Our tipster Jones Knows remains in healthy profit for the season and has two bets at 12/1 and 11/2 to attack on Tuesday.
How did we get on in the last column?
The relentless live football schedule and my legal requirement to take some holiday (my living room is beautiful at this time of year) means it’s been two weeks since the last betting recommendations. In fact, it was so long ago that my tip of Arsenal to beat Chelsea now looks a relative run of the mill selection. At the time it was not. The whole world were laughing and getting carried away with Arsenal’s demise but crucially failed to spot that Chelsea were woefully out of form too. How things can change in football.
In typical “life is a real beach” style, for the purposes of this column I decided against just simply backing Arsenal to win at 4/1 and went with an Arsenal win and under 2.5 goals at 8/1. Greedy, greedy boy.
So, officially, the bet was a loser but I took pleasure from re-reading the pre-match abuse I had received regarding the “moronic”, “clueless” and “do you even watch football” decision to think that even Arsenal stood a chance of beating Chelsea. I am yet to receive any apologies from the troublemakers – but I am sure they will be back.
Let’s hope this midweek we can back up finding the right angle with finding a winning bet.
P+L = +19.5
Wolves vs Everton, Tuesday 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League: 1pt on Leandro Dendoncker to score and Wolves to win (12/1 with Sky Bet – bet here!)
I am all over Wolves on Tuesday. If backing below odds of 2/1 is your thing – it’s not a sport I dabble in – then unleash the hounds on a 7/5 home win.
This is a classic case of an underrated team meeting an overrated one.
Carlo Ancelotti has done a quite magnificent job to get a very average Everton to 29 points. He has had to adapt like a top manager to losing more creative members of his team like Lucas Digne and James Rodriguez. The style has gone from swashbuckling to snooze-fest but points have been picked up in grizzly fashion. Other managers would have rigidly folded under the team selection issues Ancelotti has faced.
With big players coming back to fitness, Everton may find their rhythm in the coming weeks but the balance has been missing, culminating in losing to West Ham and only just squeaking past Rotherham in the FA Cup. In fact, since December 18 in their three Premier League games, Everton’s expected goals figure of a combined 1.74 is the second lowest in the league, as is their haul of just seven shots on target. You would expect a greater return from matches against Arsenal, Sheffield United and West Ham. It’s a worry.
Having Leander Dendoncker back from injury makes Wolves far more reliable from a punting perspective. He returned in the FA Cup win over Crystal Palace and Nuno Espirito Santo’s men looked far more confident.
His athleticism, clever movement into the box and physicality turn Wolves into a greater beast. In the six games he has missed in the Premier League this season, Wolves have picked up just two points. In the 11 he has started, Wolves have won six with a points-per-game average of 1.8.
He has been given more licence to roam into the box, too, since the injury to Raul Jimenez. Wolves’ main attacking threat is from wide areas through Adama Traore and Pedro Neto so adding some bulk into the box in form of Dendoncker certainly makes sense.
Since Jimenez went off with that horrific injury at The Emirates, in his five appearances the Belgian is working an average expected goals figure of 0.37 per match, showcasing just how much of a threat he is when playing in an advanced midfield role. It’s a figure more akin to a centre forward. For example, in the same period Harry Kane is working at an average of 0.32 per match.
It all points to Dendoncker, who scored in the reverse fixture between these two last season, getting on the scoresheet in a Wolves victory at 12/1.
Burnley vs Manchester United, Tuesday 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports Main Event: 1pt on Burnley to avoid defeat & Ben Mee to have a shot on goal (11/2 with Sky Bet – bet here!)
Manchester United have put them in a fantastic position to compete for the Premier League title. Having backed them at 25/1 and 20/1 to do so, I’m hoping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can steer clear of trouble along the way, including in this dangerous fixture.
But my gut is telling me, this is a banana skin waiting for them on Tuesday night. Those taking the 4/9 for an away win should think twice. It’s all about getting Burnley on side.
If you ignore the annual 5-0 defeat at Manchester City, Sean Dyche’s men have only conceded one goal from open play in 720 minutes of Premier League football. That is a frightening record and it’s no surprise it’s coincided with the return of Ben Mee.
United may have put together a phenomenal away record, meaning they are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League away days, winning 11 of those – yet, they still don’t perform like a truly dominant side. Wins at Brighton, West Ham and Southampton all were achieved on the backdrop of a distinctly average performance level for large parts of the game. They lost the xG battle in two of those games, too.
If Burnley can use their defensive prowess to repel United, a most likely route to goal surely will come from set-pieces. For a team that do not enjoy much territorial advantage in their games, Burnley’s record of five goals scored from set-pieces and 39 shots on goal from those situations is a very healthy strike-rate with Mee, James Tarkowski, Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood all very dominant in one-on-one aerial exchanges.
Mee has managed to get five shots away in his last six appearances, scoring once – he is confident and dangerous inside the box and the 10/11 for him to have a shot needs respecting.
Especially as United are conceding just under three shots at their goal per fixture from set-pieces and have conceded six goals from such situations this season, ranking them as the joint-sixth worst team at defending dead balls. John Stones also breached their defence in the Carabao Cup semi-final and Watford caused them issues in the FA Cup at the weekend.
With a potential eye on the sexier fixture on Sunday at Anfield, United may just get caught blindsided by Burnley, who have taken 10 points from a possible 12 in their last four home games. I am happy to throw in Mee to have a shot on goal with Burnley to avoid defeat at a juicy 11/2.