PL Predictions: Man Utd to grind out win over Burnley

The Premier League is back with a full midweek fixture list and Jones Knows has you covered for insight, analysis, score predictions and best bets.

Newcastle vs Everton, Tuesday 7.45pm – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £250,000!

No time for Frank Lampard to get his feet under the table. He has to get to work quickly in order to drag Everton away from a potential relegation scrap. A win for Newcastle here would take them to within one point of the Toffees, who have been posting relegation performance numbers over the past two months so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by their current situation.

I wouldn’t be mega convinced Lampard is the right man for this particular task of making Everton harder to beat in the short term, either. But that isn’t based on any real hard evidence, more of a hunch on the way he went about his business at Derby and Chelsea. Signs were promising in the FA Cup win over Brentford.

With so many unknowns surrounding how both teams will shape up in what feels like a first game of the season scenario, I’m swerving the traditional match markets and heading to the cards market for a potential angle in.

In terms of cards shown per 90 minutes in matches this season, Newcastle (4.5 cards per match) and Everton (4.1) sit second and fourth in that particular table. Plus, recent battles between these two have resulted in tempers flaring with 13 cards shown in their two meetings last season.

Tensions are likely to run high between two card-happy teams in the relegation cauldron at St James’ Park – a ground that can absolutely help ignite a game to become pretty spicy, especially under the floodlights.

In four of the last five evening kick-offs, there have been four or more cards dished out – the only exception being Newcastle’s home clash with Norwich where an early red card to Ciaran Clark made for an encounter where Newcastle had to defend deep for the majority.

Back both teams to receive 20 or more booking points (10 points for a yellow, 25 for a red).

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Back 20+ booking points each team (11/10 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

West Ham vs Watford, Tuesday 7.45pm – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £250,000!

West Ham are a hideous price in this one at 2/5 with Sky Bet – but can we really trust Watford to take advantage against a team that look to me at the start of a downward trend of trajectory? The Hammers showed again on Saturday in the FA Cup that when Michail Antonio isn’t fit or Declan Rice is missing for some reason, they are a much more timid proposition.

However, such is Watford’s woeful record this season and the return of Antonio, I have got no interest in backing them in the match result market despite the 15/2 with Sky Bet looking quite juicy. West Ham will most probably be too ruthless for the Hornets in key moments of the match but Roy Hodgson’s men are worth a look in the shots and goals department at the advertised prices. Both teams to score at 4/5 with Sky Bet looks worth a follow.

No team have seen both teams score in their fixtures more than West Ham this season (15 of 23 games) and despite lacking in many areas, Watford’s attack is full of pace and trickery as shown by their 12 goals scored away from home this season – more than any of their relegation rivals.

West Ham are also facing a lot of shots on their goal over the past month.

The Hammers do defend deeper than most top-ranked teams, so opposition teams do find territory easy to come by.

David Moyes’ men have faced a whopping 15.4 shots per 90 minutes in their last nine Premier League fixtures. Even Kidderminster – of the National League North – managed to register 13 shots, 10 of those in normal time, against the hapless Hammers at the weekend in the FA Cup.

Image: Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis celebrates scoring against West Ham

Watford have managed 11 or more shots in eight of their last 10 Premier League fixtures, including recording 14 against West Ham in the previous fixture. I can see similar lines being posted in this one. So, the best bet recommendation is to combine both teams to score and Watford to post 13 more shots at West Ham’s goal.

SCORE PREDICTION: 2-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Watford to have 12 or more shots (11/10 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Both teams to score and Watford to have 13 or more shots (7/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Burnley vs Manchester United, Tuesday 8pm – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £250,000!

Backing a game to produce an under goal-line isn’t a bet for everyone as it goes against the reasons why we all love the sport but if it leads us on a path to profit, I’m all for a bore-fest. And, this game just screams under 2.5 goals.

Past fixtures can be a misleading and unreliable way of forming an argument for a potential punt as so much can change season-on-season but the fact this fixture at Turf Moor has produced two goals or less on the last seven occasions is hard to ignore. In that time, Burnley have only scored once – can you remember Robbie Blake’s winner in a 1-0 win in 2009?

Sean Dyche isn’t going to turn into Kevin Keegan for this fixture so Burnley’s approach will be cautious with the hope of finding joy in the key moments in both boxes. In their last eight fixtures with teams in the top eight, seven of those matches have also fallen under the 2.5 goal line.

