Dominant Arsenal beat 10-man Spurs to go four points clear

Arsenal moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League and inflicted a first defeat of the season on 10-man Tottenham with a 3-1 win in a pulsating north London derby.

Thomas Partey’s stunning, long-range opener (20) was cancelled out by Harry Kane’s penalty (31) after Gabriel Magalhaes had fouled Richarlison, but the hosts, dominant for much of the first period, took complete control of the game after the break.

Gabriel Jesus capitalised on a mix-up between Hugo Lloris and Cristian Romero to put Arsenal in front from close range (49) and Granit Xhaka struck a clinical third (67) after Emerson Royal had been red carded for a reckless foul on Gabriel Martinelli.

The victory made it seven wins from eight games for Mikel Arteta’s side so far this season, underlining their progress in recent months and giving them a healthy four-point cushion on second-placed Manchester City, who face Manchester United on Sunday.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Ramsdale (7), White (7), Saliba (8), Gabriel (6), Zinchenko (7), Partey (8), Xhaka (8), Saka (8), Odegaard (7), Martinelli (8), Jesus (8).

Subs: Tierney (6), Lokonga (6), Vieira (n/a), Nketiah (n/a), Tomiyasu (n/a).

Tottenham: Lloris (6), Romero (5), Dier (5), Lenglet (6), Emerson (4), Hojbjerg (6), Bentancur (6), Perisic (6), Richarlison (6), Kane (7), Son (6).

Subs: Sanchez (6), Bissouma (6), Sessegnon (6), Doherty (6), Skipp (6).

Man of the match: Granit Xhaka

How Arsenal blew Spurs away

Arsenal came into the game seeking to exact revenge for their costly 3-0 loss at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May and started strongly, with Martinelli seeing an early effort saved by Lloris at his near post.

Spurs were largely pinned back in their own half but provided a warning of their own goal threat when Richarlison’s low shot from a free-kick had to be palmed away by an alert Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal’s opener arrived shortly afterwards, however, and it came from an unlikely source in Partey, whose wayward long-range shooting has long been a source of frustration to supporters.

Thomas Partey celebrates his opener with Granit Xhaka
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Thomas Partey celebrates his opener with Granit Xhaka

On this occasion, though, with his 65th effort from outside the box since joining the club, he finally found the net, his sensational, first-time effort from Ben White’s lay-off proving unstoppable.

Team news

  • Oleksandr Zinchenko and Martin Odegaard returned from injury for Arsenal while Thomas Partey was also passed fit to start.
  • Heung-Min Son came into the Tottenham team while Dejan Kulusevski missed out due to injury.

Spurs remained a menace on the break, though, and their penalty came from one such attack as Xhaka’s botched clearance allowed Richarlison to tempt Gabriel into an ill-timed lunge after the Brazilian forward had latched onto a Heung-min Son pass.

Harry Kane stepped up and made no mistake, scoring from the spot for the seventh time in a north London derby, and Spurs went into the break having gained a foothold in the game.

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side's second goal
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Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal

Soon, though, the momentum swung irreversibly in Arsenal’s favour, with Lloris spilling a Bukayo Saka shot shortly after half-time and Cristian Romero failing to deal with the loose ball before Jesus pounced to prod it over the line.

Spurs rarely threatened after that, failing to register a single shot on target in the second half, and their task was made tougher by Emerson’s deserved sending off for his wild lunge at Martinelli.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, centre, heads the ball past Tottenham's Emerson Royal, right
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Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka scored Arsenal’s third goal

Xhaka, once again excellent in his new, more attacking midfield role, then made the result safe when he wrong-footed Eric Dier from Martinelli’s flick and powered a low effort beyond Lloris.

Arsenal had chances to turn a comfortable victory into a rout in the closing stages, with Lloris saving superbly from substitute Kieran Tierney, but in the end the three goals proved more than sufficient on an afternoon which sent optimism levels through the roof at the Emirates Stadium.

Xhaka: We were better | Jesus: Amazing spirit

Granit Xhaka to BT Sport: “We didn’t have a lot of weeks to prepare, but we knew exactly what we wanted, and from the first second, I thought we were the better team.

