Our tipster Jones Knows takes aim at the Premier League action, unleashing his predictions and betting angles across an exciting weekend.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham, Friday 8pm, live on Sky Sports
Tottenham to be winning at half-time at 11/8 with Sky Bet? Someone go fetch me my wheelbarrow.
Crystal Palace are a team to oppose such is their flimsiness in attack without the likes of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise and boy are they slow starters under Roy Hodgson’s pragmatic watch. Of the 11 goals they’ve scored this season, 10 of them have come in the second half – the only first half strike being Joachim Andersen’s winner at Manchester United.
Hodgson’s tedious tactic of turning the game into a 45-minute match by playing nullifying and dour first half football has been a common theme in his time at Palace across both spells. In his 167 Premier League games in charge, Palace have scored just 77 first half goals. That’s just 0.46 goals per first half across a huge sample size.
It gets even more eye opening when assessing home matches against the traditional big six of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea. Under Hodgson, Palace have scored one first half goal in their last 17 home matches against those opponents with the aggregate score coming out as ‘Palace 1-17 Big Six’ when assessing all those first halves.
In contrast, Spurs are a pedal to the metal side under Ange Postecoglou. No team have had more shots (87), touches in the opposition box (174) and created more big chances (14) before the break this season than Postecoglou’s attack-minded cannonballs. I’m expecting a confident and ruthless start.
That makes the 42 per cent chance (11/8) of Spurs winning at half-time looking heavenly overpriced, I’d have it closer to 58 per cent (8/11) so we’re dealing with a huge slice of value here.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-3
Chelsea vs Brentford, Saturday 12.30pm
This result will provide a strong barometer of whether Chelsea are now a team to take seriously.
It’s four games unbeaten for Mauricio Pochettino’s side – a run that probably should be four straight wins but for their weird collapse against Arsenal. The market is expecting a relatively comfortable victory for Chelsea with 8/13 quotes being offered up by Sky Bet but Brentford are such a fiddly and tactically astute team to swat away. Thomas Frank has already masterminded two straight wins at Stamford Bridge to an overall aggregate scoreline of 6-1 in Brentford’s favour, so hardly smash-and-grab type victories.
My advice would be to steer clear of the outright market and note whoever will be playing down the left side of Brentford’s defence up against Raheem Sterling. The winger is in lightning form, playing such direct and intense football with the ball at his feet. He’s drawn 17 fouls in his last eight starts with opposition defenders Emerson, Milos Kerkez, Charlie Taylor and Antonee Robinson all making two or more fouls up against the speedy Sterling. Aaron Hickey, if he returns from injury, at 5/2 or Vitaly Janelt at 11/8 both are best watched to make two or more fouls in the match.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-1
Arsenal vs Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Arsenal being priced up at 1/11 with Sky Bet shows you how much of a mismatch this one should be. Games like this are tricky to find any so-called intelligent betting angles in but continuing to back the opposition centre forward to score a header against Sheffield United does remain a backable edge.
Anel Ahmedhodzic, John Egan and Chris Basham all remain on the sidelines for the Blades meaning there is a lack of physicality through the heart of their defence. It remains relevant that nine of their 24 Premier League goals conceded have come from crosses with Odsonne Edouard, Chris Wood, Taiwo Awoniyi, Erling Haaland, Callum Wilson, Richarlison, Jarrod Bowen and Bobby Decordova-Reid have all scored via that method in a central area. That makes the 15/2 with Sky Bet on a headed goal being scored by Eddie Nketiah, who is likely to start due to the hamstring injury sustained by Gabriel Jesus, rate as a fun play to follow.
SCORE PREDICTION: 4-0
Bournemouth vs Burnley, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Just win. That will be the message from both managers, who surely will not be advocating too many risks in a game of significant importance down at the bottom. It’s not how either Andoni Iraola or Vincent Kompany want to play their football in an ideal world but with such dismal performances and results dragging their seasons down, it’s surely time for a defensive focused approach.
Bournemouth are now winless in 13 Premier League games across either side of the summer while Kompany’s Burnley have taken just four points from their nine games this season.
That fear factor and lack of confidence within the ranks may result in this game being a tough watch. Yet, the markets are preparing themselves for goals with the goal expectancy flirting with three goals, meaning we are able to get Evens with Sky Bet on under 2.5 goals. One goal just might do the business for either team with Burnley fancied to nick it.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
Wolves vs Newcastle, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
You do not really need my help for this one, do you? This one always ends in a draw. Nine of the last 16 meetings have ended 1-1. Those that like following scary trends can get 6/1 with Sky Bet on that scoreline – it certainly wouldn’t surprise me with Wolves progressing into a devilishly difficult team to beat, putting together a four-match unbeaten run despite facing Aston Villa and Manchester City in that period.
