Our tipster Jones Knows attacks the first Premier League fixtures of 2023…
Tottenham vs Aston Villa, New Year’s Day 2pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £250,000!
Tottenham are always one defeat away from a full-blown crisis – one might be coming here.
I’m a huge believer in Antonio Conte’s methods but his contract situation, amid reports of ongoing negotiations, added to his team’s woeful intensity early on in games is going to bite them at some point.
And when assessing the match prices here, the market is too skewed in favour of Spurs, who are so skinny at 8/13 with Sky Bet to beat an improving Aston Villa.
Conte’s men have conceded first in each of their last nine games in all competitions and have gone 2-0 down in six of those. That is a reliable set of data pointing to serious flaws in the way Tottenham approach matches.
Eventually, a savvy and shrewd side with good defensive nous is going to make Spurs pay. Villa could be that team under Unai Emery and have shown really positive signs with their performance levels against Manchester United, Brighton and Liverpool. Emery’s team deserved both their wins against United and Brighton when assessing the performance data and created a healthy expected goals figure of 1.44 against Liverpool in a game where conceding first to Jurgen Klopp’s side is never ideal from a game state perspective.
There are lots of ways to get Aston Villa on side with your money. Keeping it simple and backing them to avoid defeat at 5/4 with Sky Bet stands out as the major play but Villa to score first at 15/8 and Villa to be winning at half-time at 4/1 also are worth considering.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2 | JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Aston Villa to win or draw (5/4 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea, New Year’s Day 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £250,000!
The match prices look about right to me with Chelsea likely to get the job done at odds-on with that extra quality in the final third, especially with Morgan Gibbs-White missing for the hosts, but Forest will be digging in and creating problems for the Londoners at various points.
One area that may prove fertile for them is set-pieces.
I thought Chelsea looked shaky when defending their box under pressure from corners and free-kicks against Bournemouth, with the Cherries creating a healthy 0.29 worth of expected goals via set-pieces with Lloyd Kelly and Dominic Solanke both missing the target from close range. Since Graham Potter took charge, Chelsea’s overall defensive metrics from set-pieces are nosediving. They have shipped 33 shots from such scenarios to an expected goals backdrop of 3.18 – only six teams have a worse output from the day Potter took over.
With that in mind, it’s certainly worth looking at the Forest centre-backs to threaten.
Since Joe Worrall and Willy Boly have been paired together four games ago, they have had eight shots between them and that’s not including Boly’s disallowed goal against Manchester United.
Worrall is 13/8 with Sky Bet and Boly is 2/1 to have at least one shot in the player shots market. Both those prices look big – and I’ll be backing the 4/5 on offer for either to have at least one shot vs Chelsea as part of my 3/1 New Year’s Day double.