Our tipster Jones Knows unleashes his tips, analysis and predictions on the weekend Premier League action and is backing Leeds to create a title twist vs Man City.
Newcastle vs Liverpool, Saturday 12.30pm
Many Liverpool fans think this might just be THE game where Jurgen Klopp’s boys hand the title initiative firmly to Manchester City. And it’s easy to see why. Since the turn of the year, only Liverpool have taken more Premier League points than the resurgent Toon.
That statistic alone will trigger plenty of interest in the Newcastle double chance selection (to win or draw) at 2/1 with Sky Bet.
It’s not a bet for me though. I’m in the Liverpool camp. This is a relentless team that have won 12 of their last 13 Premier League games.
Having watched most of Newcastle’s games under Eddie Howe, there is a case of overachievement on show here. Aggregate scores can be a pretty flimsy way of collating a strong opinion on a team but in their last 11 games where Newcastle have taken 25 points the aggregate score in those fixtures are just 16-11. That is backed up by the expected goals data which is eerily similar at 16.02-11.8.
This showcases that Howe’s men are winning matches by fine margins, meaning their current points per game ratio will be unsustainable in the short term. Howe has also faced all the top five teams since taking over and has lost all five games to an aggregate score of 15-2.
A Liverpool victory is the most likely outcome but Newcastle do have the defensive capabilities to make this a tricky task.
That previously mentioned 11.8 expected goals against figure does give Newcastle the third-best defensive process in the Premier League over their last 11 fixtures – only Liverpool and Manchester City are posting better numbers. And in nine of those 11 fixtures, Newcastle have kept the opposition xG against process below 1.00 with only Brighton and Tottenham breaking that barrier.
With such two sturdy defences on show in this game and Klopp’s men in ‘job done mode’, there is plenty of juice in backing Liverpool to win a low scoring encounter. Five of their last seven Premier League games have seen the Liverpool win and under 2.5 goals selection cop. It’s 3/1 with Sky Bet to go in again. That’ll do for me.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-2 | BETTING ANGLE: Liverpool to win and under 2.5 goals (3/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Aston Villa vs Norwich, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Norwich will be relegated if they lose here and Burnley win. Of all the places for Villa fan Dean Smith to fall through the trap door.
After Dan Burn came within a whisker of landing us a 40/1 first goalscorer winner last weekend against Norwich for Newcastle, it’s time to attack that angle again with Tyrone Mings. Of centre-backs to have played 2,000 minutes or more this season, only Joel Matip and Ethan Pinnock average a higher touches in the box per 90 minutes than Mings (1.73).
That ability to win the first contact has seen him post 21 shots on goal this season too, drawing an expected goals figure of 2.19 with his only actual goal coming against Brighton in November. He’s the value play at 40/1 to score first against a side that have faced the most shots and conceded the highest amount of expected goals from set-pieces this season.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Tyrone Mings to score first (40/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Southampton vs Crystal Palace, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
In a very tight game when it comes to the match result markets, my punting instincts have taken me to the goals market in a Southampton game once again. If you have been backing the over goal-line in Saints games this season you will be swimming in profit and it’s not time to ditch that theory in a game involving two teams that can play with the shackles off.
There have been two goals or more in 26 of Southampton’s last 27 games across all competitions, producing an overall average of 3.3 goals per game. That is a fair sample size and one we should take huge confidence from when assessing the goal-line in this fixture. Plus, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have conceded 19 goals in their last eight Premier League games since the start of March – only Watford have shipped more. Palace can make this an end-to-end encounter.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2 | BETTING ANGLE: Over 3.5 goals (5/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Watford vs Burnley, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Roy Hodgson must miss being retired. His side have won just two of their last 22 games in all competitions and have amassed the fewest home points (7) of any team in the top four divisions of English football. In the home defeat to Brentford, Watford became only the third team to lose 10 consecutive top-flight home games in a row, after Birmingham City in February 1986 and Sunderland in August 2005. Burnley have found form and confidence at just the right team. I’d be surprised if Watford can stop them registering another win.
