PREMIER LEAGUE FRIDAY: The Striker previews a double header of Premier League action on Friday with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats. It’s VILLA v SOUTHAMPTON and NOTTINGHAM FOREST v FULHAM – both games kicking off at 8pm.


8pm The Premier League returns on Friday with not one but two fixtures to enjoy on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. While it was a good decision to postpone the games last weekend due to the Queen passing away, one wonders did the FA regret pulling the trigger too early when other sports came out and decided to play on, after all the government guidance was to continue. Anyway, we’re here now and we have a fantastic weekend ahead minus a few fixtures that had policing issues. It’s very usually to see two fixtures kick off at the same time on a Friday night, and we start with Aston Villa hosting Southampton. Steven Gerrard comes into this fixture as a man under pressure, and he would dearly love to claim three points here. On paper, Villa will be expected to get a win at home against a side like Southampton, but the Saints have been playing well this season. Long-term readers will know that I am not a big fan of Aston Villa, so it’s no surprise that I had them bigger on my tissue price than the current 2.18. For a side that have created so little this season, I really wouldn’t be rushing to take those odds. Southampton started the season as one of the favourites to get relegated, but they have drifted out after landing two wins – they are still in the mix though; at the moment they are shorter than Aston Villa for example.

There are a lot of positives for Southampton since they were hammered 4-1 by Spurs on the opening weekend. They have grinded out some decent results since, and they were also unlucky to lose against Manchester United and Wolves too. They finished both games with higher xG figures, and although there wasn’t much in it you would have said that they deserved two draws. It’s been a different story for Aston Villa – they grinded out a draw against Manchester City and you have to give them massive credit for that. However, apart from the win here against Everton, who are a poor side too, Villa just haven’t played well. Take out that Everton game and they have created xG figures of 0.69, 1.0, 0.41, 0.31 and 0.26. It’s not like Southampton have been playing poorly away from home this season, so I’m very happy to lay Villa at the odds here. I fully expect a closer game than the odds suggest, and we could see even more pressure on Gerrard by the end of the night.

The Striker Says:
Three points lay (liability) Aston Villa to beat Southampton at 2.18 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Aston Villa have won two of their last three Premier League games against Southampton (L1), having won just one of their previous 11 against them (D3 L7).
● Southampton lost this exact fixture 4-0 in March last season, ending a six-game unbeaten run against Aston Villa at Villa Park in the Premier League (W4 D2).
● Aston Villa have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games (D3 L6). Meanwhile, they’ve conceded in each of their last 11 Premier League matches, last having a longer run without a clean sheet in the competition between December 2012 and September 2013 (26 games).
● Southampton have alternated between victory and defeat in their last four Premier League games, with their two wins in this run more than they’d managed in their previous 14 beforehand (W1 D3 L10).
● Southampton have conceded the first goal in each of their last five Premier League games but have only gone on to lose twice (1-0 to both Man Utd and Wolves). They came from two goals down to draw with Leeds, before picking up 2-1 victories over Leicester and Chelsea.
● No side has used fewer players in the Premier League so far this season than Aston Villa (18). Despite this, the Villans have made more changes to their starting XI than any other side so far this term (14).
● Aston Villa striker Danny Ings has scored four goals in the last three Premier League meetings between the Villans and Southampton at Villa Park, with just one of those coming for his current club.
● Aston Villa’s Philippe Coutinho has been involved in more Premier League goals against Southampton than he has any other opponent (7 – 5 goals, 2 assists), both scoring and assisting in each of his last two appearances against Saints.
● Despite playing less than half the minutes available so far in the Premier League this season (253), Danny Ings has had more shots (8) and more touches in the opposition box (20) than any other Aston Villa player.
● Che Adams has scored four of Southampton’s six away goals in all competitions this season, netting braces against Leicester City in the Premier League and Cambridge United in the EFL Cup.


8pm We get two games for the price of one tonight and next we have Nottingham Forest hosting Fulham. It wasn’t so long ago that this was a Championship fixture, and surely the only aim of both clubs this season is to make sure they don’t go back down this season. Nottingham Forest have spent a lot of money, and they are under immense pressure to stay up now. Basically given the money involved, they can’t afford to get relegated now! After they “surprise” 3-2 loss to Bournemouth before the break, they went odds on to get relegated after what was a very positive start to the season. They were outclassed by Newcastle, but then they recorded a win against West Ham and grinded out a draw against Everton. You can forgive them the losses to Spurs and Man City, but they totally fell apart in the second half against Bournemouth. They lead 2-0 at the break, and when Bournemouth changed tactics they completely didn’t respond. They aren’t “under pressure” yet but it doesn’t take long for things to go badly quickly. They need a result to steady the ship in my opinion, and if they lose again here then questions will be asked. On the other hand, Fulham will be delighted with their start to the season. They have eight points from their opening six games, and they have been drifters in the relegation market.

They aren’t out of the relegation mix yet, but they are in a better position now than most people expected. It will be very interesting to see how both sides perform here, and it will also be interesting to see what kind of confidence levels Nottingham Forest have after their loss to Bournemouth. Obviously things were different in the Championship, but Fulham have won three of their last four games here and they got a draw in the other game. It’s not a surprise to see an open market here, and I would agree that Fulham deserve to be slight favourites heading into this game. Fulham haven’t had much luck away from home, but they have had to play Spurs and Arsenal plus they did outplay Wolves in a 0-0 draw. Both sides have had a lot of action in their opening games of the season, and Over 2.5 goals is worth an investment at 1.96. I can see an open game here and it should be an entertaining match too.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Over 2.5 goals at 1.96 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● This is the first ever Premier League meeting between Nottingham Forest and Fulham, with their last top- flight encounter ending 2-2 at the City Ground in April 1968.
● Fulham have won each of their last three away league games against Nottingham Forest. They last won four consecutively on the road against an opponent against Middlesbrough, between 1972 and 1984.
● Fulham have won five of their last seven league games against Nottingham Forest since 2017 (L2), as many as in their previous 20 against them between 1968 and 2016 (D7 L8).
● This will be Nottingham Forest’s 205th Premier League game, but their first ever on a Friday. Meanwhile, having won their first Premier League game on a Friday in December 2003 (2-0 v Southampton), Fulham are winless in their last five such matches (D1 L4).
● Nottingham Forest have lost their last three Premier League games – they last lost more consecutively in the top-flight between August and September 1992 (6).
● Nottingham Forest are the only side to have faced 100+ shots in the Premier League this season (104), while they’ve also faced the most shots on target (42) and have the highest expected goals against tally this term (12).
● Fulham are averaging 1.5 goals-per-game in the Premier League this season (9 goals in 6 games), more than double their average from their last campaign in the competition in 2020-21 (0.7). Indeed, it’s their highest ever goals-per-game ratio in a Premier League season.
● No team has used more different players in the Premier League this season than Fulham (23). Despite this, the Cottagers have made the joint-fewest changes to their starting XI so far this term (3).
● Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson has scored 18 league goals since the start of last season, more than any other player aged 21 or under in England’s top four tiers.
● Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored six goals in Fulham’s opening six Premier League matches this season, netting in the last four in a row. The last player to score in five consecutive Premier League appearances for a newly promoted team was Peter Odemwingie in May 2011 for West Brom. No player has scored in five consecutive Premier League appearances for the Cottagers.