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Friday 8 December 2023 15:09, UK
Fresh from a very profitable weekend, Jones Knows is back with his Premier League best bets column and has two bets to attack.
It was a weekend where a Swede made this turnip very happy.
Dejan Kulusevski. His late goal meant our two points play at 15/2 copped a full return as we bagged 13 points of profit over the weekend.
In a previous life, on a weekend off from working on the live football, there could have been the chance of witnessing that glorious moment of a double stakes 15/2 winner with a beer in hand surrounded by fellow chancers that also jumped on the gamble.
Not now. I was halfway through a bottle feed with my six-week-old baby when the stunning Swede shouldered the ball home. The poor lad in my arms looked at me like I was from another planet as I roared - and boy did I roar - stuck in my bottle-feed position. Limbs dancing around.
The joy didn't last long.
His bottom lip went. You know what comes next. Then he duly threw up all over me. Back to reality with a bang, onto the next one then.
As with most Aston Villa matches I've gone hunting for an offside-based bet in what should be a high-stakes, high-intensity encounter that is a difficult one to call.
Unfortunately, the traders at Sky Bet are well versed about opposition offsides when it comes to Emery's Villa, who have caught 173 players offside in his 40 Premier League games in charge - an incredible 78 more times than any other team.
After a spell of attaining prices that were fat and juicy, that per 90 average of 4.3 is now aligned with the market with Arsenal offered up at 6/4 to be caught offside five or more times. This means we must get a little shrewder to beat the market and find some value. It comes in the shape of Ben White to be caught offside at least once in the player offsides market at 13/2 with Sky Bet.
Such is the complex nature of trying to beat the Villa offside line, running from deep as a third man is a tactic employed by the opposition when the opportunity arises. That includes down both flanks where attack-minded full-backs are encouraged to get in behind their winger. Of those 173 offsides, 17 of those have been full-backs, meaning we're looking at an average of one getting flagged offside every 2.3 games or so.
And, interestingly, one of those to be flagged was White in Arsenal's 4-2 win over Villa at Villa Park last season. He's an intelligent footballer who has developed a great understanding with Bukayo Saka - as seen by his assist for Gabriel Jesus' goal at Luton in midweek where he got in behind the opposition and clipped a cross in. He'll be making that same run when he can at Villa Park and will be walking the offside tightrope against the aggressive offside line.
Crystal Palace's first-half record vs the traditional big six of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea is laughable. Under Roy Hodgson, Palace have scored one first-half goal in their last 18 home matches against those opponents with the aggregate score coming out as 'Palace 1-17 Big Six' when assessing all those first halves. Liverpool can win the first half on Saturday.
Now, after one win in 11 Premier League games including a calamitous 5-0 thumping at Fulham, Steve Cooper is one more defeat away from the sack. The problem he has is that without Awoniyi, Forest post results and underlying numbers that are relegation candidate levels.
In 27 games with Awoniyi starting, Forest have a 41 per cent win ratio across all competitions. That figure drops to a miserly 12 per cent without him from a 33-game sample size, too. It's damming numbers and Cooper's inability to find a way to negate the loss of Awoniyi's influence and goals will ultimately cost him his job. A home win at 5/6 with Sky Bet looks one of the best punts of the weekend.
And we can land the treble on Super Sunday where I'm all over Luton's corner lines.
The step up to the Premier League hasn't affected their corner output too much yet as they've won 42 corners across their seven home games, working at an average of six per 90 minutes.
Therefore, the 10/11 with Sky Bet on offer for them to win just three or more corners is exceptionally generous.
Manchester City aren't their usual selves - and that can be seen through the amount of corners they are conceding. They have conceded 26 corners in their last four fixtures to an average of 6.5 per game as their usual supreme ability to strangle opposition with possessing football has dipped which has allowed them to be more vulnerable to counters on their goal.