Our tipster Jones Knows takes aim at the Premier League action, sprinkling his betting analysis and predictions over an exciting weekend.
Manchester City vs Liverpool, Saturday 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports
Liverpool and the 12.30pm kick-off is an angle punters can exploit. There is substance there.
Many readers of Liverpool persuasion will shoot this down based on back-to-back victories over Wolves and Everton this season in that particular timeslot but I’m yet to be convinced. Jurgen Klopp’s side broke a six-game winless run in 12.30pm starts when beating Wolves 3-1 but it was an alarming first-half showing that continued a worrying trend for Klopp’s men. A failure to score in that first half, or in the eventual 2-0 win over Everton, means Liverpool have failed to score in seven of their last eight first halves in the 12.30pm timeslot.
That’s more than enough evidence to declare them as slow starters in this type of environment and the last place you want to go if sleepy football is in your blood is away to Manchester City. I like the 6/4 with Sky Bet for them to be winning and half-time and full-time. Equally, I’m also drawn to Bernardo Silva in the prop markets.
In a game where Man City are expecting to find fertile ground in behind the Liverpool full-backs, his 9/2 anytime scorer price does stand out if, as expected, Guardiola does select him in that right-side forward role. His two goals against Bournemouth earlier this month when playing that wide right role took him to five goals scored in his last three matches at the Etihad Stadium when playing in that front three, following up a double in the 4-0 win over Madrid and another effort in the 3-0 dismantling of Bayern last season.
Adding Silva’s fouls conceded numbers to the Bet Builder makes sense too in order to boost the price. His fouls conceded data rockets when playing as a right-sided forward against elite opposition as he is likely to find himself in more one-on-one duels down that flank rather than in the hustle and bustle in central field.
In his last seven appearances playing that position against an elite opponent (Arsenal, Real, Bayern, Inter Milan and Manchester United) he has made 19 fouls, meaning he’s working at an average of 2.7 fouls per 90 minutes. When you consider the likely attack-minded approach of Klopp’s Liverpool, Silva will be kept busy out of possession and is expected to hit around that average in terms of fouls made.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1 | JONES KNOWS’ BEST BET: Man City to be winning at half-time/full-time, Bernardo Silva to score & make at least one foul (14/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Any winners for Jones Knows last time?
- Cole Palmer +2 shots & to be carded: 9/2
- Wolves to beat Tottenham: 5/2
- Bournemouth double chance vs Newcastle: 5/4
- Doucoure 1+ SOT vs Palace: 10/11
- Luton +2 handicap vs Man Utd: 10/11
- Aston Villa -1 handicap vs Fulham: 5/4
Burnley vs West Ham, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
I’m still far from sold on West Ham being rated as a genuine top-half team.
There has been a huge amount of overperformance going on this season in comparison to their actual performance data, especially in forward areas. On expected points, they are five places higher than their metrics suggest.
Nottingham Forest were unfortunate to leave London with no points in a game of two evenly matched teams. On a par with Forest is where I’ve got West Ham on my ratings, so they are easily opposed at Evens with Sky Bet here, even against the bottom-ranked side.
Mohamed Kudus is a player firmly on my radar though when it comes to winning fouls – and hopefully winning bets.
He is a slick, tricky customer, capable of dancing past opponents and drawing fouls. Defenders have made nine fouls on him in his last three Premier League starts.
With him making him moves down the West Ham right, albeit with a tendency to move inside, Charlie Taylor – the Burnley left-back – is bound to have his hands full. His foul prices look generous to me with one or more coming in at 8/11 with Sky Bet with also the higher lines of two or more at 7/2 and three or more at 14/1 also making significant appeal. Taylor has made at least one foul in eight of his 10 Premier League starts this season with him racking up multiple numbers against Nottingham Forest and Chelsea.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1 | JONES KNOWS’ BEST BET: Charlie Taylor +1 foul (8/11 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Luton vs Crystal Palace, Saturday 3pm
Trusting the footballing narrative to solely make shrewd betting-based decisions is not a sustainable long-term strategy but sometimes I allow myself to indulge in such activity. Andros Townsend made his final appearance for Everton 15 months ago when suffering a horrendous ACL injury away at Crystal Palace – a club he made 168 appearances for and somewhere where he’s held in the highest regard.
