Our betting expert Jones Knows makes his Premier League predictions for the weekend.
Brighton vs Burnley, Friday, 5.30pm – live on Sky Sports Box Office
Brighton remind me of a jigsaw puzzle.
I just cannot figure them out. And, they go to pieces in the box.
According to all the key metrics, their performance levels are that of a team that should be aiming for a top-10 finish yet they have taken just five points from their opening seven matches. Going further back, they have won just four games this calendar year – that is the fewest wins of the 17 ever-present Premier League sides.
More worryingly, there’s signs their attacking process is now malfunctioning. In the last three halves of football, they have created a total xG figure of just 0.32. When you add it all up, they are simply unbackable at odds-on, even against winless Burnley, who were still short of their best at Chelsea last weekend.
This is the seventh time Sean Dyche has gone seven or more matches without a win in the Premier League as Burnley boss but he’s always come out the other side. Is this the game where it turns?
Brighton – still without the suspended Lewis Dunk – have conceded the most goals from set-pieces this season and both the goals conceded from open play without Dunk have come via crosses. That’s an area Burnley will target. With Ben Mee back, I’m happy to row in with an away win at the prices.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)
Southampton vs Newcastle, Friday, 8.00pm – live on Sky Sports
If Southampton win here, they will finish a day top of Premier League for the very first time.
Last time they ended a day top of a league was back in 1988 when Phil Collins was topping the charts with ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ – a fitting way to describe my feeling towards Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Sir Ralph has an opportunity to get where he belongs on Friday night: top of the pile.
I’m fully invested in his managerial ability. If he takes Southampton places, he will take me…