“My first derby goal in England, I am more than happy, but the most important thing is the team.”

Gabriel Jesus to BT Sport: “I think we deserved to win because we want to play the game, we want to make the passes, we want to create the chances.

“The spirit of the team is amazing. I feel at home, because of them, because of the guys, the staff, they make me feel at home, and that helps a lot for new players joining the club. We are in a good way.”

FPL stats: Arsenal vs Tottenham

Goals Partey, Kane, Jesus, Xhaka
Assists White, Richarlison, Martinelli
Bonus points Partey (3), Jesus (2), Xhaka (1)

Arteta: Jesus takes us to another level

Mikel Arteta to BT Sport: “From the beginning, we went for it. With amazing support, we created a great energy in the stadium and we deserved to win the game.

“We were free, we were courageous, brave and we went for it. This is what we demand the players to do.

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side's second goal
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Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal

“Again, Gabriel Jesus’ winning mentality, the way he trains every day, the confidence he brings to the team, he has taken us to a different level.

“You could feel the connection with the players, the staff and the crowd. I am so happy because it was a beautiful game, a beautiful day, and we’ve made our supporters very happy.”

Conte: Red card killed game

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Tottenham manager criticised the VAR in the Premier League after his 10-man team lost 3-1 to rivals Arsenal, with Emerson Royal sent off.

Antonio Conte to BT Sport: “I think we had the opportunity to do much better in the first half. Instead, we kept the game in balance. I think we made big, big mistakes in the last pass, also easy passes.

“We could do much better [with Arsenal’s second goal] and the red card ended the game, it was difficult for us.

“Especially after the [international break], it is a bit difficult because you don’t have a lot of time to prepare for the game.

“Now we have to move on because we lost against Arsenal, but we know our role in this league.

“We have to try to do our best, to try to stay close with the top teams.”

Arsenal’s home advantage – Opta stats

  • Arsenal have won each of their last three Premier League home games against Tottenham for the first time since September 2013, while only in April 2005 have they had a longer such run in the competition (six games).
  • Tottenham have now failed to win any of their last 12 Premier League visits to Arsenal (D4 L8), which is currently their longest ongoing run in the competition.
  • Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is just the third manager in the club’s history to win each of his first three home games against Tottenham after George Morrell (1909-1911) and Terry Neill (1977-1979).

England squad watch

Aaron Ramsdale was unable to stop Harry Kane’s penalty but looked assured in goal for Arsenal otherwise, pulling off a fine stop from Richarlison in the first half.

Bukayo Saka also impressed following his eye-catching cameo in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany, while there was also a solid showing from Ben White, who still hopes to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s thinking before the World Cup.

Kane’s penalty took him to seven Premier League goals this season, but it was a more difficult afternoon for Eric Dier, who impressed on his return to the England squad but struggled to cope with Arsenal’s fluid attack at the Emirates Stadium.

What’s next?

Arsenal host Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday at 8pm, while Tottenham travel to Frankfurt in the Champions League on Tuesday at 8pm.


Saturday 8th October 5:00pm


Kick off 5:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

Tottenham then travel to Brighton on Saturday Night Football at 5.30pm, before Arsenal host Liverpool on Super Sunday at 4.30pm – both live on Sky Sports Premier League.


Sunday 9th October 4:00pm


Kick off 4:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

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Conte critical of VAR after derby loss | ‘Red card killed the game’

Antonio Conte was heavily critical of VAR after Emerson Royal was sent off in Tottenham’s 3-1 loss at Arsenal – with the Spurs coach demanding that the video officiating in England be more like Italy.

With Spurs losing 2-1 to Arsenal after Gabriel Jesus had nudged the Gunners in front early in the second half, Emerson was shown a straight red card by on-pitch referee Anthony Taylor for a high challenge on Gabriel Martinelli’s ankle.

VAR Jared Gillett briefly checked the decision and agreed with Taylor’s call, leaving Conte bemused on the Emirates Stadium touchline. The Italian coach chose not to comment on Taylor’s original call but did imply that VAR in this country is not up to standard after the game.