To get himself back playing at this level is a testament to his work ethic and the stage his set for him to score his first Luton goal on Saturday. It might just be meant to be.
He fired three shots at goal in 68 minutes vs Manchester United, obviously retaining his eye for a spectacular strike. In a tight game to call, his 12/1 first goalscorer price along with the 13/8 for him to have three or more shots should give punters a great run.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
Newcastle vs Chelsea, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
It’s no coincidence that Chelsea’s performance levels and results are on the up since Reece James returned.
He’s a phenomenal footballer, one that can do it all – and some may have forgotten that. I’d be stunned if he doesn’t start England’s first game at Euro 2024, let alone make the squad, for which he is 8/13 with Sky Bet. I’d have him closer to 1/7. Silly price.
James has started three Premier League games this season against Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City – and Chelsea have taken five points while remaining unbeaten. He is a force.
With an air of vulnerability about Newcastle due to injuries and a packed schedule ahead, it’s no surprise to see the away side so strong in the market for the win at 6/4 with Sky Bet. I’m happy to let that go unbacked though and concentrate on James’ impact when looking for some value in the market.
I’ve come down on the 5/2 for him to score or assist.
Mauricio Pochettino has been using James as his attacking outlet down the right with Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling playing more central or from the left, so I’m fully expecting the full-back’s attacking output to rocket in the coming weeks.
He grabbed an assist in the 4-4 draw with City while going close with two strikes from range in both fixtures with Spurs and Pep Guardiola’s side. And with Newcastle facing problems down the left side of their defence with the absence of Dan Burn, Chelsea should be targeting that area. James can profit.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2
Nottingham Forest vs Brighton, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Roberto De Zerbi has a problem to solve. Brighton are currently without a league win in six games – and their attacking metrics are nosediving.
Of course, the added demands of European football and key injuries to Pervis Estupinan, Solly March and now Lewis Dunk, Karou Mitoma and Evan Ferguson all must be factored into the melting pot when assessing why De Zerbi’s usual consistent side are underperforming.
When at their best during the backend of last season De Zerbi’s team were posting a per match average of 2.22 expected goals, 33.23 touches in the opposition box and 11.91 shots inside the box. However, that level of performance in the final third has fallen dramatically when assessing their numbers over the past six fixtures – a run that has offered up soft opposition in Fulham and Sheffield United, too. Their expected goals average is down to 1.39, the touches in the opposition box figure is now just 24 and shots in the box is down to 7.33.
I’m happy to row in with a Forest-based angle then. This is a club that have lost just twice in 20 home Premier League matches. Even the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have all failed to leave the City Ground with three points. They also beat Brighton in the corresponding fixture – and they can repeat the feat at 21/10 with Sky Bet.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-1 | JONES KNOWS’ BEST BET: Nottingham Forest double chance (4/6 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Sheffield United vs Bournemouth, Saturday 3pm
It’s taken longer than expected but have Bournemouth finally clicked under Andoni Iraola? They went some way to delivering on my patience with Iraola when taking full advantage of Newcastle’s issues to win just their second league game of the season and move out of the relegation zone before the international break.
It was the first time his team had completely clicked in their delivery of his hybrid press with Ryan Christie playing such an important role without the ball. His running power, supported by Justin Kluivert and Dominic Solanke, was utilised perfectly to upset Newcastle building from the back.
That performance was bad news for the likes of Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton as Bournemouth, if now collectively clicking into gear, will be rampaging their way out of trouble in no time. Starting here, in what looks a pretty simple away win to call at 23/20 with Sky Bet if they can hit the heights of their Newcastle performance.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-3
Brentford vs Arsenal, Saturday 5.30pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
“From chaos to control,” my colleague Nick Wright wrote in his new column across Sky Sports regarding Arsenal’s change of style this season. Arsenal are no longer the team to watch if you crave goalmouth entertainment but boy are they hard to score against. A no-thrills, away win it is.
