Time to rejoice as the Premier League returns and tipster Jones Knows is in the chair to preview all 10 matches. He fancies Brighton at Manchester United.
Wolves vs Liverpool, Saturday 12.30pm
I’m starting to sense that Liverpool might just be the ones to put it up to Manchester City this season.
It isn’t a view shared by the market, who have Arsenal favourites in the “without Man City” outright list at 11/8 with Sky Bet and Liverpool at 13/8. Yet, I’d be quite confident at this stage of having a match-bet at Evens with anyone for Liverpool to finish above Arsenal. Form an orderly queue.
That “purr” associated with all the great Jurgen Klopp teams has returned. It was on full show during their destructive dismantling of an albeit overrated but still dangerous Aston Villa side before the international break.
Any winners last week for Jones Knows?
- Brighton to beat Newcastle (6/4)
- Brighton to win 3-1
- BTTS & Over 2.5 goals in ARS vs MUN (5/6)
- Arsenal to win 3-1
- Eberechi Eze to score for Palace (2/1)
- Under 3.5 goals in Liverpool vs Villa (8/11)
- West Ham +10 fouls vs Luton (5/6)
- West Ham to win & under 3.5 goals (100/30)
When Klopp’s team play with such razzmatazz and ruthlessness in the final third, they can score two or three goals in a blink of an eye. To potentially have found that ability again to take games away from teams in a short period makes them such a dangerous outfit, capable of running riot at any point. That may happen here so the Liverpool -2 handicap looks good at 11/4 with Sky Bet.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-3
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace, Saturday 3pm
I’ll be testing out a theory over the next few weekends: Aston Villa are overrated by the markets.
They went off as short as 4/1 with Sky Bet to beat Liverpool at Anfield. At the start of the season they were the same price as Brighton for a top-four finish. It’s all a bit over the top, no? They barely laid a glove on Liverpool and were thumped at Newcastle too, remember.
Unai Emery has a history of overachieving in the early stages of a new job. He did it at Arsenal where he racked up a 70 per cent win ratio in his first 20 matches before it dropped to 50 per cent in his final 58 games as boss.
Despite Villa winning each of their last eight Premier League games at Villa Park, I’m all for taking Crystal Palace on the double chance option at 10/11 with Sky Bet. Palace have only lost only three of 14 Premier League games since Roy Hodgson returned as boss and he is actually unbeaten in three meetings with Emery when the Spaniard was at Arsenal.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2
Fulham vs Luton, Saturday 3pm
Backing Luton centre-backs across various attacking output markets looks a profitable path with the prices on offer. We’ve seen already the Hatters are a heavily set-piece-reliant team, following on from last season where 32 per cent of their expected goals came via set-pieces. They play for territory, they play direct and they look to threaten from dead-ball situations.
Mads Andersen, who scored against West Ham, is a giant and will be venturing forward with intent this season in a much more set-piece-oriented side than his former club Barnsley were. I’m expecting his shots, touches in the opposition box and goals data to spike. That’s why taking the 6/5 with Sky Bet on him just registering one or more shots looks a huge slice of value.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
Manchester United vs Brighton, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Brighton are almost becoming an automatic back now when playing against a top-four chasing rival when priced as the outsiders. Roberto De Zerbi’s barnstorming side enhanced their reputation and overall record against the so-called bigger boys when dismantling Newcastle before the break.
In their last 21 matches across all competitions against Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal, Brighton have won 12 of those fixtures, winning the aggregate score 38-27. The 2/1 for an away win at Old Trafford against a Manchester United side that possess flaws across the pitch, is a tempter.
That is a good bet. This next one is a great bet.
It revolves around Brighton and England centre-back Lewis Dunk making one or more fouls at Evens. Rasmus Hojlund is going to cause chaos in attack for United with his aggressive nature and all-action style. The striker didn’t look fazed by the occasion when making his debut at Arsenal, latching himself onto the ultra-physical Gabriel from the moment he entered the fray and he mixed it in some heavyweight one-on-one duels.
He has drawn 19 fouls across his last 12 appearances for club and country and it will be Dunk tasked with engaging him. Dunk averages just 0.40 fouls a game over his last 25 matches, meaning the price spat out by the algorithm makes him the outsider of all Brighton players to make a foul. That looks a rick to me. Backing him to make two or more fouls at 5/1 is also significantly overpriced. Punish such slack pricing.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2
Tottenham vs Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
It’s going to be fun times under Ange Postecoglou. Tottenham will give you a chance, though – even to a team with such limitations as Sheffield United.
Spurs have faced 19 shots on target across their four matches against Burnley, Bournemouth, Manchester United and Brentford. The Blades remain a blunt outfit going forward but there is at least hope now that this season won’t be a complete write-off with Gustavo Hamer impressing in playing off Oli McBurnie and Cameron Archer against Everton.
Hamer has posted four shots on target in his three starts for Sheffield United from a role which gives him licence to join attacks and that healthy average follows on from his data with Coventry, where he posted 20 shots on target in his last 15 starts. All that evidence makes the 6/4 with Sky Bet on offer for him to have at least one shot on target here very appealing while the 22/1 quotes about his first goalscorer chances also are worth some respect.
