PREMIER LEAGUE: The Striker previews Saturday’s Premier League games – all with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats. The action gets underway at 12.30pm with MANCHESTER UNITED v SOUTHAMPTON.
MANCHESTER UNITED V SOUTHAMPTON
12.30pm The Premier League fixture just keep on coming and we are back in full flow on Saturday after the winter break. We have a cracking day ahead, and all football bets are 0% Commission on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. We kick the weekend off with Manchester United hosting Southampton in what should be a fascinating game. United have so many issues at the moment and so many things going on behind the scenes. I have to say I thought Ralf Rangnick was a brilliant appointment considering United were basically bottom of the table on every “hard work and effort” angle and I thought he would fix that. It turns out the players have just leaked rumours about not being happy with the training since he arrived and now the fans are starting to turn on the players. I know the board and owners are a major issue too, but I feel now the fans are starting to see these players have been given too many chances under too many managers and it’s time to start blaming them. Despite all the problems, they are still in the Top Four race, and this is another must win game if they don’t want to lose further ground.
Southampton have had a little tough run of fixtures since returning from the winter break – they had to play away to Spurs midweek and now they are at Old Trafford. The best way to describe Southampton is an average Premier League side and I feel their place in mid-table reflects their level to be honest. That being said, given all the problems with United at the moment the Saints will fancy their chances here. United have been poor going forward since Rangnick took over, and the 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough last weekend in the FA Cup highlights their lack of goals again. Southampton are a rock solid side, and they will aim to keep things as tight as possible here. United will have to grind out a result, and that’s what they haven’t been good at. The 1.58 on United looks around fair value however, and I prefer under 2.5 goals at around 2.12. United haven’t seen a lot of goals recently, and Southampton will defend for the most part here. It’s nice to have weekend Premier League back, but we could have a boring start!
The Striker Says:
Two points win Under 2.5 goals at 2.12 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/3oGsscz
● Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games against Southampton (W5 D6) since a 1-0 home loss in January 2016.
● Southampton have won just two of their 22 Premier League away games against Man Utd (D4 L16), losing this exact fixture 9-0 last season.
● Manchester United have won 36 points from losing positions against Southampton in the Premier League, more than any side has against another in the competition’s history.
● Manchester United haven’t lost any of their last 23 home Premier League matches in February (W18 D5) since a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in February 2008. That was one of only two home defeats in the month in the Premier League era, along with a 3-2 reverse against Middlesbrough in February 2004.
● Having netted nine goals in their first two Premier League home games this season (5-1 vs Leeds, 4-1 vs Newcastle), Manchester United have netted just a further nine in their subsequent nine matches at Old Trafford. Indeed, they’ve failed to score in four home league games this season, already more than in the whole of 2020-21 (3).
● Manchester United have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games (W6 D4) since the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjær. The Red Devils have conceded just 10 goals in these 11 games (0.9 per game), having shipped 21 times in 12 league games under the Norwegian this term (1.8 per game).
● Southampton have lost just one of their last seven Premier League games (W3 D3), with Saints both scoring and conceding at least once in all seven of these matches. Southampton are looking to secure consecutive league wins for just the second time this season.
● Man Utd’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored on his last Premier League appearance Southampton, in a 3-0 win in December 2004. If he scores here, it will be the third-longest gap for a player between goals against a specific opponent in the competition (17 years and 70 days), after Ryan Giggs against Norwich (18y 84d) and Paul Scholes against Queens Park Rangers (17y 120d).
● Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in five goals in his four Premier League appearances against Southampton, scoring twice and assisting three. Only against Aston Villa, Everton and Leeds United (6 each) has he been involved in more in the competition.
● Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has failed to score in any of his last five appearances in all competitions – the last time he had a longer run without a goal at club level was a run of seven games in December 2008/January 2009.
BRENTFORD V CRYSTAL PALACE
3pm We have three games kicking off at 3pm, and we start with Brentford hosting Crystal Palace. We have three very interesting markets this afternoon, and I’m sure there will be some very different opinions on the prices. This fixture is the most open market of the day with Brentford marginal favourites with home advantage. There isn’t much in it though and all outcomes aren’t a million miles away from the magical 3.0 for a completely even market! Brentford have been very impressive adjusting to life in the Premier League and they have been very good at home. I know they haven’t won many games here, but you can’t knock their performances. They are towards the bottom of the table on home form, but just looking at that table would give you the completely wrong impression of their home form. They have finished with a higher xG to Wolves, Manchester United, Norwich, Leicester, Chelsea and Brighton while losing all six games. They were incredibly unlucky against Chelsea, losing 1-0 while creating an xG of 2.16. They also played superbly well in a 3-3 draw against Liverpool here too.
