Jadon Sancho will shine in a Manchester United win over Leicester, says Jones Knows who is back with his array of insight, analysis, tips and predictions.
Liverpool vs Watford, Saturday 12.30pm
Roy Hodgson’s style of football has a habit of frustrating the opposition – but Jurgen Klopp’s teams rarely have problems against Roy’s low block.
Klopp has a perfect seven wins from seven matches against Hodgson, winning the last three by an aggregate score of 13-0. With such focus in their eyes in the pursuit of this Premier League title, it’s hard to see how timid Watford can truly trouble the hosts.
My instinct always draws me to opposing goals in the early kick-off on a Saturday as the atmosphere can sometimes take time to get going. The numbers do not overly back that theory up when assessing a large sample size, but seven of the last eight Premier League games to kick off at 12.30pm on a Saturday have seen the game produce under 2.5 goals.
Also, from the last 22 fixtures with a 12.30pm Saturday kick-off, 17 of those have only seen one of the teams score which does add further weight to the low-scoring game argument.
Liverpool’s overall goal output has decreased in the last few weeks, too. In their last seven games across all competitions, they have scored just eight goals as the swaggering, energy-sapping performances have been replaced by ‘job done’ ones.
Adding the game to produce under 3.5 goals looks a smart way of backing Liverpool at a reasonable price.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0 | BETTING ANGLE: Liverpool to win and under 3.5 goals (6/4 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Brighton vs Norwich, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
If Graham Potter is to reach the places he’s expected to go as a manager by the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, then his Brighton team need to snap out of their current malaise of winning just three of their last 24 Premier League games.
Potter’s side have lost each of their last six games, scoring just one goal in that run and averaging just two shots on target per 90 minutes. Those chances created have equated to an expected goals figure of just 5.8 in those six matches.
It’s a worrying downward trend for Potter, whose team has averaged over 1.2 expected goals per 90 minutes since he took the job. For that average to drop below 1.0 in a run of fixtures that has included Aston Villa, Burnley and Newcastle is a worry.
Even up against the worst team in the Premier League here, they are not to be trusted at 4/9 with Sky Bet.
Norwich are also woeful in front of goal, though, scoring just eight goals on the road in their 14 away games this season. When assessing both teams’ recent fixtures, there have only been five goals scored in their last 12 matches combined. That makes the 0-0 a definite runner.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Burnley vs Manchester City, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
In the last nine fixtures between these two teams in all competitions, Manchester City can boast a 32-1 aggregate scoreline. This may seem a fiddly test for Pep Guardiola’s men but they always run the Turf Moor gauntlet with the right attitude.
I’ll be leaving the match markets well alone as City are 1/5 with Sky Bet, and instead I’ll be playing the cards market with Burnley to pick up more cards than Manchester City an odds-on poke (4/5 with Sky Bet) to give serious consideration to.
Burnley’s style of play does not generate much action for opposition players getting booked. They lack any sort of pace on the counter-attack, usually bypassing midfield with their play, so chances for a desperate lunge or a cynical foul are thin on the ground. In their last 16 games, they have drawn 16 yellow cards from their opponents, leaving their average as the lowest for opposition cards won of any team in the Premier League during that period.
City do not exactly rack up the cards either, but in a game where they are bound to dominate possession and get Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling into dangerous positions, just one card for Burnley should be enough for them to win the cards race.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-2 | BETTING ANGLE: Burnley to pick up most booking points (4/5 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Chelsea vs Brentford, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Brentford’s season has sparked back into life with the arrival of Christian Eriksen and return to form of Ivan Toney.
However, Chelsea are peaking at just the right time. The Premier League may have slipped, but such is Thomas Tuchel’s record in cup competitions you would not be surprised to see Chelsea in both FA Cup and Champions League finals come the end of the campaign. Tuchel’s formula is all about structure and Chelsea’s at the moment is rock solid, led by the simply masterful Thiago Silva.
