham’s ninth game in 29 days. That’s a game just over every three days. Antonio Conte hasn’t been rotating either – it’s not his style and, in fairness, the injury list at Spurs has made that difficult for him.
Back 11/4 Jones Knows special!
Under 5.5 total goals in Bournemouth vs Tottenham, Brentford vs Wolves & Brighton vs Chelsea!
Harry Kane has played 718 minutes in this period – only Virgil van Dijk (720) has played more of any outfield Premier League player across all competitions. The next three behind Kane in this list are Spurs trio Eric Dier (700), Rodrigo Bentancur (695) and Son Heung-Min (687). You can forgive them if they’re feeling a tad leggy.
The demanding schedule for a team that runs the highest average distance per game in the Premier League (112.4km) is without question taking its toll. And the emotional Champions League 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday will hardly help matters.
This a red-flag game for Spurs. It takes a big effort to win away against any team in the Premier League even one as limited as Bournemouth. I was toying with the idea of taking the Cherries on the double chance, effectively laying Tottenham at 4/6 with Sky Bet, but despite clear improvements under Gary O’Neil, their attacking metrics are still the worst in the league.
Image:Harry Kane was left fuming after Tottenham’s late goal against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League was disallowed for offside
They’ve had the fewest shots (91), fewest touches in the opposition box (178) and racked up the lowest expected goals tally (7.3) in the Premier League. Plus, Dominic Solanke is a doubt for this one having limped off at West Ham.
Everything points to a low-scoring affair where the prices are juicy enough to attack. The 0-0 at 11/1 with Sky Bet makes sense but it’s not a bet for everyone so I’ve come down on ‘no’ in the both teams to score market at 10/11. It means we’ve got lots of correct scores in our favour.
Last weekend’s winners…
- Under 3.5 goals at Forest & Southampton & Antony to have 2+ shots & Man Utd double chance (6/1)
- Over 2.5 goals in Leeds vs Fulham (4/5)
- Harvey Barnes to score (11/4)
- Wins for Man City, West Ham & Leicester
Brentford vs Wolves, Saturday 3pm
A very basic but profitable theory to use in football betting is to back a team to play with much more focus on defending in the immediate match after taking a bit of a hiding. That way of thinking usually rides against the market expectation of the team in question continuing to leak goals at an alarming rate. Here we have quite a unique situation of a game involving two teams that have just conceded four goals apiece in their last outing. Using the aforementioned theory, it’s predicted that both Brentford and Wolves are likely to adopt no-thrills defensive tactics in order to try and grab a clean sheet.
Brentford are the kings of bouncing back from a heavy defeat and grabbing a clean sheet in their next match. On the last four occasions they’ve been beaten by four or more goals, the very next game has seen the Brentford defence keep a clean sheet. Meanwhile, Wolves are completely comfortable playing a defensive-focused game having done so since the start of last season. In their last 50 matches, the average goals per-90 ratio in their matches comes in at 2.02 – that’s the lowest of all Premier League teams for that period.
As you’ve probably identified, I’m all over opposing goals in this game. The way in is to attack the ‘no’ in the both teams to score market at a whopping Evens with Sky Bet. Since the start of last season, 66 per cent of Wolves’ matches have seen the ‘no’ in the both teams to score market cop a winning return. Those numbers added to the predicted cagey match scenario after both teams suffered a hammering last time out should have that Evens price closer to 1/2 in my workings.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-0
Both teams to score? No!
21 of the last 29 Premier League matches has seen ‘no’ in both teams to score, working at a 73 per cent strike rate.
Brighton vs Chelsea, Saturday 3pm
Graham Potter made an art form out of underperforming according to the expected goals metrics at Brighton. The irony is now he returns to the Amex with a Chelsea side that have overperformed on their expected goals output domestically since Potter took the job.
Potter’s side are unbeaten in the five Premier League games he’s overseen, winning three in a row before drawing the last two. On aggregate they have won those five games to a scoreline of 8-2 but the underlying numbers paint a different picture with 5.84-5.43 suggesting that Chelsea aren’t dominating games in the way Potter would like. The eye test backs that up too with an overreliance on Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal and a failure to create good quality chances from open play a problem.
Image:Graham Potter returns to Brighton for the first time
Even though there were more positive signs in attack in the midweek win in Salzburg at this precise moment Chelsea are a team to stay clear of from a match result perspective, especially as Potter gets to know his players.
I feel like a broken record, but a low-scoring encounter here sticks out like a sore thumb at the prices. Brighton remain doing Brighton things since Potter left, spurning chances for fun. They’ve scored just once under Roberto De Zerbi and will find it a challenge to cut open a very sturdy defence backed up by a goalkeeper playing well above himself.
Yet again, the ‘no’ in the both teams to score market at Evens with Sky Bet is the play.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-0
Crystal Palace vs Southampton, Saturday 3pm
I remain lukewarm about backing Crystal Palace to win football matches when fancied by the markets, like they are here at 10/11 with Sky Bet. Saints, who are on an unbeaten three-game run, will be making Palace work for this victory, so swerving the match result market in what looks set to be a cagey affair looks the way to go.
Wilfred Zaha tends to always takes centre stage when Southampton are the opposition. He scored in both fixtures last season but he also seems to get a little prickly having had a few run-ins with James Ward-Prowse down the years. He was sent off in this fixture in 2019.