I know no issues at all with Brentford at home, but creating chances doesn’t win games – they have to take their chances. That does worry me from that point of view, and I wouldn’t get too carried away with the staking here. However, the 2.7 is very much worth backing to beat this average Crystal Palace side. Palace had another good win in the FA Cup last weekend and with nothing to achieve at this stage of the season in the Premier League maybe they should focus on a Cup run to brighten their season! They more than likely won’t however, with more money on offer in the Premier League. I know Brentford haven’t won many games at home, but those performances are so good – I’ll limit stakes, but I’m happy to back Brentford again.
The Striker Says:
One point win Brentford to beat Crystal Palace at 2.7 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/3uMPgem
● This is Brentford’s first home league game against Crystal Palace since a 2-1 win in September 1963; the Bees have lost just one of their last 10 home league games against the Eagles (W7 D2).
● The reverse fixture between Brentford and Crystal Palace finished 0-0 – only once before have the Eagles had two goalless draws against an opponent in the same Premier League campaign, doing so against Manchester City in 1992-93.
● Crystal Palace have won just two of their last 20 Premier League London derby matches (D9 L9), conceding at least three goals in all nine of their defeats in this run.
● Brentford were unbeaten in their first three Premier League London derbies (W2 D1) but have lost their last two, losing to Chelsea and Spurs. The Bees haven’t lost three in a row against fellow London opposition in the league since a four-game run between November 2011 and September 2012, losing twice to Charlton and twice to Leyton Orient in League One.
● Brentford have lost each of their last five Premier League games. They last lost more consecutive league games between February and March 1993 (a run of seven), in a season that they were relegated from the second tier.
● Crystal Palace have won just two of their last 12 Premier League games (D4 L6), and are winless in their last four since a 3-0 victory over Norwich in December.
● Only Burnley (0) have won fewer Premier League away games than Crystal Palace this season (1). Meanwhile, the Eagles have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League away London derby matches (0-0 vs Arsenal in January 2021).
● Only Southampton (12) are on a longer current run without a clean sheet in the Premier League than Brentford (11). The Bees kept three clean sheets in their first five Premier League games this season, but have kept just one in their subsequent 19.
● Brentford’s Ivan Toney has scored in his last two Premier League home games, having scored in just one of his first nine at Brentford Community Stadium. Toney last scored in more consecutive home league games for the Bees in October/November 2020 (a run of four).
● Crystal Palace striker Odsonne Édouard has scored four goals in four Premier League London derbies so far, netting against each opponent he has faced (two vs Spurs, one vs Arsenal, one vs West Ham). The only player to score as many as five goals in his first five London derbies in the Premier League was Kanu in 1999 for Arsenal, who netted five.
EVERTON V LEEDS
3pm We have a lot of talking points today, but this game is probably the most interesting. Everton produced a fantastic 4-1 win over Brentford in the FA Cup for Frank Lampard’s first game in charge last weekend, it will be interesting to see does that good momentum continue over the next few weeks. Everton aren’t exactly in a relegation battle, but they are hanging around – the exact same can be said about Leeds too. They put a little bit of distance between themselves and the bottom four, but that loss to Newcastle prior to the winter break was a big blow. I don’t think either side is even close to bad enough to go down, and they shouldn’t be where they are in the table in the grand scheme of things but alas they have been very poor this season. Leeds problems are pretty obvious – they have been dreadful at the back and because they have created less chances and seen less of the ball going forward. For Leeds, attack is the best form of defence because they’ve always had issues at the back – it’s not like they’ve become poor at the back this season!
For Everton, the jury is very much out at the beginning of the Frank Lampard era. I want to keep stakes small on Everton games for a week or two to see how they perform. It seems obvious in hindsight that the dressing room weren’t happy with Rafa Benitez, but they did lose to Aston Villa after he was sacked. The performance was a bit better though, and obviously we’ll see how to wait and see how they perform. I feel Everton are a little short in the match odds market at around 2.16, but not short enough to lay – the match odds market seems well priced here, and the value is in the goals market in my view. Both sides have conceded goals for fun this season and had multiple disasters at the back – this game screams goals and over 2.5 goals looks cracking value at 1.73. I’m happy to keep stakes in check though because I want to see how Everton adjust to life with Frank Lampard.