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Tottenham manager criticised the VAR in the Premier League after his 10-man team lost 3-1 to rivals Arsenal, with Emerson Royal sent off.

“In England, I have to be honest, it’s very difficult because they don’t have the same line [threshold],” said Conte in his post-match press conference. “Sometimes you see situations that could be a red card instead, or instead a yellow card or no yellow card. They have to work a lot about this.

The decision to send Emerson off was met with surprise at the Emirates Stadium
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The decision to send Emerson off was met with surprise at the Emirates Stadium

“In Italy, our referees, on Thursday they stay together, to work with the video to try to improve. I don’t know if they do this in England, but I think it’s a good idea.

“The level is so high and the VAR has to be a high level. For this reason, every part of this decision has to be top.”

‘Red card changed the game’

Harry Kane scores Tottenham's equaliser
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Harry Kane scores Tottenham’s equaliser

Tottenham were in the game at the point of Emerson’s red card, despite trailing to the Gunners at the time. Earlier, Harry Kane’s first-half penalty had cancelled out Thomas Partey’s wonder strike.

Conte said the decision to send Emerson off changed things – not due to having a man disadvantage, but because of the fact that the Italian could not change his attacking team in time before Arsenal’s third.

“In this period, they scored the third goal. It was really difficult – the red card killed the game,” added Conte.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring his side's third goal
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Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal

“Not because we remained with 10 men, it was a really offensive team and it took four to five minutes to make the substitutions. It made it difficult to defend.”

However, Conte said his biggest area of complaint was due to his team’s lack of an efficient final ball after getting into good areas.

“If I had to complain, it was for the first half,” Conte said. “We felt the possibility to win the game and we had a lot of chances to exploit much better the situations.

“Every time we overcame the pressure we had a lot of spaces every time. We made a mistake in the last passes. For this reason, the game was imbalanced. The second half we conceded the second goal.

“We could have done much better but in every situation in every goal, but you could do much better there. After a few minutes, the red card killed the game totally. End of the game.”

Arteta: Jesus takes Arsenal to different level

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side's second goal
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Mikel Arteta praised Gabriel Jesus’ impact this season

Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, hailed Gabriel Jesus for taking Arsenal to a “different level” after the Brazilian scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season to cap another eye-catching individual performance.

“Again, his winning mentality, the way he trains every day, the confidence he brings to the team, he has taken us to a different level,” Arteta told BT Sport.

The Arsenal manager also credited the club’s supporters for helping generate a raucous atmosphere inside the Emirates Stadium as the Gunners secured a seventh win from eight games this season.

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side's second goal
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Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal

“They were phenomenal,” he said. “From the beginning, we went for it. With amazing support, we created a great energy in the stadium and we deserved to win the game.

“We were free, we were courageous, brave and we went for it. This is what we demand the players to do.

“You could feel the connection with the players, the staff and the crowd. I am so happy because it was a beautiful game, a beautiful day, and we’ve made our supporters very happy.”

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Arsenal beat Ajax to qualify for CL | Eidevall: I’ve never experienced anything like it

Arsenal Women have qualified for the Champions League group stage following a 3-2 aggregate victory over Ajax, but had to overcome a series of bizarre circumstances to book their place in this season’s competition.

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall attempted to employ the use of a concussion substitute after Beth Mead was forced off with a head injury in the second period but was denied, while there were discrepancies over the height of the goalposts before the game had even kicked off.

“Playing against a big club like Ajax, where we had to measure the goals before the start of the game…I have never experienced anything like it to be honest,” a bemused Eidevall remarked in the aftermath of the win, which was secured by Vivianne Miedema.

The Dutch international’s early second-half strike gave the Gunners a 1-0 victory in her native Netherlands after they were held to a 2-2 draw in the first leg. The Champions League group stage draw will be made on October 3 with matches starting from October 19.

Arsenal put in an accomplished display in stormy conditions in the Dutch capital and could have led in the opening 20 minutes but Stina Blackstenius shot straight at the Ajax goalkeeper.