The increased confidence is absolutely flowing through the feet of Dwight McNeil at the moment, who has looked a player reborn in the wins over Southampton and Wolves. The 22-year-old fell down the pecking order under Sean Dyche after struggling with his form. However, under the new boss Mike Jackson, he has had a look with the man in the mirror and revelled in his position off the right where he can cut in. He has fired six shots at goal in his last two appearances with two of those hitting the target.
His shots prices are a strong fancy of mine this weekend against arguably the worst team in the Premier League.
Take your pick on him to have two (11/10 with Sky Bet), three (7/2) or four (10/1) shots on goal or roll with the 6/4 with Sky Bet for him to have at least one shot on target. Also, McNeil has had more shots (42) and more shots on target (12) without scoring than any other player in the Premier League this season. The last player to have more attempts on target without finding the net in a single season was Jesús Navas in 2014-15 (17). He’s a big price to score at 13/2.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-2 | BETTING ANGLE: Dwight McNeil to have a shot on target (6/4 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
JONES KNOWS’ BEST BET: Dwight McNeil to score and have two shots on target (22/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Wolves vs Brighton, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!
Graham Potter continues to do a fine job with limited resources at Brighton. His teams don’t win enough but his ability to improve footballers and his tactical flexibility is going to land him one of the big jobs one day. His teams do have problems though playing against deep and compact defensive lines. For example, in matches facing Sean Dyche, Roy Hodgson, Nuno Espirito Santo, Bruno Lage, David Moyes, Sam Allardyce and Steven Gerrard – all managers that concentrate on organisation and defensive structure – Potter’s record reads P28 W3 D15 L10.
Wolves deservedly won the reverse fixture 1-0 at the Amex earlier this campaign, soaking up pressure for large parts and hitting decisively on the counter-attack. With the case for under 2.5 goals a very obvious but very strong one to make considering these two sit bottom of the pile for average goals per game, backing a Wolves win and under 2.5 seems a sensible strategy.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0 | BETTING ANGLE: Wolves to win and under 2.5 goals (4/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Leeds vs Manchester City, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
Call me what you like, I’m taking on Manchester City here at 1/4 with Sky Bet.
The money is portraying that Pep Guardiola’s boys stand an 80 per cent chance of winning this match. I’m happy to swim against that tide despite the haunting thoughts of the last time I tipped Leeds to get a result against Manchester City. Pep’s team won 7-0. Gulp.
I am very edgy about City after they have played a Champions League knockout match – a theory which has yielded good profit. There is a pattern emerging of them being vulnerable. After 15 knockout games where that tie was realistically in the balance, they have lost on seven occasions in the next domestic match to Leeds (1-2), Chelsea (0-1), Chelsea (1-2), Wigan (0-1), Manchester United (2-3), Tottenham (2-3) and Liverpool (2-3).
They have conceded a goal in 10 of those 15 encounters, too. Of course, the sample size is pretty small but there does seem a drop in levels after a big midweek effort in Europe where the emotions involved in their pursuit for that elusive trophy do seem to weigh heavy. That can certainly be said for the Real Madrid encounter on Tuesday.
This might be a great time for Leeds to catch them cold and do Liverpool a favour.
Jesse Marsch’s side have kept successive clean sheets and conceded just four goals in their last five Premier League games and have Kalvin Phillips back at the base of their midfield. Since promotion, Leeds have conceded an average of 1.2 goals per 90 minutes with him in the team and 2.6 without him. His influence is gigantic. And he can play a leading role in helping Leeds avoid defeat at 11/4 with Sky Bet.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Leeds to win or draw (11/4 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Everton vs Chelsea, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports
Since the start of the 18/19 season, Goodison Park is the only Premier League ground Chelsea have visited and taken no points with Everton winning the last three home fixtures against the west Londoners. You’re a braver punter than me if you want to back Everton here though.
The home win did actually tempt me as we have classic case of siding with the team with it all to play for against one that hasn’t. Chelsea also seem to be finally feeling the strain of the uncertain atmosphere lingering at the club. This state of flux is allowing some iffy results to creep in.
