Our betting guru Jones Knows, fresh from tipping big-priced winners galore last weekend, is back to mark your card ahead of the latest Premier League fixtures.
Last weekend’s winners…
- Burnley to avoid defeat, wins for West Ham & Arsenal: 12/1 treble
- West Ham to win, BTTS, +30 shots: 6/1
- Emile Smith Rowe to score & Arsenal to win 7/1
- Craig Cathcart to be booked: 5/1
- Crystal Palace to draw 1-1 with Brighton: 5/1
- Newcastle to draw 1-1 with Watford: 6/1
Crystal Palace vs Leicester, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports
Patrick Vieira deserves huge praise for the way he’s got Crystal Palace playing in his possession-based style that is all about controlling a football match. They were excellent in the draw with Brighton, especially in restricting Graham Potter’s men in the final third. However, their inability to get the second goal cost them in the end and it’s that attacking process which could hold them back this season.
Vieira’s side have posted the fewest shots on target in the Premier League this season (14), perhaps indicating they are taking one pass too many in their search of opening up opposition defences.
That is something Leicester can’t be accused of as despite their wobbly start, they remain a team very much at their best when given the opportunity to play on the counter-attack. That match scenario is likely to play out here with Palace happy to push up and dominate the ball. A scenario that should suit Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy. That added quality in the final third should prove the difference between the teams as Brendan Rodgers will be after a positive result just to hush down a few critics.
It’s an away win for me.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Leicester to win and under 2.5 goals (4/1 with Sky Bet)
Tottenham vs Aston Villa, Sunday 2pm
Picking a winner in this one sums up just what a tough gig it is predicting match results in the Premier League. However, one thing you can surely guarantee is that Tottenham will not be as passive as they were in the opening 20 minutes of their dismal showing at Arsenal last weekend. Nuno Espirito Santo isn’t an attack-minded coach but he’s also not an idiot. Sitting back and playing for a 1-0 victory at home to Aston Villa won’t be an acceptable strategy.
Spurs simply have to commit men forward, something they have done to good affect already in the Nuno era. Remember, this is a team that beat Manchester City at home on the opening day playing incisive and brave counter-attack football and one that gave Chelsea an almighty scare in the first 45 minutes before Thomas Tuchel grabbed hold of the game after the break.
So, how do we profit from this predicted Spurs strategy? Well, with Aston Villa likely to go toe-to-toe with Spurs in the early stages, we should see a game full of attacking intent, goals and lots of incident.
Since switching to a back three and allowing more licence to the full-backs, Villa have won 21 corners in three matches, averaging seven per game – and two of those fixtures were away at Chelsea and Manchester United. With the predicted fast start from Spurs which should see opportunities to win corners, I’d be very surprised if the game doesn’t produce 11 or more, which is the average total a Premier League usually produces. This one has all the hallmarks of being above that average. Don’t be scared of attacking the higher lines either, with 14 or more at 7/2 with Sky Bet a runner.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2
BETTING ANGLE: 11 or more corners to be taken in match (Evens with Sky Bet)
West Ham vs Brentford, Sunday 2pm
Brentford will be a tough nut to crack here for West Ham but David Moyes’ team know how to win football matches, winning eight of their last 12 across all competitions. I’m not sure the 4/5 with Sky Bet for a home win respects that record enough, especially as they should be able to stand up to Brentford’s muscular threat in attack.
Brentford’s physicality has been a key part of their armoury this season but they might not get away with too many robust challenges in this one with the picky Peter Bankes in charge. Yes, the sample size is small but Bankes has awarded 56 fouls in two games this season, averaging 28 per game. When you factor in the Premier League average over the last two seasons is just below 19 per game, Bankes stands out as a strict referee. Since the start of last season he averages just over three cards awarded per game too, which puts him in the top five of card happy referees in the league.