If Wolves are to trouble the Toon then the excellent Pedro Neto will be to the fore and their outlet down that right flank where he should fancy his chances one-on-one with Dan Burn. Only Kaoru Mitoma has progressed the ball more than Neto (1,283m) in the Premier League this season among non-defenders and he’s already provided six assists.
The 7/2 with Sky Bet dangled about his chances of another certainly appeals.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
West Ham vs Everton, Sunday 1pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
David Moyes only remains as West Ham manager because of his ability to conjure up wins against bottom-half teams at home in the Premier League. When the pressure was cranked up after Christmas with the Hammers sitting precariously in the relegation zone, Moyes managed to lead his team through choppy waters by beating Everton, Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Leeds. Then followed the European success and life looks rosy under Moyes’ watch – for now.
That strong record against bottom half teams does make the 11/10 with Sky Bet on a West Ham home rather tempting.
Everton are on improving now they have a focal point in attack but their limitations remain rather obvious. Stylistically, this game may struggle to burst into life when assessing the way both managers like to go about it. Just eight goals have been scored in the last six meetings between Moyes and Sean Dyche teams, including two 0-0 draws. A West Ham victory in a game where under 3.5 goals lands at 2/1 with Sky Bet does look an avenue to explore.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0
Brighton vs Fulham, Sunday 2pm
I love watching Brighton play football – they bring me so much joy, especially when they carry my cash. But I left my emotions at the door years ago when it comes to trying to make sound betting decisions and they are so easily opposable in this one.
We are playing a different sport this season and we are losing too many players. I think we are not ready to compete in this competition,” Roberto De Zerbi said last weekend.
De Zerbi is still getting a tune out of his players – especially in forward areas – but a lack of cohesion, probably down to a lack of time on the training field under their supreme coach, is making Brighton’s high risk-reward football edge towards the riskier edge of the spectrum.
Before Thursday night, they had shipped 24 goals in their 12 matches across all competitions this season with no clean sheet in their last 16 matches across the summer.
This type of defensive output is quite scary when you asses the strength of their win price in the markets. Despite shipping two goals per game over a healthy sample size, they remain readily available at prices like 1/2 with Sky Bet.
With that fixture coming just three days after the Ajax encounter – one that De Zerbi will be prioritising – it should prove a profitable strategy to put faith in Fulham on the double chance market at 6/4. Remember, Brighton did lose both fixtures against Marco Silva’s well-structured side last season and have never beaten them in six Premier League meetings.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2
Aston Villa vs Luton, Sunday 2pm
With such slim pickings on show in the main markets owing to the likely one-sided nature of the contest heading to the player fouls committed market could be the answer to locking in a winning bet.
Luton striker Carlton Morris is the focal point for Rob Edwards as he is the target for most of their direct balls played into the final third. This leads to him becoming involved in a high proportion of duels which has seen him make 11 fouls in his last six games. He will be in direct contact with Villa defender Ezri Konsa, who has won 20 fouls himself in his last seven appearances – a monstrous figure for a centre-back. Morris is likely to be nibbling, so the Evens on offer for him to make two or fouls should land quite comfortably.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0
Liverpool vs Nottingham Forest, Sunday 2pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Sky Bet’s decision to offer up a market that allows us to take a punt on how many times a certain player is fouled is excellent news for Ryan Gravenberch backers. The early data is pointing towards the Bayern Munich player being a foul drawing king yet his prices don’t really mirror that meaning we’re get a chunky price on his numbers.
He’s already been fouled 12 times in his five starts for Liverpool, drawing three in the first half of the Merseyside derby last weekend. It’s 13/2 with Sky Bet to repeat that figure here – or those that like to play a little safer should be tempted by the 7/4 for him to be fouled two or more times.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1
Manchester United vs Manchester City, Sunday 3.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
This feels like a case of not if Manchester City win, but by how many.
As my colleague Adam Bate referenced in his weekly debrief column: “United continue to look like a side searching for something that is missing. The style of play is unclear. The uncertainty in their game is alarming at times.”
With such a lack of balance in their midfield added to limited unity or cohesion in the heart of their backline, someone is going to give them a good walloping before long. You can’t keep performing this badly and avoid the repercussions, especially when one of the greatest teams in Premier League history rock up at your door. The problem for those looking to jump on a City hammering is that they rarely go for the thrashing – it’s more death by possession.
So, instead of taking the 9/2 with Sky Bet on City winning by three or more goals, I would rather back a goalscorer at a bigger price. Rodri, who must enter conversations as being the best player on the planet such is his influence on this team, looks a delicious price at 7/1 to score.
His attacking output has spiked in the last 12 months, culminating in that winning goal in the Champions League final. A threat from set pieces and from distance, Rodri has three goals already this campaign in his 12 appearances. He might just be one of many City players to feast at Old Trafford.