However, despite a drop in focus, Chelsea have won eight of their last nine away games in all competitions and it certainly should be nine from nine after their dominant performance at Old Trafford.
The man at the heart of that showing was Reece James, who was in rampaging form switched back to his attack-minded wing-back role after a few weeks of playing in the back three. When he’s on song, Chelsea are a different animal.
He had the most touches in the opposition box of any Chelsea player in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford (10) and the most touches overall (113) which showcases just how involved he was. There were also four shots on goal from James to an expected goals return of 0.33. He should have had an assist with Kai Havertz to blame for not converting following a delicious cross.
“What a player Reece James is,” said Roy Keane on his performance.
“He looks like a boxer. His distribution, movement, strength. He seems like a nice kid too. He’s a clever lad, could play in any position. Chelsea are a lucky club to have him. Outstanding.”
With James fully fit, confident and playing against a team likely to be relegated, the England man is a fantastic bet across a variety of markets this weekend. Take your pick from him to have two shots (Evens with Sky Bet), three shots (3/1) and four shots (17/2). But he’s more than just a shots merchant, scoring five Premier League goals this season. The 5/1 with Sky Bet on him to bag anytime is a beauty.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-2 | BETTING ANGLE: Reece James to score (5/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
JONES KNOWS’ BEST BET: James to score and have two shots on target (10/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Tottenham vs Leicester, Sunday 2pm
Sound the alarm. Harry Kane has now gone 483 minutes without a goal.
But just when he needs a helping hand, his favourite opponent comes knocking at the door. The deadly frontman has scored more goals against Leicester in the Premier League (16) than any other club in his career, with 12 in his last eight starts.
The Kane scoring angle is one obviously well found in the market with 14/5 with Sky Bet on him scoring first and 5/6 on the anytime option. But I think we can be more aggressive than that with Spurs capable of running up high scoring wins in their favour under Antonio Conte once getting the first goal (4-0 vs Aston Villa, 5-0 vs Everton, 5-1 vs Newcastle). That has led me to the Kane to score at least twice selection at 9/2 with Sky Bet – something he has done four times in his career vs Leicester.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Harry Kane to score at least twice (9/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
West Ham vs Arsenal, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
West Ham and Liverpool are only sides to have scored in every home Premier League game this season with the Hammers scoring in their last 18 league matches at the London Stadium.
Every run must come to an end though.
Despite Arsenal’s slight wobble of late, their overall defensive process when the axis of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Gabriel play is the best in the Premier League outside Manchester City and Liverpool. They have kept a clean sheet in 13 of their 29 games played together, including in the 2-0 win in the reverse fixture at The Emirates.
Since West Ham had the welcome addition of the Europa League knockouts to their schedule, their eyes have wandered from their Premier League form – and who can blame them. With the season-defining fixture with Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, it’s easy to see David Moyes resting his key players like Declan Rice and Michail Antonio once again. Plus, with Craig Dawson suspended and Kurt Zouma unlikely to be risked, Moyes has no first-team centre-backs available for selection.
This is the perfect time for Arsenal to play them and Mikel Arteta’s team can win to nil.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Arsenal to win to nil (9/4 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Manchester United vs Brentford, Monday 8pm, live on Sky Sports
It’s a sorry situation for Manchester United when the price on an away win for Brentford is as short as 7/2. Thomas Frank’s side are now much more than just a bus stop in Hounslow and this is a fixture that they should be relishing. Despite the current state of the Manchester club, winning at Old Trafford for the first time since 1937 would be a momentous moment for the Bees.
The problem for them is Manchester United have Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo moved level with Heung-Min Son to joint second in the Premier League goalscoring charts with his 17th of the season on Thursday, earning United a 1-1 draw with Chelsea. You can rest assured, he has eyes on Mohamed Salah, who is five away. He’ll be on penalties, surely.
The 37-year-old has scored eight of United’s last nine goals, including match-winning hat-tricks against Tottenham and Norwich, in an emphatic response to criticism that came his way earlier in the season during a run of one goal in 10 games. Sometimes the most obvious play is the savvy play. Just back Ronaldo to score twice at 9/2 with Sky Bet.