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Saturday 20 August 2022 19:37, UK
Our tipster Jones Knows has four big prices to attack this weekend as he foresees easy wins for Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Although my strong fancy of Tottenham to win by one goal at Chelsea only officially fell short by one goal, it’s safe to say I have overrated Tottenham this season based on their performance at Stamford Bridge. They were so fortunate to escape with a draw despite the expected goals data suggesting it was a close game. Chelsea, who were excellent, look set for the best of the rest tag this season – not Spurs. I’m on Antonio Conte’s men to pick up a trophy but they’ll need to play with greater personality and spark against the elite teams if they are to go all the way in a competition this season.
It was a losing weekend of four points in total as Joe Willock failed to score for Newcastle vs Brighton while Fulham to beat Wolves and the game to have 50 or more booking points at 7/1 also went south in teeth-grinding fashion. Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty miss in a game that produced the goods in terms of cards can certainly be filed in the ‘bad beat’ cabinet. It’s well-stocked from over the years. Hello old friends, good to see you again.
Marc Cucurella’s intelligent, aggressive and classy performance against Tottenham caught my eye as he looks more than capable of proving an outlet from the left wing-back role for Thomas Tuchel. His link play with Mason Mount completely tore Spurs apart at times. He isn’t perhaps as explosive in that position as Ben Chilwell or Marcus Alonso but his positional awareness and ability with the ball should see his attacking numbers spike over the course of the season.
Players that are selected in Tuchel’s left-wing back role are given plenty of attacking licence. Last season that player averaged a goal just over every four games and registered 2.5 shots every 90 minutes. Cucurella has all the hallmarks to match that average, so there does seem to be juice in both his goalscoring and shots prices over the coming weeks. A player that is likely to score every four or so games shouldn’t be 18/1 to score at any time against a team they are 1/2 to beat in the match market whilst the 11/4 on Cucurella to hit the normal shots average of two shots for a Chelsea left-wing back is as a very appealing value play, too.
Solly March, even at the age of 28, looks to be the next player to be taken to the next level by Graham Potter judging by his performances and goal threat over the first two match-days. With Tariq Lamptey currently out of form and favour and Pascal Gross playing more advanced and central, March looks to have made the right-wing back position his own.
Predominately left-footed, March fits the bill for my “wide players cutting in onto the stronger foot” theory that has led to some profitable bets when following Kyle Walker-Peters and Neco Williams when playing for Wales in the shots and goals markets. March has generated an expected goals tally of 0.32 in two games, firing the shot that David de Gea palmed out to Pascal Gross in the win at Manchester United before twice being denied by some last-ditch defending and goalkeeping vs Newcastle last weekend. It’s been almost two years since his last Premier League goal but that has had too much bearing on his price to score at the London Stadium.
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He should not be 33/1 to score first or 14/1 to score this weekend. And it’s a bet to follow over the coming weeks whilst he remains in that position and in such great nick.
We landed a similar bet in the early stages of last season so it felt like a savvy play to try and repeat the feat involving three in-form teams that have the defensive capabilities to keep a clean sheet on the road against some hit-and-miss attacks. Read full reasoning on each game in the prediction article here.
At home, in a game the fans will be expecting them to comfortably win, things may get tough for Leicester’s players to perform, especially against a Southampton side who have a deadly record at starting games fast. If you mock up a league table involving just first half results from last season, Saints would be sixth having gone in at the break ahead in 13 of their 38 Premier League matches.
They also took the lead at Tottenham before their capitulation in the second half on the opening day.
If the Foxes fall behind, I’d have serious doubts about the players in the current atmosphere being able to show the required mentality and bottle to turn the game around. Rodgers’ side have won just one of the last 14 Premier League games when conceding first, losing nine.
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