The Palace winger plays on the edge more so now than ever, with his tantrum-like reactions to getting fouled leaving him vulnerable to an aggressive coming together with the opposition. Confrontation just seems to follow Zaha around and there have been signs of extra frustration in his game in recent weeks with the Palace man lucky not to be sent off in the 3-0 defeat to Everton for a dangerous elbow on Anthony Gordon. Backing him for a card in this one at 7/2 with Sky Bet.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
Image:Wilfried Zaha celebrates at St Mary’s
Newcastle vs Aston Villa, Saturday 3pm
Aston Villa were electric in thumping Brentford 4-0 last weekend. It was a performance full of intensity and one where the shackles of Steven Gerrard’s ‘handbrake-on’ football had been fully released. It will surely be the same attack-minded approach for this one from stand-in boss Aaron Danks. The only problem here is that Newcastle are far better equipped to counter-punch than Brentford were. It should lead to a very watchable encounter with the likelihood high for goals.
With that in mind, the goalscorer market is worth a visit. Danny Ings will be receiving my money at 3/1 for Villa in the anytime market. He’s started the last three games, posting 12 shots to an expected goals figure of 2.15, including bagging two in the win over Brentford. When he’s fit and firing his conversion rate is up there with the best strikers in the Premier League, so in what should be a goal-heavy game his price is too juicy to pass up, especially as he is the current penalty taker.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-2
Fulham vs Everton, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
It is proving a profitable theory to back out-an-out centre forwards to score against Fulham.
Despite their impressive run of results, Marco Silva’s men, who have conceded two or more goals in 10 of their 13 fixtures in all competitions this season, are vulnerable through the heart of their defence.
Just look at the list of strikers to have notched against them this season: Gianluca Scamacca, Michail Antonio, Callum Wilson, Taiwo Awoniyi, Harry Kane, Ivan Toney, Darwin Nunez, Dominic Solanke and Rodrigo.
If Dominic Calvert-Lewin isn’t licking his lips ahead of his 200th league appearance, he should be now reading this. He looked back to somewhere near his best in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, scoring a fine individual goal as the impact on how Everton fare with him in the team was clear to see. They have scored 1.5 goals per game in his 17 Premier League starts since the start of last season and just 0.8 per game in 33 without him. The 15/8 with Sky Bet anytime price has to be backed.
Image:Dominic Calvert-Lewin gestures to the home fans after opening the scoring for Everton against Brighton
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2
Liverpool vs Leeds, Saturday 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports
If Jesse Marsch can convince Leeds to remain playing with attacking bravery despite their eight-game winless run, there could be goals for them at Anfield. Marsch feels the underlying numbers showcase that his Leeds side are doing plenty of things right despite their winless run. I can see his point.
And this might be a nice fixture for Leeds with expectations very low as the path to Alisson’s goal has become far more welcoming this season.
Although Liverpool are facing a similar average of shots per game as last season, the shots they do face tend to be big chances as teams are getting pretty savvy at attacking the space vacated by Liverpool’s rampaging full-backs. Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli, Wilfred Zaha and Marcus Rashford have all showed opposition teams the way at getting at Liverpool’s aggressive risk-reward defensive structure. Leeds will try and follow suit.
The average expected goal figure of Liverpool’s shots faced is the highest of any Premier League team this season while they have given up the joint-most big chances (as defined by Opta). The markets have cottoned on to Liverpool’s drop in defensive numbers though and the offering of 8/13 with Sky Bet for both teams to score is on the skinny side. It’s time to get greedy then and to consider backing Leeds to score two or more at 11/4.
With Leeds fancied to score multiple goals, the match prediction has to take Liverpool on at the prices.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2
Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest, Sunday 2pm
Talk of a potential Arsenal wobble can be put to bed here. The Gunners rate as very reliable customers for short-price backers when a bottom-half team rocks up at The Emirates.
The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 33 home Premier League games against newly-promoted teams, winning 28, since a 1-0 defeat vs Newcastle in 2010. Yes, Mikel Arteta’s boys have looked a little leggy in away games at Leeds and Southampton but there remains an impressive control and strong team ethic to their play which should help them find a way past the Nottingham Forest block.
However, the hectic schedule is making it tough for Arsenal to produce fireworks and high energy for longer periods in matches which is seeing the total goal count in their matches drop quite considerably. Over the first 11 games this season, Arsenal matches were averaging 3.5 goals per game. However, over the past five matches, this has dropped to 1.25 total goals with just five scored in four matches. This should be one of those ‘job done’ type of wins, so the Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals selection at 6/5 with Sky Bet looks a play.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0
Manchester United vs West Ham, Sunday 4.15pm, live on Sky Sports
Erik ten Hag has got Manchester United sharp and solid in midfield and there looks a fantastic team spirit finally being built within the playing staff judging by their late rally at Chelsea.
Yet, saying all this, should they really be 4/6 with Sky Bet to beat an equally improving West Ham side who possess the best holding midfield in the Premier League in Declan Rice?
I’d argue that price is short enough. For all their improvements this is still a transitional period for United and there have been periods of struggle trying to break down a well-drilled defence lately. Just three goals scored in their last three home games against Omonia Nicosia, Newcastle and Tottenham despite have 77 shots on goal does point to a lack of quality chances being created.
West Ham have the tools to frustrate, plus their potency on the counter-attack and physicality at set-pieces makes them a dangerous opponent for anyone. They also arrive with some impressive attacking metrics from their last five fixtures. It’s equated to West Ham creating a total expected goals return of 9.38 and posting 88 shots at goal – they rank first for both metrics of all Premier League teams in that period.
Image:David Moyes on the touchline against Bournemouth
David Moyes may have never won a Premier League game at Old Trafford as opposing manager in 15 visits with 11 defeats, however, West Ham won 1-0 last season in the League Cup.
I’m happy to back the Hammers to make this a difficult evening for United and take the 6/5 for them to win or draw. For the purposes of a match prediction when assessing the prices, the away win at 4/1 does feel a little too large to ignore.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2
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