Miedema showed her class and settled any nerves six minutes into the second half as she struck home in style, finding the corner from 20 yards after a dynamic drive towards goal.

The Dutchwoman could have added a second soon after but her shot was well saved by Lize Kop.

The Gunners had a scare in the final 20 minutes when Tiny Hoekstra stabbed wide from close range after good work by Nadine Noordam. But Eidevall’s side survived and put their name in the hat for Monday’s group stage draw.

Eidevall: A weird experience

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Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall says it was a ‘very weird experience’ after the goals were measured to be 10cm too small before their Women’s Champions League qualifier against Ajax

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall said:

“It’s been a very weird experience being here. I think UEFA removed the concussion sub, they still have the concussion protocol which means the doctor takes the decision. There’s no doubt that Beth [Mead] needs to be taken off.

“The problem that I have is that I asked the fourth official if we can do a concussion sub and she said yes, and that’s why we are preparing Lina, and then when we are going to do it she says no.

“We had that break for two, three minutes and we could have spent a lot of that time speaking to the players on how we would have defended with 10. So I think that’s misinformation from the referee. I honestly don’t know how and why that can be, because for me it’s just such a simple question to answer yes or no.

“In Sweden – where I come from – in ice hockey it’s very big. If you tackle towards the head they’ve realised how dangerous that is, they are so harsh on penalising violence towards the head.

“If that’s not a red card to go towards a head like that – I know she doesn’t mean it – but it’s careless. And in the end it’s carelessness that puts Beth at real risk. I just hope she’s all right.”

Rangers run Benfica close before losing out

Benfica overcame a valiant Rangers in the second leg
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Benfica overcame a valiant Rangers in the second leg

Rangers saw their hopes of reaching the group stage of the Women’s Champions League ended with a 2-1 defeat in extra-time to Benfica after teenage substitute Emma Watson had scored a dramatic late goal.

Benfica, defending a 3-2 lead from the first leg at Ibrox, had dominated, but failed to convert numerous chances as Rangers keeper Victoria Esson produced a string of fine saves.

With just three minutes left, 16-year-old Watson slotted in from a corner to send the tie into extra-time.

Cloe Lacasse equalised on the night early on before Lucia Alves was sent off for a second caution and Jessica Silva wrapped things up with another goal for the hosts on the break as Benfica progressed 5-3 on aggregate.

Champions League second round results:

Slavia Prague 0-0 Valur (1-0 agg)

Vllaznia 2-1 Vorskla Poltava (3-2 agg)

Rosengard 3-1 Brann (4-2 agg)

Hacken 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain (1-4 agg)

Ajax 0-1 Arsenal (2-3 agg)

St Polten 2-2 KuPS (3-2 agg)

Zurich 3-0 Sarajevo (10-0 agg)

Real Madrid 2-1 Rosenborg (5-1 agg)

Benfica 2-1 Rangers (5-3 agg)

Juventus 2-0 Koge (3-1 agg)

What’s next for Arsenal?

Arsenal, having won both of their opening WSL matches, head to bottom club Reading after the international break on Sunday October 16, kick-off is at 6.45pm and the fixture is live on Sky Sports.

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PL Predictions: Back tempers to flare in NLD stalemate

A North London derby stalemate? Liverpool to stumble at home to Brighton? Surprise wins for Fulham and Wolves? Jones Knows is back with Premier League predictions.

Arsenal vs Tottenham, Saturday 12.30pm

How hot would you like your derby? This one is certainly more vindaloo than korma.

Expect spice. Expect plenty of intrigue.

As rivalries go, this one is fast becoming the star of the Premier League stable. It’s got history, hatred and what stands it out from the rest is that both teams are operating around the same level, jostling for supremacy.

Could you be the next winner of £250,000 with Super 6? Play for free.
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Could you be the next winner of £250,000 with Super 6? Play for free

Both are quality teams trying to swing punches at Manchester City and Liverpool above them. Trying to decipher who will land the heftiest punch on Saturday is a tricky one. Home advantage will obviously help Arsenal but this Spurs team are always good for a goal and I’m anticipating both teams being very happy with a draw at this stage of the season. I’m quite confident Arsenal’s drawless run of 24 Premier League games comes to an end here.