Throw in Ralf Rangnick’s pragmatic approach to life at Old Trafford so far that has seen an average of just 2.1 goals per match in his 11 games in charge with seven of those falling under the 2.5 line and you have got yourself a recipe for a low scoring affair.

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Back under 2.5 goals (Evens with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Manchester City vs Brentford, Wednesday 7.45pm – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £250,000!

Finding fault with the way Manchester City play football is a pedantic task. But I do have the urge to nit-pick at Pep Guardiola’s side. I’m not fully convinced their attack is functioning at peak City levels.

In fact, there has been plenty of evidence of this in their last four Premier League fixtures. Just four goals scored from open play with the backdrop of a non-penalty expected goals total of 4.43 is dipping way below the usual average of what a Guardiola attack produces and that theory is backed up on the eye-test.

Jack Grealish looks a little lost whilst Phil Foden has yet to find his usual sparkle – scary really, considering the way they have ripped up the Premier League. For most of the first half against Southampton, they lacked zip in their approach and much the same was on show in the win over Arsenal where they were fortunate to leave with all three points.

Brentford restricted them to just 1.04 worth of expected goals in the 1-0 win for City in the reverse fixture. Now, I’m not advocating going wild on the 25/1 quotes for an away win here – far from it – but the odds surrounding Brentford’s ability to keep the score respectable certainly do appeal to me, especially now they have upgraded their goalkeeper from Alvaro Fernandez to David Raya, who is back from injury. I’m happy to invest in Brentford with a +3 goal handicap, meaning we’ll cop a return if they win, draw, lose by one or lose by two.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0 | BETTING ANGLE: Brentford +3 handicap (10/11 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Norwich vs Crystal Palace, Wednesday 7.45pm

This is a tough one. I can’t back Norwich. And I can’t back Crystal Palace away from home.

Dean Smith’s side aren’t fooling me despite winning their last three games. They were pretty dreadful vs Watford up until Josh Sargent’s moment of magic/slice of luck to open the scoring in a game where that opening goal was going to be more crucial than ever. Despite winning 3-0 and playing against 10-men for the majority of the second half they still managed to lose the expected goals battle. Confidence should be on the up but there is still a clear lack of quality across the pitch.

That said, I’m not comfortable putting faith in Crystal Palace at 21/20 with Sky Bet. They are positing relegation numbers away from home, barring in their only road victory this season, unbelievably, at Manchester City. In 10 away matches they have amassed just a total expected goals figure of 8.2 this season, failing to score at Leeds, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Then again they have drawn with Arsenal, West Ham and Brighton and beat Manchester City, so maybe I’m overplaying their poor run. Patrick Vieira had similar problems scoring goals on the road at Nice, where his team averaged just 0.9 goals per 90 minutes in his 37 matches managing the French side away from home. Perhaps his possession-based, controlled-style is tough to implement when opposition teams play with more belief at home.

The under goals line have been well found by the market so I’ve headed to the half-time correct score market where 0-0 is a runner at 7/4 with Sky Bet. Norwich have failed to score in 77 per cent of their first halves this season whilst Palace aren’t far behind them having drawn a blank in 72 per cent of their matches before the break.

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-0 | BETTING ANGLE: 0-0 correct score at half-time (7/4 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Tottenham vs Southampton, Wednesday 7.45pm

Tottenham made me look a tad stupid against Chelsea. Not for the first time, many will argue.

Yet my faith in the north Londoners under Antonio Conte hasn’t been knocked too much despite doing my beans on a Spurs win at Stamford Bridge. Conte has taken a sledgehammer through the side, trimmed the fat and has quickly realised the players he trusts and how to best utilise them. With Harry Kane playing at his current level, they will be a match for anyone in this Premier League when at full strength. Since Conte took charge, only Manchester City and Liverpool are averaging a higher expected goals total per 90 minutes than Tottenham (2.03 per 90).

And my money will be following them across a variety of markets between now and the end of the season. The 13/8 with Sky Bet for a top-four finish needs serious consideration for starters.

Image: Antonio Conte and Harry Kane are a combination to fear

Unfortunately, we’re not getting any fancy prices about this game being a relatively straightforward home win. Spurs are 8/13 with Sky Bet for good reason.

