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Friday 12 August 2022 06:57, UK
Our tipster Jones Knows began the season with a bang, tipping up Ben White to be carded at 6/1 and he has three bets to attack this weekend.
Noticing Ben White switching to right-back for Arsenal proved to be a profitable spot as the season kicked off with a 6/1 winner for this column as he just could not resist wiping out card-drawing-king Wilfried Zaha. It was truly lovely stuff.
Dreams of pulling in a 100 per cent strike-rate throughout the season were on my mind as we headed into Saturday but life isn't one of rainbows and lollipops. Callum Wilson to score first at 5/1 went down in agonising fashion as he scored the second goal as Newcastle swept aside Nottingham Forest, while Kyle Walker-Peters hardly saw any of the ball down Southampton's right so his shot chances at 5/1 proved to be a terrible wager.
Eddie Howe has found the perfect role for Joe Willock in his system where he can utilise his clever runs into dangerous areas. It's taking him into great positions which has rocketed his shots per game and expected goals average since the turn of the year, yet his prices across the markets remain very appealing for a player of his attacking intent.
Since mid-January he leads the way for Newcastle in terms of shots-per-90 (2.27) and looked like a man playing with great confidence and zip in the win over Nottingham Forest, having three shots with an expected goals return of 0.19 and notching seven touches in the opposition box.
Along with Callum Wilson, who remains of interest in all goalscoring markets too, Willock is one of Newcastle's most likely routes to goal. That makes his price of 7/1 with Sky Bet to score anytime rather silly in a game Newcastle are very much fancied to get something from.
Although it won't gain much attention in the wider media, this feels like a massive game for Wolves and their boss Bruno Lage, who has overseen a return of just two points in the last 24 available stretching across eight games. The pressure is on.
The Molineux faithful have been served up some dross too with a disappointing draw against Norwich and defeats to Brighton and Leeds still fresh in the memory, no doubt, despite the start of a new campaign. Performances have not been there to fall back on either, illustrated by an expected goals metric at home of 21.81 last season - only Norwich posted a lower total.
And a fully pumped-up Fulham side, fresh from a hugely-impressive and exciting performance against Liverpool, aren't ideal opponents when any sort of win will be demanded by the home fans.
Marco Silva isn't someone who tweaks his system to accommodate playing away from home, so I'm expecting Fulham to carry on where they left off last weekend. Here we have a side that were the top away scorers in all four divisions (50) last season - scoring four more than next best Wigan (46). Fragile Wolves are very vulnerable. Fulham look a lovely price to me at 2/1 with Sky Bet.
I'm also looking to use my 'inexperienced referee' theory to boost the price on Fulham to 7/1 in the hope he's in for a busy afternoon.
John Brooks has only taken charge of four Premier League games before, averaging a whopping 5.25 cards per-90 minutes. Players are very aware of the referee's inexperience at the top level and that, added to a stricter approach where an eager-to-impress referee lacks the authority to allow the game to flow, does make the chances for cards very appealing.
In what could be an aggressive game played in a pressurised environment, adding the game to produce 50 or more booking points (10 for a yellow, 25 for a red) makes perfect sense.
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
It's time to put that into practice. Time for some double stakes.
No matter how scary it sounds to be putting ultra faith in Tottenham to win a football match at Stamford Bridge, if I'm fully invested in the theory that Spurs are a threat in every competition they play in this season then I simply must back them to beat an undercooked and underwhelming Chelsea side as the outsiders at 21/10 with Sky Bet.
Many of you will be screaming at me right now to point out that Chelsea have lost just one of the last 32 league meetings at home with Spurs, winning 21. But this is a new era at Tottenham with Antonio Conte at the helm. They are going places and are playing with supreme energy while Chelsea - on the evidence of the last six months - are stagnating.
This is a perfect time for Spurs to be heading to west London.
Thomas Tuchel clearly isn't happy with the tools at his disposal ahead of the transfer window closing and that was stamped all over their slow and steady showing in the 1-0 win over Everton.
There seemed a lack of attacking imagination and cohesion as they stumbled to an expected goals (non penalties) figure of just 0.86 - quite a staggeringly low amount considering they won 16 corners in the match against a team that can't defend set-pieces. A lack of imagination in forward areas has been a worry in 2022. Chelsea have scored just 34 goals from an expected figure of 32.1 since the turn of the year with Liverpool (46), Man City (50) and Tottenham (51) all showing far greater numbers in the final third.
With Chelsea's defence still performing among the best in the Premier League and Spurs very unlikely to run away with the game, I'm happy to be greedy and boost the price by backing Conte's men to win by one goal at 7/2.