Those looking for a betting angle, Kristoffer Ajer has stepped up to the plate as Thomas Frank has shuffled his defensive pack since the injuries to Rico Henry and Aaron Hickey at full-back.
There’s a bit of the Dan Burn’s about the way he goes about his business in that he’s a tad clumsy with the way he deals with one-on-one situations but overall he makes life very difficult for the opposition winger. His tendency to be quite aggressive in challenging for 50-50 balls does leave him open to committing fouls though and he has been carded in three of his last four starts. His battle with Gabriel Martinelli will be a test for him and the 100/30 on offer from Sky Bet on him getting booked does appeal.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
Tottenham vs Aston Villa, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Entertainment is surely guaranteed with this one. It’s the high-line derby. If offsides are your thing, then you’re in for a treat. The assistant referee could be flagging courtesy of his flagging.
The bet that stands out to me is the 7/2 on offer in the Bet Builder for Heung-Min Son to score and be caught offside at least twice. The South Korean was flagged four times in Villa’s 2-1 win over Spurs late last season.
Son has been pushed more central this season and has looked more like himself, scoring eight times in his last nine appearances. Son is usually one of the best around at timing his runs to scoot clear of defenders so he’ll be revelling in taking on Villa’s aggressive offside trap. Once through on goal, there isn’t many other finishers I’d want in that scenario than the efficient Son, so his goalscorer prices of 13/8 with Sky Bet to fire at anytime, the 8/1 for a brace and the 40/1 on offer for the hat-trick all are live runners too.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2
Everton vs Manchester United, Sunday 4.30pm, live Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Everton at 7/4 with Sky Bet playing at galvanised Goodison Park? Yes please. Sign me up.
The Toffees have been deducted 10 points for FFP breaches – the heaviest deduction in English top tier history. A jaw-dropping sanction that has got the locals fired up. Although he’d never admit it, this penalty might not be a bad thing for Sean Dyche in the long run.
It has the catalyst to unify the club even more with their home crowd – and with Everton already functioning to a high level, taking 10 points from their last five games, dismal Manchester United are fancied to crumble in the Goodison Park cauldron.
I’m going fishing for a big-price winner here, too.
I’m expecting the atmosphere to play a part to help this game turn a bit nasty. Referee John Brooks, meanwhile, has averaged 4.63 cards per 90 minutes in his eight Premier League games this season, so adding Everton player cards to the Everton win makes sense.
Jordan Pickford (5/1 with Sky Bet) will be running down the clock at every opportunity and was carded in atmospheric home wins over Arsenal and Bournemouth last season while Jarrad Branthwaite (5/1) has been booked in four of his 12 appearances this season. Adding both players to be carded to an Everton win results in a 100/1 shot. That’s big.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0 | JONES KNOWS’ BEST BET: Everton to win, Jordan Pickford & Jarrod Branthwaite both to be carded (100/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Fulham vs Wolves, Monday 8pm, live on Sky Sports
No Joao Palhinha and possessing no goalscorers could make this a very difficult evening for Fulham.
The Portuguese destroyer in midfielder is suspended and their record without him should encourage Wolves backers. In six matches, they’ve lost five and conceded 18 goals with the metrics behind those performances also taking a nosedive as their shots faced and expected goals faced are far higher without him.
Wolves are an upwardly mobile, dangerous outfit now under Gary O’Neil and have lost only one of their last seven Premier League games. One goal may just do the job in this one – but the continued absence of Pedro Neto does temper my enthusiasm slightly, so I’d point people to the draw no bet play at 11/10 on Wolves where stakes will be returned if the game ends a draw.
The winning goal for Wolves may come via Rayan Ait-Nouri, who has been revolutionised by O’Neil by pushing him further forward in order to maximise his clear creative skills. In his last five appearances, he’s racked up seven shots to a backdrop of 0.94 worth of expected goals – a player possessing those sort of metrics shouldn’t be as big as 28/1 with Sky Bet to score the first goal.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
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