The Striker Says:
Two points win Over 2.5 goals at 1.73 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/3HPepJ5
● Everton have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games against Leeds (W4 D3), though that defeat did come in this exact fixture last season.
● Leeds won this exact fixture 1-0 last season, following a 13-game winless away league run against Everton beforehand. They’ve not won back-to-back league visits to Goodison Park since November 1976.
● Since the start of 2021, Everton have lost more home Premier League games than any other side (12), this after having only lost 13 across 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined. The Toffees have lost their opening two home league games of 2022, never previously losing their opening three in a year. Indeed, 1977 was the only year in which the Toffees had lost their first two home games in the Football League before 2022.
● Since their return to the Premier League in 2020, Leeds have lost all four of their away league games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday. The Whites’ last such victory in the competition was at Blackburn Rovers in April 2004 (2-1).
● Everton have lost each of their last four Premier League games – they last lost more consecutively in the competition between August and October 2005 (6).
● Since the start of October, Everton have won fewer points than any other side in the Premier League (6). The Toffees have won just one of their 15 league games in this run (D3 L11) and have kept just one clean sheet.
● Everton have started a calendar year with four consecutive league defeats for the third time in their history, also doing so in 1977 and 1997. They’ve never lost their first five games at the start of a year before.
● Only Newcastle (21) and Southampton (20) have dropped more points from winning positions in the Premier League than Leeds this season (17). The Whites had lost fewer such points than any other side in the competition last season (6).
● This will be Frank Lampard’s first home league match in charge of Everton – he failed to win his first home games in charge of previous clubs Derby and Chelsea (D1 L1), with his first home game in charge of Derby a 4-1 defeat to Leeds in August 2018, in what was Marcelo Bielsa’s first away game in charge.
● Raphinha has scored in all three of his Premier League appearances for Leeds against Everton, netting the winner in this exact fixture last term. The last Leeds player to score in four consecutive Premier League appearances against an opponent was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink versus Arsenal (1997-99).
WATFORD V BRIGHTON
3pm Another interesting game here from a betting point of view. As I said midweek, the 0-0 draw between Watford and Burnley did no one any good, and Watford face a tough battle to stay up now – especially with Newcastle bringing in some nice players during the transfer window. This is a game that they will look at and feel they have a realistic chance of getting three points and they will need it too. They have a tough run in – they have to play Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea. You have to ask the question how they are going to get enough points when they have to play those fixtures – those fixtures will just stop any momentum they have. I know they might pick up a result against Manchester United or Arsenal, but still. Brighton would have been disappointed to crash out of the FA Cup last weekend because a Cup run would have made their season considering they are sitting in mid-table. However, you have to be happy with their season – they are finally getting the results they deserve and it’s a big improvement on last season.
Brighton are my best bet of the day at around 2.2. I feel they should be closer to 2.0 here – they are a much better side than Watford and they have been finishing games so strongly this season. Watford have been very poor in some games recently, and they have created so little going forward too. They have played the sides around them recently as well and appeared to be very limited going forward – if they can’t create decent chances against the likes of Burnley, Norwich and Newcastle they’re going to struggle against a side like Brighton who enjoy playing attacking football. Brighton might have had a lot of draws recently, but the draws against Leicester and Chelsea were good results – they are creating a lot more than Watford at the moment and that’s where the game will be won. I’m happy to have a Max Bet on them at the odds.
The Striker Says:
Five points win Brighton to beat Watford at 2.2 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/3sFKYmC
● Watford lost their last home league game against Brighton 3-0 in August 2019 – they’ve not lost back-to-back home league games against them since March 1992.
● Following their 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium in August, Brighton are looking to secure their first league double over Watford since 1990-91 in the old second division.
● Brighton have lost just one of their last 13 Premier League games against promoted sides (W6 D6), keeping a clean sheet in each of their last five (W4 D1) since a 1-0 loss at West Brom in February 2021.
● Watford have lost their last five home Premier League matches, only having two longer home losing runs in their Football League history: a nine-game run between December 1971 and March 1972 and a six-game run between August and October 1990.
● Brighton have drawn 12 of their 22 Premier League matches so far this season (W6 L4), the joint-most by a side at this stage of a Premier League campaign, along with Ipswich Town in 1992-93. Their last six draws have all ended 1-1, with the Seagulls coming from behind to draw in each of those games.
● Watford haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 16 home Premier League matches, and conceding in this game will see them equal the record Premier League run without a home clean sheet, standing at 17 matches and jointly-held by four teams: Sunderland (2003-05), Blackpool (2010-11), West Brom (2010-11) and Wolves (2011-12).
