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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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