Predictions and insight ahead of the latest round of Premier League games; watch Liverpool vs Fulham, Man City vs Man Utd, Tottenham vs Crystal Palace and West Ham vs Leeds all live on Sky Sports
Sunday 7 March 2021 12:37, UK
Kevin De Bruyne can outshine the invisible Bruno Fernandes in the Manchester derby as Jones Knows is back to predict all 10 games at the weekend.
The fact West Brom are favourites coming into this one tells you everything you need to know about how much trouble Steve Bruce and Newcastle are in.
I've actually been quite impressed with the Toon's shape and creative patterns in the final third in recent weeks but when you take Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron out of the equation an already flaky attack becomes stale beyond recognition.
Newcastle have lost nine of their last 10 games away from home in all competitions. Knowing the way Bruce rolls though, he'll be wanting to get out of here with a point, knowing a victory for West Brom would open the whole relegation picture up.
The Baggies haven't conceded more than twice in any of their last seven Premier League games and Sam Allardyce has arguably built a team of higher calibre than the one Bruce will field on Sunday. I think they can nick this one.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0
A positive Fulham result here is a tempting proposition. You can get 8/1 for an away win or 9/4 for a draw or Fulham win in the double chance market.
After going 68 games without a league defeat at Anfield, the second-longest such run in English top-flight history, Liverpool have lost each of their last five at Anfield and looked a shadow of their former selves in the defeat to Chelsea.
A metric I use to gauge a true form-line of a team is calculating shots minus shots faced over a certain period. Since January 30, Fulham, who have won only twice in that period, have a very healthy figure of +49 putting them fourth highest in that particular table of all Premier League teams. Liverpool posted a figure of +18, backing up their stagnating form.
Can Fulham be trusted though to back up strong metrics with a result?
They are the masters of creating chances, looking dangerous in the final third and getting shots away but not actually scoring any goals. It's no surprise to see their 6.54 per cent conversion rate is the lowest in the Premier League - it's going to get them relegated. Only four teams have fired more shots on goal this calendar year than Fulham (149).
This makes their shots line much more interesting than their outright price for victory. We're getting 9/2 with Sky Bet on Fulham having 13 or more shots in the game. I'd rather play that than their match result chances, although the 4/1 on a draw looks a runner with Fulham drawing 11 times already this season.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Fulham to have 13 or more shots (9/2 with Sky Bet)
Manchester United remain a team that win matches based on individual quality. It's an unsustainable model in the long-term in terms of their title credentials but one that can make them a consistent top-four side. On their day, they can beat Manchester City.
The problem for this fixture is that all of United's attacking game-changers are low on confidence and out of form.
Bruno Fernandes, who has 40 goal involvements in 41 appearances for the club, has scored just two non-penalties in his last 13 games and comes into this 'big six' encounter knowing he's netted just one non-penalty in eight fixtures with the elite teams this season. He has been 'Mr Invisible' when it has mattered for United. In fact, United have failed to score in their last six Premier League games vs 'big six' opponents - a total of 628 mins.
Then you have Manchester City, who can attack you from all angles. If Ilkay Gundogan doesn't get you, Joao Cancelo probably will and if he doesn't then Ruben Dias will from a set piece. I think 21 wins is going become 22. A City win to nil makes plenty of sense at 7/4 with Sky Bet.
It's not often you can access odds of 7/1 about the best attacking player on the pitch - who is also likely to take a penalty - to score first in a match. But that's what we're getting here with Kevin De Bruyne, who has 16 assists in all competitions this season but nowhere near as many goals.
This strange season is rather summed up by De Bruyne's goalscoring stats. In a season where Manchester City are romping to the title, De Bruyne only had bagged three goals - two of those penalties. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has scored more non-penalty goals than last year's PFA Player of the Year winner.
However, this solitary non-penalty goal has come against the backdrop of a mighty 5.45 non-penalty expected goal figure, which brings forward the argument that De Bruyne has been knocking on the door.
The data suggests an underperformance - something that should equal out between now and the end of the season. That is backed up by his colossal figure of 69 shots at goal over the course of the season. Keep shooting, Kevin, and one will drop. The 7/1 with each way stakes in mind simply must be taken.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-0
BETTING ANGLE: Kevin De Bruyne to score first (7/1 with Sky Bet)
Tottenham are hitting form at just the right time. Three wins in a week has breathed life back into their chances of finishing the season amongst the top six. And this fixture shouldn't hold too many fears for them. Tottenham are unbeaten in the last 11 Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace.
Roy Hodgson's boys know only one way of playing and that's the stifle game. Spurs will probably need to be patient in order to break through and may rack up the shots on Vicente Guaita's goal. No team have faced more shots than Palace since the start of February (106) working out an average of 17.5 shots conceded per 90 minutes.
When Tottenham put their foot down it can be a shot frenzy especially if Dele Alli, Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Gareth Bale are starting. I'm happy to play the 6/1 on Tottenham having 22 or more shots at the Palace goal.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-0
Here we have a battle of the two transformers. Thomas Tuchel meets Carlo Ancelotti. Both men have had massive impacts.
As my colleague Adam Bate writes here, "those who bemoaned the decision to sack Frank Lampard said all he needed was time. Thomas Tuchel required only one day to make a difference to Chelsea's style of play." Lampard rarely found the right balance. But Tuchel has nailed it, culminating in 1-0 wins over Atletico Madrid and Liverpool away from home. Granted, it's not a style to get pulses racing but it puts clean sheets and points on the table.
Carlo Ancelotti is doing majestic, almost magical, work at Everton. He has turned the timid Toffees into ruthless winners who excel in terms of conversion rate in attack and big chances conceded in defence. When assessing the performance data, Everton should be meandering around midtable on the numbers they've produced. Quite staggeringly, Everton have not won the shots count in all of their matches since drawing with Burnley on December 5. That's a 15-game run.
Yet, here they are, in the European hunt. It's a masterstroke by Ancelotti. This will probably be a step too far for his side as it's difficult to see how the Toffees will get enough ball to push Chelsea back - but the prices are spot on.
A price which is wrong is the chances of Richarlison being caught offside twice at 5/1 with Sky Bet.
Since switching to play centre-forward, the Brazilian has been caught offside twice four times in his last five appearances as he likes to make his moves in behind. The 5/1 looks generous.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0
BETTING ANGLE: Richarlison two or more offsides (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Despite West Ham causing me a massive headache this season in terms of predicting their Premier League trajectory, they have provided me some personal betting highlights for the season. Declan Rice scoring first vs Sheffield United at 33/1 was memorable as was Angelo Ogbonna scoring a header in the reverse fixture between these two teams. So, if it isn't broke, why fix it?
Set pieces could be where this game will be won.
Leeds have conceded 10 headed goals this season - more than any other club.
And although West Ham aren't moving with the times in terms of style (who says you need to move with the times anyway?) David Moyes has a no-nonsense, full-of-physicality team that has scored more headers than any other team this season.
This area of weakness with Leeds is likely to be exploited by West Ham, who have become one of the most dangerous teams from set pieces under Moyes. Craig Dawson is usually flinging his carcass in the direction of a delivery. He's scored three times since the turn of the year - another one could be due here.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-1
BETTING ANGLE: Craig Dawson to score a header (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Burnley-Arsenal - Jones Knows predicted 1-1
Sheffield United-Southampton - Jones Knows predicted 0-1
Aston Villa-Wolves - Jones Knows predicted 1-2
Brighton-Leicester - Jones Knows predicted 0-2