Brentford are going to have to create something very special to score past a defence that has conceded just once in the last five games and just 11 times from open play all season – no team has conceded fewer. A Chelsea win to nil at Evens with Sky Bet makes perfect sense.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0 | BETTING ANGLE: Chelsea to win to nil (Evens with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Leeds vs Southampton, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Leeds showed at Wolves why they won’t be going down this season. It was a performance level akin to a Everton, Watford, Burnley and Norwich, but what they have in abundance is team unity and spirit to get results out of nothing.
Jesse Marsch has tightened them up slightly, but his workings will be judged next season when he’s had time to shape his squad. This game screams draw to me.
I’ll be once again having an interest in the attacking performance of Kyle Walker-Peters. The full-back is given a huge amount of licence to get forward in Ralph Hansenhuttl’s system and will be feeling good about himself, having made his England debut at Wembley last weekend.
He has managed a shot in six of his last nine starts, including firing three against Manchester City in the FA Cup, three against Everton and four at home to Norwich.
Against Leeds – a team that have shipped the second most shots on goal this season (458) – I will be very surprised if he doesn’t manage at least one shot at a very generous 4/5 with Sky Bet, especially if he plays down the left where he can cut in on his right foot.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Kyle Walker-Peters to have a shot (4/5 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Wolves vs Aston Villa, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
As rivalries go, this one would not hold a candle to many across the world – but with both Birmingham and West Brom down in the Sky Bet Championship, this game does feel a bit spicier. Fans need a derby fix and this clash provides it.
And recent history of meetings at Molineux do paint the picture of some bad blood. In the past two games, there have been 21 yellows and two red cards shown.
Steven Gerrard likes his Villa team to compete aggressively all over the pitch, too. Since his appointment, only Leeds’ games have produced a higher total cards per 90 minutes than Villa’s overall average of 4.5.
That seems a fair line for booking points for this encounter, especially with Darren England in charge. In five of his last 15 games, England has dished out six cards or more. I like the look of this one going the same way in a very tight but full-blooded encounter.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1 | BETTING ANGLE: 50 or more booking points (11/10 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Manchester United vs Leicester, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
The fact Leicester are bigger than 5/1 with Sky Bet to beat a flaky Manchester United side tells you all you need to know about how drastically their numbers have dropped this season. This is a team that have beaten United in their last three meetings but there is absolutely no market confidence behind them.
It’s to do with their staggeringly bad performance metrics, using the expected goals model that have them actually battling relegation this season rather than challenging towards the top six.
Only Burnley have faced more shots per game, and only Norwich have conceded a higher expected goals figure per game this season. The advanced data shows Leicester to be one of the more fortunate teams this season too, picking up 11 more points than their performance data has expected.
Despite winning three of their last four games, performances remain average with Brentford – one of the worst travellers in the Premier League – very unfortunate not to take something from their recent clash, creating an expected goals figure of 1.79 in their 2-1 defeat.
One thing Manchester United do possess is ruthless quality in the final third, so if Leicester continue to offer up chances at their current rate, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes – all of which are in good form – should find a pathway to goal.
Sancho’s shots on target prices have caught my eye.
The United winger looks in fine fettle playing off the left, scoring twice in his last five starts and seems very confident in his role under Ralf Rangnick.
In those five starts, he has managed six shots on target, registering at least one in every game. As mentioned, Leicester are an easy team to open up and in matches against the traditional ‘big six’ this season, they have faced an average of 7.5 shots on target per 90 minutes. I would be quite confident that Sancho can be responsible for one of those at 4/6 with Sky Bet and even his price of 7/2 with Sky Bet for two shots on target is worth chancing.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Jadon Sancho to have a shot on target (4/6 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
West Ham vs Everton, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports
Regular readers will know I have been keen to take West Ham on in recent weeks due to their lack of strength in depth, over-reliance on Michail Antonio and busy Europa League schedule.
Not this weekend, though. West Ham look a huge price to me at 3/4 with Sky Bet.
