Our betting guru Jones Knows believes Arsenal will claim North London bragging rights on Sunday
Southampton vs Wolves, Sunday 2:00 p.m., live on Sky Sports
I haven’t really understood these two teams yet, which is proving problematic for predictions and betting. Having backed Southampton for relegation this summer, I was surprised by their performances which should have exceeded the four draws they won.
Can they get that elusive first victory here? Well, the markets can’t separate these two. And I think in the same direction. I think Wolves will finish considerably higher than Saints by the end of the campaign, but their current conversion rate in front of the lens makes them impossible to imagine.
Wolves have struggled to score with just two Premier League goals this season – one own goal from Francisco Sierralta of Watford and one yard goal from Hee-Chan Hwang in the 2-0 win at Watford. This despite attempting the third most shots this season, behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
Wolves also have the highest expected goalscoring figure this season (9.2) to save their shots data. The -7.2 difference between goals scored and goals expected is the biggest negative difference in the Premier League. If they start taking these big risks, then an opposing team is in trouble. I don’t think that will start to happen here though. A fifth consecutive draw for Southampton has to be the play.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Support the correct score of 1-1 (6/1 with Sky Bet)
Arsenal vs Tottenham, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
Mikel Arteta is now in a place of peace and quiet at Arsenal. Managers come to this place when they know exactly what their best starting XI is and are able to choose it consistently.
Three wins in all competitions without conceding certainly put a spring in everyone around the club and put me firmly in the camp of wanting to support them at the prices available (6/5 with Sky Bet) this weekend. Meanwhile, Tottenham may consider themselves lucky to have nine points on the board. An expected goals figure of just 4.42 is the Premier League’s worst and indicates an obvious problem with their ability to create chances. It’s just not enough when you have arguably the best striker in the world in your ranks.
I am for the victory at home.
The Emirates stage is well placed for Emile Smith Rowe to show off his talent on Super sunday – he’s a huge price tag in the various scorer markets given the positions he has held this season in a very advanced role of Arsenal’s main striker.
The 21-year-old has been one of the hopefuls for Arsenal this campaign and could quickly become their main danger in any market if he finds some form in front of goal. He has yet to impose respect on the scoring markets, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang occupying a huge part of the percentages. To my eyes, its overall sharpness in and around the box is a far cry from the electrical levels we’re used to seeing. Meanwhile, Smith Rowe has posted an expected goal count of 0.68 this season on his seven shots.
Pursuing those types of numbers should see Smith Rowe troubling scorers at regular intervals this season. And confidence should sink a bit more after opening his account for the season off the bench against AFC Wimbledon midweek. His prices of 12/1 to score the first and 9/2 at any time are worth watching. Just like the 7/1 for Arsenal to win with him scoring in the game.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-1
BETTING ANGLE: Smith Rowe scores and Arsenal wins (7/1 with Sky Bet)
Crystal Palace vs Brighton, Monday 8:00 p.m., live on Sky Sports
Brighton dominated both Premier League fixtures against Crystal Palace, then managed by Roy Hodgson, last season but failed to win either, drawing 1-1 at Selhurst Park and losing 2-1 at the Amex against a goal in the timeout of Christian Benteke. Their shot data in those games equated to one goal for every 22.5 shots – a common theme to their problems under Graham Potter. Basically they had to create a lot of chances to score a goal.
That’s something they’ve rectified this season as they now average one goal every eight shots and surpass their expected goalscoring data. It’s very different from Brighton. Whether they can maintain it is up for debate.
Meanwhile, Palace under Patrick Vieira is trying to become more of a possession-based team than under Hodgson. Their average possession statistics average almost 50% despite having faced Chelsea and Liverpool in their first five Premier League games.
So what does all of this mean for this particular encounter? A low score, probably, but the markets are already well prepared for it with only 4/7 offered with Sky Bet for less than 2.5 goals. That kind of prize isn’t really my style so I’m going to play a 66/1 move with Sky Bet as they seriously underestimate the chances of Wilfried Zaha being sent off.
Zaha is still playing on the edge, more than ever with his pungent reactions to the foul, leaving him vulnerable to an aggressive rapprochement with the opposition. He played a big role in the dismissal of Japhet Tanganga in the win over Tottenham, a game he was booked into, meaning he has now induced eight opposition red cards since making his Premier League debut in 2013 – the greatest number of players.
Confrontation follows Zaha. He has been shown four red cards over the course of his career, the most recent having arrived in January 2019 during one of his many clashes with James Ward-Prowse. The referee that day was André Marriner, who looks after this one. All the ingredients are there, under the lights of a derby match at Selhurst Park, for Zaha to lose her temper with VAR looking like a hawk.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Wilfried Zaha will be sent off (66/1 with Sky Bet)
The predictions for this weekend
Chelsea vs Manchester City – JONES KNOWS SCHEDULED 1-1
Manchester United vs Aston Villa – JONES KNOWS PREDICTS 2-1
Everton vs Norwich – JONES KNOWS SCHEDULED 1-2
Leeds vs West Ham – JONES KNOWS PREDICTS 1-3
Leicester vs Burnley – JONES KNOWS SCHEDULED 1-2
Watford vs Newcastle – JONES KNOWS SCHEDULED 1-1
Brentford vs Liverpool – JONES KNOWS EXPECTED 0-2