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By Lewis Jones, Football Journalist
Our betting guru Jones Knows is back to preview an exciting weekend of Premier League action, where he sees Man Utd keeping the scoreline respectable at Anfield.
Arsenal vs Brighton, Sunday 2pm
In their last 26 matches across all competitions against Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal, Brighton have scored 46 goals. To average almost two goals per game in these fixtures against such elite oppositions is outrageous, therefore the total Brighton goals line is my desired angle here.
Roberto De Zerbi’s attack have also scored in their last 21 games away from home in the Premier League. They won’t be changing their risk-reward style for anyone, especially taking on a team they’ve scored eight goals against in their three fixtures with De Zerbi in charge. Arsenal should be nervous.
The 11/4 with Sky Bet for the Seagulls to score two or more goals is likely to give you a great run in what could be a fantastic spectacle of a football match.
Keep an eye on Pascal Gross getting in on the goal involvement act, too.
De Zerbi has employed him in a very creative hybrid role on the left of the Brighton midfield where he is linking up with Karou Mitoma very intelligently and providing very dangerous attacking moments for his side.
Across his last 303 minutes of Premier League action, he has registered five goal involvements (four assists, one goal) whilst posting six shots on target and creating 15 total chances for his teammates. Phenomenal numbers from a phenomenally underrated footballer who can be backed at 9/1 with Sky Bet to score or assist, have a shot on target and register two shots. That’s a great bet.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-2 | JONES KNOWS BEST BET: Pascal Gross to score or assist, have at least two shots & one on target (9/1 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
Brentford vs Aston Villa, Sunday 2pm
Lucas Digne’s suspension means Alex Moreno will step in down Villa’s left – a very important position in Unai Emery’s attacking structure. The left-wing back is tasked with providing the attacking width as Emery instructs his midfielders to play inside to overload that central area. Digne ranks third in the Premier League for defenders in terms of expected assists this season (2.61) and only four players have attempted more crosses in the Premier League (108).
Moreno, on the basis of watching him last season, offers greater attacking threat than Digne so I’m interested in the 9/2 with Sky Bet for him to register an assist in a game Villa should fancy their chances in.
In the period between March and the end of last season, he topped the charts for defenders in terms of take-ons in the opposition half at 3.3 per 90 which puts him in on a par with Karou Mitoma and his expected assist return was averaging around 0.2 per 90 which is very similar returns to Kieran Trippier and Andy Robertson. He can assist in an away win.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2
West Ham vs Wolves, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £750,000!
I’m keen to back David Moyes to get a reaction from his West Ham defence after their 5-0 hammering at Fulham.
West Ham will be in no-thrills mode under Moyes, who has seen his team’s ship four or more goals on 49 occasions but their record in the matches immediately after shows they have won without conceding 14 times. That’s a 30 per cent chance of a win to nil coming straight after a thrashing. That looks interesting here at 3/1 with Sky Bet.
It makes little sense that Wolves have managed to score in their last 15 Premier League games, since their opening day 1-0 defeat to Manchester United. Gary O’Neil has got them moving in the right direction but that is a statistic you’d associate with Brighton or Tottenham, not a mediocre attacking team like Wolves. The fact they’ve scored just once in nine of those 15 matches tells you it won’t take much for this freakish run to end. It might just do here.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-0
Liverpool vs Manchester United, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £750,000!
Manchester United are 7/1 with Sky Bet to win a football match. How the mighty have fallen.
To be given just a 12.5 per cent probability chance of winning a Premier League game shows you just how bewilderingly bad United’s underlying process is and how wretched their record away from home against elite opposition is under Erik ten Hag. Remember, United have taken just one point from their 11 Premier League away games vs top nine sides under this manager (D1 L10) and have conceded 34 goals in those matches. Staggering.
With Bruno Fernandes suspended, their most creative outlet, United’s only hope of stifling Liverpool will be to turn this into a dog fight. Break up play, waste time, be organised in a block and hope all the big chances fall to Darwin Nunez rather than Mohamed Salah.
Ten Hag has shown he can utilise these tactics effectively, albeit usually against lesser opposition but the way Liverpool fumbled around against Palace’s low block last weekend for 75 minutes remains firmly in my thoughts. It was the same when tasked with breaking down 10-man Everton at Anfield earlier this season with a lack of guile in midfield still hampering their assent. United are trusted to avoid a hammering.
Swimming against the market and backing under 3.5 goals at 10/11 with Sky Bet certainly is a runner if United can stay in the game early doors whilst taking a chance on the Liverpool to win 1-0 or 2-0 at 5/1 also stands out.