A way to combine Brentford’s feisty approach and Bankes’ tendency for a card, is to take the 5/6 with Sky Bet for Brentford to pick up more booking points (10 points for a yellow, 20 for a red) than the Hammers. Of the ever-present Premier League teams in the last two seasons, only Arsenal and Manchester City have committed less fouls than West Ham, who also have picked up the second fewest yellow cards in that time.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0
BETTING ANGLE: Brentford to receive most booking points (5/6 with Sky Bet)
Liverpool vs Manchester City, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
A fixture to get the pulse racing. This modern-day rivalry between two sensational football teams is now the jewel in the Premier League crown. Usually fixtures of this magnitude and importance tend to steer me away from having a strong opinion as the markets are very well informed and the game can be settled by such fine margins. However, I think Manchester City are a backable price here at 6/4 with Sky Bet. I’m taking the best defence in the league to shut down what is perceived to be the best attack.
I’m surprised the injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold hasn’t affected the price for an away win more. He is absolutely pivotal for the way Liverpool construct their attacking patterns.
No Premier League player has created more chances than Alexander-Arnold this season. He has created 21 chances which is the joint-most along with Bruno Fernandes, despite the Liverpool man playing 90 minutes less. He has also played at least 14 more passes into the box than any other Premier League player. Jamie Carragher is right: he is a playmaker down the right flank.
His absence should be just as important as if City were missing Kevin de Bruyne or Chelsea were without Romelu Lukaku, yet City’s price for an away win hasn’t been affected too much.
Even if Liverpool had their fabulous full-back, I’d still be interested in City shutting them out, so without him, my punting juices are fully flowing as this City defence is a beast.
Chelsea failed to register a single shot on target vs City last weekend and this defence now hasn’t conceded in the league since the opening day defeat to Tottenham. This is the bedrock for my interest in the 6/4 for an away win but I’m going fishing for a bigger price. With Ruben Dias in the City team, 21 of their 28 wins (75 per cent) have been without conceding a goal. Therefore, with Liverpool’s main creative force in the stands, the jump from 6/4 to 7/2 with Sky Bet for City to win without conceding is too juicy to pass up and is worth some serious interest.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-2
BETTING ANGLE: Manchester City to win to nil (7/2 with Sky Bet)
Brighton vs Arsenal, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
I’m more than happy to back Arsenal for an away win here at 6/4 with Sky Bet. Confidence is high, their defence is ultra solid and Brighton are very opposable.
Graham Potter’s side are failing to hit the performance metrics of last season yet are now defying that data to pick up results. It’s a very weird turn of events. Their attacking process of 6.61 expected goals is the sixth worst total in the Premier League.
If they continue performing at the same level, it’s hard to see them breaking down Arsenal’s defence that is being led excellently by Gabriel. Arsenal have won their last eight Premier League games in which Gabriel started, conceding just three goals (0.4 per game). Flip that to their record without him where they’ve won just one of their last seven Premier League games, conceding 14 goals (two per game).
In fact, the Gunners have won eight of their last 11 Premier League games since the start of May – only Liverpool have won more points than Arsenal in that period. A top-six finish is on the cards.
Brighton seriously missed the influence of Yves Bissouma at Crystal Palace. He remains a doubt for this encounter and it’s a position where Brighton are lacking strength in depth. Steven Alzate and Enock Mwepu are also both out, so it looks certain that Adam Lallana will play in the engine room. If he does, I’ll backing him with confident stakes to pick up a booking at a massive 15/2 with Sky Bet.
The 33-year-old is a fantastic technician still but his positioning and ability to get about the pitch like he used to is on the wane. In his last two games playing in the middle he has given away three niggly fouls – one which led to a booking at Palace. He is surely going to get caught on the wrong side of Arsenal’s speedy transitions across their nippy forward line. Fellow central midfielders Rodri, Ashley Westwood and Oliver Skipp have all been booked facing this Arsenal side this season. Lallana can follow suit.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Adam Lallana to be carded (15/2 with Sky Bet)
How did Jones Knows do?
Man Utd 1-1 Everton – Jones Knows predicted 1-1
Burnley 0-0 Norwich – Jones Knows predicted 1-0
Chelsea 3-1 Southampton – Jones Knows predicted 2-0
Leeds 1-0 Watford – Jones Knows predicted 3-1
Wolves 2-1 Newcastle – Jones Knows predicted 1-2