I am also going hunting for a bet in the cards markets.

In the past four seasons no fixture has produced more cards than an Arsenal vs Tottenham encounter. Forty yellows and four reds in the last eight meetings to be precise. I’d expect this to be fiercely contested in a red-hot atmosphere.

With that in mind, the 4/6 with Sky Bet on 50 or more booking points (10 for a yellow, 25 for a red) makes sense and I wouldn’t put people off eyeing up the 5/2 on 70 or more booking points. That bet would have landed in six of the last eight meetings between these two in the Premier League. I’m quite strong on the chances of the draw and cards, so am combining both to create a tasty 5/1 play.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1 | JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Match to end as a draw and 50 or more booking points (5/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Bournemouth vs Brentford, Saturday 3pm

Remember Thierry Henry’s handball against the Republic of Ireland? It doesn’t feel that long ago, does it? Well, in that same year – 2009 – this fixture was a League Two encounter. Roll the clock forward 13 years and Brentford and Bournemouth meet in the top division of English football for the very first time.

I’m hoping this one will be as explosive as that very game in 2009 where Darren Powell was shown a red card for fighting with his own team-mate as Brentford won 1-0!

Referee Thomas Brammall takes charge of just his second Premier League game here and I’m always looking to back the over cards lines for when an inexperienced referee takes charge of a top flight game. A referee of such nature trying to make his mark usually uses the rule book more stringently and delves into his pocket quicker which does increase the chances of a game going card heavy. The 50 or more bookings points line at 5/4 with Sky Bet is certainly worth a look.

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

This will be Graham Potter’s first Premier League match in charge of Chelsea and his boys have certainly been priced up on history rather than the here and now with a very skinny 4/5 with Sky Bet on offer for the away win.

Graham Potter
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How quickly will Chelsea adapt to Graham Potter?

In these early stages of the Potter era, I’d be steering clear of being too confident of Chelsea victories, especially away at a club like Crystal Palace, who do have a strong record against the ‘big six’ at home. Palace only suffered defeat in four Premier League home games last season – only Chelsea (3), Man City (2) and Liverpool (0) lost fewer. And, Patrick Vieira’s team took 14 points off the ‘big six’ last season and have already drawn with Liverpool at Anfield this campaign.

The Potter philosophy surrounding the way his team construct attacks revolves around getting players in between the lines in wide areas and then creating overloads to create space. It’s early days of course, but Raheem Sterling did play an important role in Potter’s first game against RB Salzburg, seeing lots of the ball and cutting off the left into dangerous attacking positions – as seen by his goal in that game. I’d expect him to be to the fore at Selhurst Park so those looking to invest in Sterling’s shots prices, three or more is 6/4 with Sky Bet or his goalscorer price of 9/4, shouldn’t be afraid of taking the plunge.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1

Fulham vs Newcastle, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

Newcastle are doing a very good job of making me look stupid. Not a difficult task many will argue.

I’ve made a strong case for them being overrated in forward areas this season but immediately after publishing such views, they go and turn into deadly goalscorers as seen when scoring three in their draw with Manchester City.

Yet, the longer-term performance data keeps on telling me that Eddie Howe’s side aren’t to be trusted to create high probability chances, which therefore means they are overrated by their status as the seventh-best team in the league when assessing the markets. Take for example in their last fixture against Bournemouth. A look at their non-penalty expected goals data showed they created zero big chances – defined by Opta – from their 19 shots on goal to an expected goals tally of 1.19.

It’s that ‘big chance’ data that keeps on catching my eye. Their total of 35 big chances created since Howe was appointed is the third lowest of all ever-present Premier League teams with only Everton and Wolves recorded fewer.

Going into this weekend where they are 13/10 favourites with Sky Bet potentially without Alexander Isak, Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson to beat a very forward-thinking and aggressive Fulham side, then there is huge value in taking them on.