SCORE PREDICTION: 4-1
West Ham vs Manchester City, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
The way to approach the outright market in this one is to ask yourself: where do you think West Ham will finish this season? As if you have them as a bottom half side, then you should really jump at the chance to back Manchester City at 10/11 with Sky Bet for them to win and under 4.5 goals in the match. In their last 40 matches away from home against bottom 10 teams in the Premier League, 31 of those games have seen City win and under 4.5 goals land, which equates to a 77 per cent win ratio.
When you turn that percentage into odds, you get 2/7, which is considerably shorter than the 10/11 available with Sky Bet. It’s a nice edge for those rating West Ham’s impressive start to the season as an outlier.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
Newcastle vs Brentford, Saturday Night Football, 5.30m, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Nick Pope’s form is quietly becoming an issue for Newcastle. His only clean sheet in his last 15 Premier League games came in a 0-0 draw vs Leicester in May while further back, he’s only kept two clean sheets in the last 22 Premier League games having previously kept six in a row. When assessing the key shots faced data during that six-game run of shut-outs to now, Newcastle are facing an almost identical amount of shots per game and their shots on target faced and expected goals against record have only slightly worsened. That shows Pope, who was at fault for the key opening goal against Brighton, simply isn’t performing to his optimum levels that laid the foundations for Newcastle’s surge up the table last season. It’s why he’s lost his England place. It’s why Newcastle are finding it harder to win games.
How can we profit, then?
Simple, really. Back one of the most in-form marksman in Europe to score at St James’ Park. Brentford are unbeaten in all nine Premier League games since the start of last season without Ivan Toney (W5 D4) and Bryan Mbeumo has nine goals in those games. Since the start of last season, he is averaging a goal every 90 minutes when playing without Toney, compared to a goal every 826 minutes when they play together.
I was therefore surprised to see odds of 3/1 with Sky Bet available on him finding the net at anytime while the 22/1 with Sky Bet for him to score two or more also are worth consideration.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2
Bournemouth vs Chelsea, Super Sunday, 2pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
The goal expectancy looks too high in a game between two teams who have significant problems in attack.
Chelsea can point to their big chance created tally of 11 this season – no side has created more – as a piece of evidence to show that their football is flowing and all that is missing is the finish. But they have flaky finishers. That’s the issue, and one that surely won’t resolve itself, no matter how strong the overall chance creation metrics are. I’d be confident of goals remaining a problem while the players in that frontline remain the same.
Since the start of October 2022, Chelsea’s Premier League games have seen 78 goals, the fewest of any side excluding the three promoted teams, working out at an average of 2.16 per 90 minutes. Plus, Chelsea have scored more than once just seven times in their last 33 games in all competitions.
That makes the 5/4 with Sky Bet on this game going under the 2.5 goal line very appealing, especially with Bournemouth still struggling to find their identity under Andoni Iraola. Only Sheffield United and Burnley have created fewer big chances than the Cherries this season, with none of those coming in their two home games with West Ham and Tottenham.
At the time of writing, there have been 51 Premier League games played since the last 0-0 draw. I can’t resist the 14/1 with Sky Bet on this breaking that run.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-0
Everton vs Arsenal, Super Sunday, 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Bravery awards to those backing Arsenal here at 1/2 with Sky Bet.
They look ripe for taking on, with the Goodison Park factor firmly at play. There is a unique atmosphere for high-profile games in a particular timeslot at the great old ground. That certainly is a factor to consider when weighing up probabilities for a match outcome, especially when Everton are trading at north of 5/1 for the win.
In the last 19 games played in the Sunday 4.30pm slot or Monday night at Goodison Park, Everton are unbeaten in 17 of those. Of those 19 results, Everton won 11 of those matches, including when underdogs against Manchester United in 2012, Chelsea in 2019 and Arsenal in 2021.
The Goodison Park factor is a strong enough case anyway, but when you throw in the psychological factor of Arsenal’s recent record there of being winless in the last five trips, losing four of those, it makes the case for a pro-Everton play even stronger. I’m absolutely convinced they’ll climb the table over the next few weeks now they’ve got a fit and mobile centre-forward to hit in Beto, who looked the best player on the pitch for the first 60 minutes in the 2-2 with Sheffield United. Home win.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0
Nottingham Forest vs Burnley, Monday Night Football, 8pm, live on Sky Sports
I’m still trying to work Burnley out, which makes this prediction lark very tough. Have they regressed over the summer? Or is Vincent Kompany slowing building his new-look squad up to the rigours of Premier League football? I wouldn’t be surprised by a home win, draw or away win here, so I’m not much to help to you on that front.
What is clear is that Taiwo Awoniyi is becoming the real deal at Nottingham Forest. Improving players is what Steve Cooper is all about. And what will take the manager to a top-six job in time, or perhaps, the England role if he fancied it.
Awoniyi has picked up from where he left off last season, scoring in seven consecutive games and since the start of May, the Forest striker has even outscored Erling Haaland in the Premier League, despite playing a game fewer. In a really tricky betting heat, keep it simple and back him to score first at 4/1 with Sky Bet.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
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