However, when you factor in Tottenham’s high expected goals tally, the current form of Kane and the return of Heung-Min Son, goals should be on the menu and backing Spurs to win and over 3.5 goals at 100/30 with Sky Bet looks a savvy play. Southampton’s games on the road this season are averaging 3.27 per 90 minutes with 64 per cent of those matches seeing four or more goals scored.

SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Tottenham to win and over 3.5 goals (100/30 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Aston Villa vs Leeds, Wednesday 8pm

Much of the midweek Premier League fare does point to low-scoring, cagey games. Not this one.

Under the lights at Villa Park, all the ingredients should result in a very watchable, end-to-end football match with both teams fully rested up for two weeks following their exits from the FA Cup at the third-round stage.

Steven Gerrard isn’t a gung-ho type of manager, but, you can try and play as controlled and savvy as you want, but Leeds will draw you into engaging in a slug-fest of a match as the space they offer up in transitions is so inviting for opposition players. The home crowd will only encourage their side to adopt such an attack-minded approach – as seen in the reverse fixture last season that ended up with 39 shots being fired at goal across both teams – the third-highest seen in any game last season. I’m happy to back for the game to go a similar path this season too with the 31 or more match shots line worth an interest.

With fireworks predicted, cards have to be on the agenda too. Leeds’ games have averaged the most cards of any team in the Premier League this season (4.8) with Villa’s not too far behind them on 4.4. Jarred Gillett is a relatively inexperienced referee on these shores and has been very card-happy on what we’ve seen so far, brandishing seven yellows in Watford vs Newcastle and five in Brentford vs Norwich. Take advantage of Sky Bet’s double of 31 or more match shots and the game to produce 50 or more booking points at 8/1.

SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2 | BETTING ANGLE: 50 or more booking points (11/8 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Over 50 booking points & 31 or more match shots (8/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Liverpool vs Leicester, Thursday 7.45pm

Excuse the blowing of trumpets, but it proved to be an inspired decision to back Leicester in the reverse fixture between these two at The King Power. Do we repeat the trick at Anfield? Despite some iffy results, Brendan Rodgers still has his attack playing some very dangerous football and Liverpool aren’t the invincible winning machine of yesteryear. This is a team that have lost to West Ham and Leicester this season and drawn with Brentford and Brighton. They wobbled in the second half against Crystal Palace too in their last league fixture.

I’m happy to swerve the 1/4 with Sky Bet for a home win, yet, I’m not really getting too excited about a pro-Leicester play at the prices as their defence remains leaky. Backing the draw at 21/4 with Sky Bet makes sense with the hope the Foxes can repeat their tactics from the previous fixture of defending central areas authoritatively and hitting dynamically on the counter attack.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Back the draw (6/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Wolves vs Arsenal, Thursday 7.45pm

They don’t turn many heads with their style of play, but Wolves are creeping into the European picture. This fixture will provide them with a great barometer of how seriously those knocking around the top-six should take their charge. You can get 33/1 on a Wolves top-four finish which looks a tall order with only one place up for grabs and 9/2 for a top-six finish which will be a thing of the past if they win this one.

Arsenal are perhaps a tad short in the market at 6/5 for the away win considering they have failed to beat Everton, Manchester United, Brighton and Brentford on the road this season – but their extra firepower in the final third does give them the advantage in this fixture. I’ve got my eye on Bukayo Saka opening the scoring in what is likely to be a low-scoring affair settled by a moment of inspiration.

Image: Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka can score first in an Arsenal win

Saka is becoming Arsenal’s go-to guy in the final third. The England star has netted four in his last four Premier League encounters, averaging just over four shots per 90 minutes. I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t end up the club’s top goalscorer come the end of the season and he can net the first goal here at 7/1 with Sky Bet.

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Bukayo Saka to score first (7/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Jones Knows’ best bets….

  • Current P+L for the season: +47

1pt on: West Ham vs Watford: Both teams to score and Watford to have 13 or more shots (7/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

1pt on: Aston Villa vs Leeds: Over 50 booking points & 31 or more match shots (8/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

1pt on: Under 13.5 goals in Everton vs Newcastle, West Ham vs Watford, Burnley vs Man Utd, Man City vs Brentford, Norwich vs Crystal Palace and Arsenal vs Wolves (100/30 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)

Source : Sky Sports