Adarabioyo levelled for Fulham
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Fulham – unbeaten at home – are tipped to beat Newcastle

Remember, since beating Forest on opening weekend, Newcastle are also without a win in six Premier League games, drawing five.

The price that jumps out at me with Newcastle’s problems in forward areas is the Fulham to win to nil price at 9/2 with Sky Bet. For those that like to play safer, Fulham draw no bet at 11/10 also makes plenty of appeal.

SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0

Liverpool vs Brighton, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

Trying to rate a new manager appointment at a club is a tricky task when it comes to making sensible and hopefully logical predictions in the short term. However, I’d certainly be confident of Brighton getting it right with Roberto De Zerbi.

The people making the big calls at that club are amongst the shrewdest in the Premier League. If not the shrewdest.

De Zerbi did a sensational job with minnows Sassuolo while backed with considerably less resource than the Italian league’s traditional powerhouse clubs, all while selling star players during his tenure. Sound familiar?

Brighton should be backed to keep their levels high at Anfield with an eye on Leandro Trossard causing problems for Liverpool down their right side in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Trossard has scored in two of his five starts against Liverpool, registering 10 shots in those fixtures. His intelligent and tricky style of play should see him maraud into similarly dangerous positions yet again. The Evens with Sky Bet for him to have two shots and the 9/2 anytime scorer price both are worth a second look.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1

Southampton vs Everton, Saturday 3pm

I want Everton and Frank Lampard on my side right now.

There is momentum building within the ranks and it led to us nicking a hefty price on them to beat West Ham at 2/1 in their last fixture. In that game Everton showed yet again that Lampard has built a strong spine at the heart of the defence and a midfield that plays with aggression, tenacity and a sprinkling of ability. Alex Iwobi, Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana are a force to be reckoned with.

The style isn’t going to win any entertainment awards, especially on the road, but results and Premier League points are going to fall their way with such a strong defensive spine.

I’m happy to back them for an away win up against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, who bored me to tears at Villa Park in their last encounter. There has been a switch to being far more defensively sound but judging on that showing, the intensity and attacking creativity is suffering. Poor Ralph is struggling to find the balance.

Backing Everton and under 2.5 goals in the match at 11/2 looks like a price to potentially have a swing at.

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1

West Ham vs Wolves, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

I’ve been plotting a bet on Wolves when the price is right for the majority of the season – and now is the time to act.

With the carrot of 3/1 with Sky Bet for an away win dangling in front of me, I’m gobbling up that bait.

This looks the perfect time to head to West Ham, who are becoming a little stale under David Moyes despite significant investment in the summer. The boss is becoming the victim of his own success.

GRAPHIC

If Wolves are going to deliver on my faith then it’s certain that Ruben Neves will have a big part to play. For my money and to my eye, he’s the best central midfielder outside the ‘big six’ teams. Sorry, Declan.

I want to back him to score this weekend from the penalty spot. Neves, in the absence of Raul Jimenez, looks favourite to be on penalty duty for Wolves having scored all five of his spot kicks in the Premier League. And surely as newly appointed captain he will pull rank.

There is a debate and uncertainty about the kick taker due to Wolves only winning one penalty since the start of last season. No ever-present Premier League have won fewer. Brighton have won 10 in that same period and even Fulham have won two in just seven games back at the top level. On average there is a penalty awarded every 5.8 Premier League games since the start of last season, so Wolves’ run is pretty spectacular.

Ruben Neves is a 15/2 shot to score a penalty at West Ham
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Ruben Neves is a 15/2 shot to score a penalty at West Ham

It’s a strange statistic as the Wolves forward line is packed full of trickery too with Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and Goncalo Guedes capable of winning fouls. They rank fifth in the Premier League for fouls won in final third this season (17) whilst Guedes is currently being fouled 3.26 times per-90 minutes – which actually makes him the most fouled player in the Premier League, alongside Wilfred Zaha.

This anomaly in terms of penalties being won will rectify itself soon enough based on the data and this weekend might be the time to catch it against West Ham, who are prone to conceding spot kicks under Moyes due to their desire to defend deep and narrow inside their box. Along with already conceding two penalties this season, only three Premier League teams have conceded more penalties since Moyes returned at West Ham (17). Back Neves at 15/2.


