Ben Mee and James Tarkowski can fire 9/2 Burnley to win at Southampton - Jones Knows betting column
"In their last 18 home matches where they’ve enjoyed 41 per cent or more possession, Southampton have won just once. Burnley are the bet"
Last Updated: 15/02/20 2:37pm
What betting opportunities are out there? If anyone knows, Jones Knows.
How are your New Year's resolutions going?
Mine are not quite going to plan. In fact, since joining the gym, I've somehow managed to put on weight. If things don't change, I may actually have to go down there and give someone a piece of my mind.
The trigger for thinking about resolutions came from overhearing a meeting of humans in a coffee shop last week where the woman was greeted with a "Happy New Year" from her seemingly long-lost friend. Wishing someone a Happy New Year on February 12 surely is grounds for arrest? I was seething at her conduct. Inexcusable.
It was at that point I realised that despite being quite content with my process in terms of finding value (Yerry! Yerry! Yerry!), last week's losing recommendation made it nine losing tips in a row and no wins in 2020.
My resolution this week is to break that duck.
Remember, whatever I tip, I back. We're in this together. Do check out the Profit & Loss record for full clarity on the results. Current returns are: +9.
1pt on Burnley to beat Southampton 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 (9/2 with Sky Bet) - go here to add to your bet slip.
The numbers and odds-on prices available for a Southampton home victory this weekend (kick-off 12:30, Saturday) simply just don't add up. The hosts must be taken on with Burnley in town.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is a likeable guy whose style of football is fantastic to watch. But there's a caveat.
It's a style of football that only generates points and positive performances when his team aren't tasked with dominating possession in a match. Hasenhuttl's side are excellently organised without the ball in terms of their transitions on the counter-attack, something noted by Jurgen Klopp during their impressive first-half showing at Anfield in their last outing.
However, when an opposition team sits deep and allows Hasenhuttl teams possession, Southampton lack the required tools to create high-quality chances and pick up points in the Premier League. This explains their very poor form at St Mary's where they sit bottom of the home table this season, taking just 11 points from a possible 36.
It's their fantastic away points haul that has kept their heads above water this season with the fifth-best record in the league, taking 20 points from a possible 36.
Burnley will happily relinquish possession and soak it up against the Saints.
And, recent history and data shows us that it's very unlikely that the south coast side will break them down. In their last 18 home matches where they've enjoyed 41 per cent or more possession, Southampton have won just once. That includes failures to win against relegated Huddersfield and Cardiff last season and out of form West Ham, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace this season.
Just to enhance the argument of their counter-attack nature, in their last 13 games at home where they've had less than 41 per cent of the ball, they've won seven matches, including two wins over Tottenham. It's yin and yang.
You can guarantee Sean Dyche will employ his usual deep defensive line and task Southampton with his breaking his boys down. Burnley's average possession this season of 39.82 per cent is the second-lowest in the Premier League. Dyche's side don't need to see a lot of the ball to cause teams problems and they are the kings of stifling a tricky front line.
Burnley are a streaky side. When out of form they can rack up hefty winless sequences and look serious relegation candidates as seen when losing five on the spin over the Christmas period. However, when Dyche gets them in a positive mentality and results are flowing, they are a difficult side to stop. This time last season they went on an unbeaten eight-match run and this current three-match run could be the start of something similar.
With a Southampton win taking up much of the result market at 4/5, punters are advised to get on side with a positive Burnley result. Let's not forget, Dyche's men are above Saints in the table.
Those that like taking short prices are pushed towards the 10/11 available for a Burnley draw or win in the double chance market, but, I'm not comfortable advising prices of that nature. Having watched Dyche's men beat Manchester United and Leicester and deserve maximum points in the 0-0 against Arsenal, I'm more than happy to invest in their win chances at St Mary's.
The 100/30 for an away win certainly has potential but I'm going to squeeze a bit more out of it by pushing punters to take the 9/2 for Burnley to win either 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1. Only two of Burnley's 12 away games have gone over 3.5 goals this season so the extra juice looks a safe addition.
1pt on either Ben Mee or James Tarkowski to score anytime (18/1 with Sky Bet) - go here to add to your bet slip.
Regular readers will know of my tendency to follow burly centre-backs at big prices to score.
Shane Duffy and Yerry Mina are among my sporting idols.
Burnley are unashamedly happy to play direct, aggressive football, which increases the chances of centre-back pairing Ben Mee and James Tarkowski getting into goalscoring areas of the pitch.
No centre-back has had more touches in the opposition box than Tarkowski (51) in the Premier League this season whilst Mee is fifth on that list (39).
That shows that not only does Dyche send his big men up at every opportunity, but when they arrive there, both are supremely dangerous at latching onto loose balls. Granted, they have only scored one goal between them this season as most of those touches in the box are winning the first ball that then causes the opportunity for Burnley to attack the second ball.
However, they have fired 29 shots at goal between them this season equating to an expected goal figure of 2.69 so they are under-performing in that regard which adds to the possibility of a goal being around the corner for either of them.
With Mina's double still fresh in the memory, the 18/1 on offer for either Mee or Tarkowski to score against a Saints defence that has conceded nine goals from set pieces this season certainly should be backed.
Super 6 fixtures: Leeds vs Bristol City; Fulham vs Barnsley; Birmingham vs Brentford; Middlesbrough vs Luton; Derby vs Huddersfield; Preston vs Millwall.