PL Predictions: Slip-ups for Man City or Arsenal?


Jones Knows sprinkles his betting insight and analysis across the midweek Premier League card…

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Watch free Premier League highlights on the Sky Sports app

Arsenal vs Luton, Wednesday 7.30pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

Luck is deserting Luton at the most important time of the season. Rob Edwards saw his squad decimated even further during the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham with three more injuries suffered, including one to key man Alfie Doughty.

He said: “We finished with every fit member of the senior playing staff, outfield players, on the pitch at the end. I think we’ve got probably 10 fit players at the moment.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between Tottenham and Luton

This is not ideal when you’re about to face Arsenal. Sky Bet have them as 22/1 shots to cause what would be the upset of the season.

I’m always looking for trend-enders to latch onto and Luton’s remarkable scoring run surely looks under threat here against this Arsenal defence. It’s now 18 Premier League games on the spin Luton have scored in since a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in November. The Arsenal win to nil at 5/6 with Sky Bet looks a winner in waiting.

SCORE PREDICTION: 3-0

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Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock heaped praise on the performances of Gabriel and William Saliba against Manchester City, and analyses how they nullified Erling Haaland

Brentford vs Brighton, Wednesday 7.30pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

It’s the football betting guru derby. Owners Tony Bloom and Matthew Benham both made their fortunes beating the betting markets using ahead-of-their-time models and have now built two of the best run football empires in the world.

I want to be with Benham’s boys here.

Brentford hit the woodwork four times, saw a goal disallowed for offside and had 31 attempts in their incredible game with Manchester United.

At a club like Brentford, who are so guided by the underlying numbers behind their performances, that game against United will have felt like a 7-0 win. I’m expecting confidence levels and general morale to be bouncing. I’m convinced they’re in a false position in 15th place. They are a team to follow in the coming weeks, especially at home.

A repeat of the same levels of intensity and attacking threat will trouble Brighton, who have won just once away from home in their last nine matches – that coming at Sheffield United. They’ve scored a total of just 19 goals in their last 14 Premier League games and five of those came in that win over the Blades, who had 10 men. They are the joint-fourth lowest scorers in the Premier League for that period, only Burnley, Sheffield United and Everton have scored fewer.

A home win at 7/5 with Sky Bet looks the best bet of the midweek card.

SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1

Manchester City vs Aston Villa, Wednesday 8.15pm – PLAY SUPER 6 HERE!

Is it the beginning of the end of Manchester City’s period of dominance of English football?

They are now very much second favourites in the Premier League title race at 15/8 behind Liverpool, who thrust themselves into favouritism on Sunday with a win over Brighton. They are the 5/4 jollies now.

City have only scored nine goals in their last seven Premier League games, an average which drops way below the 2.47 goals per game average they racked up across the league last season.

But I’m not overly worried.

The key performance metrics are holding up well when analysing them against the “normal” figures we’d expect from a Man City side managed by Pep Guardiola. The overall expected goals figure have City posting a return of 14.44 goals during that period, pointing to an under-performance and perhaps a period of variance going against them. This looks the worst possible time for Villa to be heading there as Guardiola’s teams notoriously respond in kind when suffering a negative result like they did against Arsenal.

How do we back City then at a reasonable price? We head for the half-time/full-time market, where Man City/Man City gets us to 4/5 with Sky Bet. In the 75 matches immediately after a game under Guardiola where City have lost, drew with a ‘non-big six side’ or drawn 0-0, they have scored 70 first half goals. A reaction is expected.

SCORE PREDICTION: 3-0

Liverpool vs Sheffield United, Thursday 7.30pm

I’m a little confused at why Mohamed Salah is 2/5 with Sky Bet to score anytime and Luis Diaz is 11/8.

I’d have them around the same price on current form but obviously the bookmaker algorithms have spat out the rather chunky price on Diaz.

In a turgid betting heat where a one-sided game looks on the cards, the Diaz anytime price looks one to focus on.

The Colombian has netted seven times in his last 12 starts. In that timeframe he’s had, wait for it, 50 shots to an average of 4.1 per 90 minutes with 19 of those hitting the target.

Luis Diaz

The market is expecting Liverpool to score at least three goals here so it doesn’t really add up that Diaz is given a 42 per cent implied probability of scoring at least one of them – my figures have it closer to 55 per cent. It looks a cracking price.

SCORE PREDICTION: 5-0

Chelsea vs Manchester United, Thursday 8.15pm

Two very untrustworthy teams.

The performance from Manchester United at Brentford was one which will be hard to forget for everyone associated with the club. They played with the usual mis-shapen structure without the ball as per but they added a lack of work ethic to their output. I’m not sure there’s any way back for Erik ten Hag now – even the players played like it for large parts of that game.

The new hierarchy at United are very analytically aware and are recruiting people into positions of authority, like Dan Ashworth, who will want to make big decisions based on data analysis. And I think that leaves Ten Hag very vulnerable over the summer based on their woeful underlying metrics.

Chelsea should win this one. But attacking their corner count is a safer way of getting them in the book.

Brentford’s corner line was set at six or more on Saturday vs United – they hammered it, winning 14, which would have been bordering on a 100/1 shot. United’s nine-game average of corners conceded now stands at 8.6 per 90 minutes after that Brentford landslide.

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Sky Sports’ Peter Smith and Melissa Reddy discuss Manchester United’s woeful performance against Brentford and whether Erik ten Hag has the backing of the board to lead the Red Devils forward into the 2024-2025 season

I think the Chelsea total corners line is a play with seven or more available at 11/10 with Sky Bet. But we can be greedy. I wouldn’t put people off the bigger lines too with 10 or more ripe for a bet at 11/2.

SCORE PREDICTION: 3-1



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