Saturday 1st October 5:00pm


Kick off 5:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1 | JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Ruben Neves to score a penalty (15/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!) & Wolves to win 1-0 with Neves scoring a penalty (80/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Manchester City vs Manchester United, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

Manchester United are rough and tumble now and hard to score against. Will that be enough to stop Erling Haaland? Perhaps.

The match prices look about right to me though, with City hot favourites at 1/3 with Sky Bet. There is no interest from me in that regard but a special new market offered by Sky Bet revolving around player fouls has got my punting enthusiasm levels sparking.

Since the 4-0 drubbing at Brentford, no team has averaged more fouls per-90 minutes than Manchester United (13.5) as Erik ten Hag has resorted to, for now, a no-thrills, quite direct style with the backdrop of aggression and in-your-face defending. It’s probably smart management as something had to change stylistically.

United will have to ruffle the feathers of City’s players to stand a chance in this one and if Jack Grealish gets selected down the left, then United’s right-back Diogo Dalot’s foul count is worth a dabble with Sky Bet. Grealish still actively goes looking for fouls – not quite as much as his Aston Villa days but his average of winning 2.62 fouls per-90 minutes in a City shirt is still a healthy number. Dalot has made at least two fouls in four of his last five Premier League starts for United and will be keen to shutdown Grealish at every opportunity. He’s 8/11 with Sky Bet to make two or more fouls in the match and 9/4 to make three or more. Both are overpriced.

SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0

Leeds vs Aston Villa, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

To win a game of football away from home in the Premier League if you are outside the ‘big six’ takes a lot of doing. It’s a big achievement. Yes, the sample size is small but away teams have won just 23 per cent of their games this season which is a big drop to the average away win percentage of around 35 per cent over the last five seasons.

Teams that usually achieve away wins are in confident mood and are comfortable with the structure and tactics of their approach. That’s why I’m scratching my head at how short Aston Villa are to win at Leeds. Steven Gerrard’s team are 2/1 with Sky Bet for victory despite winning just once in their last eight away Premier League matches – a stinking run backed up by some very worrying attacking metrics.

Only Bournemouth have a lower expected goals tally this season than Villa (6.07) as Gerrard still has yet to stumble across a formula that gets the best out of his attacking players. With Lucas Digne and Boubacar Kamara now also unavailable for selection due to injury, Gerrard’s hand is further weakened this weekend. I would be gobsmacked if they left Elland Road with three points and at 4/11 with Sky Bet, Leeds to win or draw this match is an odds-on winner in waiting if tackling short prices is your thing.


Sunday 2nd October 4:00pm


Kick off 4:30pm

Sky Sports Main Event
Sky Sports Main Event

SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0

Leicester vs Nottingham Forest, Monday 8pm, live on Sky Sports

Leicester have shipped 22 goals already this season. That is some achievement.

It’s the most conceded by any club in their opening seven games of any Premier League season. In fact, you have to go back 57 years for the last time a top division team conceded 22 goals in their first seven games (West Ham in 65-66 – and they still managed to win the World Cup that season?).

Yet, according to the defensive performance data metrics, somehow Nottingham Forest are performing worse than the Foxes at the back as their expected goals against tally of 12.97 is the worst in the Premier League.

So, against such a leaky defence, James Maddison should be at the forefront of punting minds for this encounter. Maddison has 11 goal involvements in his last 10 Premier League appearances since May 11 – only Harry Kane, Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne have produced a heftier output. Of those 11 involvements, seven have been goals, identifying him as Leicester’s most dangerous attacking weapon.

James Maddison of Leicester City celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Southampton at King Power Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Leicester, England
Image:
James Maddison of Leicester City celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Southampton at the King Power Stadium in May last season

The markets haven’t really caught fully up with that fact yet and are allowing him to go off rather chunkier than what would be expected. Here, you can get 6/1 with Sky Bet on him scoring the first goal or 15/8 on him scoring at anytime.

SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1

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