Antonio has had a full week to refresh ahead of a big week for the Hammers that sees them play Lyon at the London Stadium on Thursday. He should be at full throttle here, having been left out of Jamaica’s squad over the international break.
Antonio’s impact when well rested for West Ham is gigantic.
On the last 22 occasions where Antonio has had a rest period of seven days or more between games, West Ham have won 17 games, losing just two of those. Those defeats were a totally understandable defeat away at Manchester City and a 3-2 home defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day where Antonio scored and the Hammers won the expected goals battle in a positive performance.
The last time Antonio was afforded some time off and missed meeting up with Jamacia was in September, which subsequently coincided with a four-game winning run for West Ham, that included victories over Tottenham and Liverpool.
Furthermore, Antonio’s personal record after a break seems to spike. In those aforementioned 22 matches, the striker has racked up 18 goal involvements (10 goals, eight assists) suggesting that his performance level increases after being able to rest his overworked limbs.
It takes a well-organised and defensively disciplined side to cause David Moyes’ team problems, which is something Everton are not, and I’m expecting a dominant showing from the Hammers, with Antonio at the forefront.
Everton crumble defensively under minimal pressure and do not possess the backbone to pick up points away from home in the Premier League. They have the worst away record in the Premier League, with just six points taken from 13 games, the only win coming at Brighton. They are without a win in 11 away Premier League games, taking just two points from 33 available.
Frank Lampard has not helped matters, either in terms of defensive structure on the road, conceding 14 goals in his four away games in charge across all competitions. Moyes will have noted that nine of those goals came via crosses into the Everton penalty area. West Ham have scored 13 goals from crosses this season – no team have scored more via that route. Antonio will be licking his lips at ending his 10-game Premier League drought.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-0 | BETTING ANGLE: Michail Antonio to score first (11/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!
JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Michail Antonio to score and West Ham to win (11/4 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Tottenham vs Newcastle, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
Tottenham know a two-goal win will take them into the top four before Arsenal play Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football. It would be the first time the club have been in the top four in the final two months of a season since finishing fourth in the 18/19 campaign.
He has had bumps in the road, but Antonio Conte is showing why he is one of the best operators in world football. Spurs are proving hard to score against and deadly in attack. It’s a simple combination that looks set to take them closer to the top three next season once Conte adds more quality into understrength areas of his starting XI.
Spurs have taken 21 points from 12 games in 2022 – only Liverpool (28) taken more points this calendar year. And although Newcastle are a tougher nut to crack these days, they are still quite far away from being able to compete with a top Premier League team on the road.
I fancy Spurs to win quite comfortably and Sergio Reguilon to score. The Spaniard doesn’t look to have the trust of Conte just yet, but he’s managed to force his way into the side in the left wing-back slot that does provide plenty of licence for that player to join attacks.
In his last two starts, he has had five shots with two of those on targets which has generated an expected goals figure of 0.74. In a game at home against a team they are 1/2 with Sky Bet to beat, his 6/1 anytime scorer odds are just too big to pass up.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-0 | BETTING ANGLE: Sergio Reguilon to score (6/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal, Monday 8pm, live on Sky Sports
Since the Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Gabriel axis was formed four games into the season, Arsenal have scored 14 first-half goals in their last 11 away Premier League matches. Only Liverpool have scored more – and that’s despite the Gunners playing two games less than the majority of their rivals.
Mikel Arteta instructs his team to play aggressively from the off and that is seen by 11 of their 14 first-half goals away from home coming before the 30th minute. That is the most scored in that period when assessing away games, along with Liverpool.
Arsenal have won their last five Premier League away games, scoring 14 goals and have led at the break in their last six – the only blip being the second-half collapse at Everton.
Palace are a tough nut to crack at home, but do have a tendency of starting very slowly in matches. They have failed to score in the first half of 10 of their 15 home matches, including against Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea. All of this adds up to Arsenal being in front at the break at 13/8 with Sky Bet looking like a solid play.
Whether they can hold on and remain in pole position to finish in a Champions League place will be all about their ability to see the game out in the second period. I have faith.