Jones Knows provides his predictions and betting insights into the midweek action. He thinks Chelsea can cement their top-four status with victory over Arsenal.
Chelsea vs Arsenal, Wednesday 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports
This fixture gave me one of my betting highlights of the season when Arsenal surprised many by beating Chelsea. It was the perfect example of sticking with what you believe when the world is telling you the exact opposite. Am I following in Arsenal once again? No chance.
Chelsea are managed by Thomas Tuchel not Frank Lampard now and all their key performance data shows they now have a clear identity that revolves around gaining control of the match and limiting the opposition to little space between the lines. Arsenal try to do the same but don’t have the tactical nous or personnel to pull it off.
A home win will be a popular selection with punters – but I would advise ignoring the 8/11 with Sky Bet and concentrate on Chelsea to win and under 3.5 goals in the match (Chelsea to win 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 or 3-0) at an odds-against price of 13/8.
From the 16 wins Tuchel has overseen since taking charge, 15 of them have been accomplished with one of the aforementioned scorelines. So if you fancy the home win, it’s certainly the way to go rather than just simply take a very skinny price.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0
BETTING ANGLE: Chelsea to win and under 3.5 goals (13/8 with Sky Bet)
Aston Villa vs Everton, Thursday 6pm, live on Sky Sports
Everton are a tough watch but you can’t quibble with their defensive excellence once hitting the front. Carlo Ancelotti’s team have won every game away from Goodison Park when scoring the opening goal, therefore they have yet to drop any points from losing positions away from home. That was on full show in the gritty win over West Ham, who had 344 passes in the second half from 67 per cent possession but created next to nothing as the Everton back five, protected by Tom Davies and Allan, saw their job out.
It will be a similar approach at Villa Park. Sit, soak and hit on the break with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. And why not – only the two Manchester clubs have won more points on the road this season (36). I’m happy to play another low-scoring Everton win. They are a very short price though at 8/5 with Sky Bet. My eyes are drawn to the cards market instead.
Allan was terrier-like in the win at West Ham, making four tackles and picking up a booking for one of two cynical challenges. It’s his forte. He’s picked up seven yellows this season, including three in his last five. The 16/5 odds for another look generous.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Allan to be carded (16/5 with Sky Bet)
Manchester United vs Liverpool, Thursday 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports
This prediction is being written before United’s clash with Leicester on Tuesday and who knows what kind of team Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will field? But surely, we’re owed a cracker here, aren’t we? Four of the last seven meetings between these giants have ended 0-0, spoiling many a Super Sunday along the way. This one just might be different. There’s no real tension at play. Unlike previous meetings there’s no talk of titles and United are comfortably set in the runners-up spot and already in the Europa League final.
Liverpool have more to play for with a top-four chase on the line but Jurgen Klopp won’t be changing his style despite the circumstances. With the shackles off, I think it will be front-football vs front-football, which aligns with how the markets see this with the over 3.5 goals line set at 13/8 with Sky Bet. Punters are expecting goals.
This hope of an end-to-end encounter does rest on an early goal, though. And that’s what my eyes are drawn to. Despite their high-flying season, only Crystal Palace have conceded more goals in the opening 10 minutes of matches this season than United (seven). They are slow starters. United may be jaded after their clash with Leicester and the two-day turnaround and Liverpool have the tools to get at United early to score in the opening 10 minutes – as they did in their recent 1-1 with Newcastle. The 3/1 for the first goal to come before the 10th minute looks fair.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-2
EARLIER THIS WEEK…
Manchester United 1-2 Leicester – JONES KNOWS PREDICTED: 1-2
Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace – JONES KNOWS PREDICTED: 2-2
www.skysports.com 2021-05-11 22:30:00