● No side has lost fewer away games in the Premier League this season than Brighton, with the Seagulls losing just one of their 11 games on the road so far (W3 D7).
● Since a 4-1 win over Manchester United in November, Watford have only picked up two points in 10 Premier League matches (D2 L8), failing to score in four of their last five games (D2 L3).
● This will be Watford manager Roy Hodgson’s 150th Premier League match as a manager since turning 65, becoming only the third manager to take charge of that many games aged 65+, after Sir Alex Ferguson (245) and Sir Bobby Robson (188).
● Since the start of last season, Brighton striker Danny Welbeck has scored nine Premier League goals for the club, a tally bettered by only Neal Maupay (15). Welbeck scored twice in 18 Premier League games for Watford in 2019-20 and has scored in his last two games against sides he’s previously played for in the competition, goals against Arsenal in July 2020 and Man Utd in April 2021.
NORWICH V MANCHESTER CITY
5.30pm We finish the evening with the shortest price of the weekend as Manchester City are red-hot favourites at 1.17 to beat Norwich. Despite Norwich dragging themselves out of the bottom three in recent weeks and playing with confidence in general, it’s almost impossible to see anything bar a Manchester City win here. Probably the best hope for Norwich is Pep Guardiola having one eye on the Champions League fixture City have coming up on Tuesday, but knowing him I doubt it. City are very close to having the title won, but they can’t afford to ease up over the next few weeks – it would be nice for them if they could build up a decent lead to focus on the Champions League if they get to the real late stages. Although Norwich have some extra confidence of late, I feel this is a case of how many goals will City score rather than will they win. The goals market and the likes will be very interesting here, because although we can expect a strong City side, we can also expect some of the stars taken off early if the job is done. City are likely to play an open game here, and I feel Norwich might adopt an attacking style if they go behind early. That will likely see an open game, but the market is expecting goals here with over 2.5 goals trading around 1.45.
City’s tactics going into the final 15 minutes if they have a decent lead will be interesting, and like I said I would expect Guardiola to make some changes. That will make the handicap markets interesting, and you might get a nice price on Norwich +2.5 or +3.5 goals. Although that is tempting, I do like a small investment on Both Teams To Score here at 2.24. Norwich have been in the goals lately and Man City are nearly like Bayern Munich in Germany in the sense that they don’t mind playing such an open game that they concede the odd goal because they know they will outscore teams. Just like the 4-1 win over Fulham in the FA Cup last weekend and also a 4-1 win over Swindon Town too! This is definitely a game for small stakes in my opinion, but I can see Norwich getting on the score sheet especially with the added confidence of their recent results.
The Striker Says:
One point win Both Teams To Score at 2.24 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://bit.ly/3sC6BUA
● Norwich have lost eight of their last 12 Premier League games against Man City (W2 D2), conceding 41 goals in these meetings. They’ve lost both of their last two against the Citizens by a 5-0 scoreline.
● Manchester City have lost just one of their last eight away Premier League games against Norwich (W3 D4), though it did come in their last such visit in September 2019 (2-3).
● Norwich City have lost 13 of their last 15 Premier League games against the previous season’s champions, though both exceptions in this run were 3-2 victories against Manchester City (May 2013 and September 2019).
● Manchester City have lost just one of their last 36 Premier League games against sides starting the day in the relegation zone (W30 D5), though that loss did come at Norwich in September 2019.
● Having lost their first away league game of the season 1-0 against Spurs, Man City are now unbeaten in their last 11 on the road (W9 D2). All three of the Citizens’ failures to win on the road this season have seen them concede first in the match.
● Norwich have won seven points from their last three Premier League games (W2 D1), just one fewer than they had in their previous 12 before this (W2 D2 L8). Dean Smith is looking to become the first Norwich manager to go unbeaten for four Premier League matches since Chris Hughton in February 2013.
● Norwich have scored six goals in their last three Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 15 in the competition combined.
● Pep Guardiola has a win ratio of 88% against English managers in the Premier League (P66 W58), the highest of any manager to take charge of 5+ such games. His four games against Dean Smith have all been won by an aggregate score of 13-2.
● Man City’s Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven Premier League games against Norwich (5 goals, 2 assists), while teammate Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in four goals in his two starts against the Canaries in the competition (2 goals, 2 assists).
● Riyad Mahrez has scored in each of his last seven appearances for Manchester City in all competitions – the last player to score in more consecutively for the club was Sergio Agüero in January 2014 (8).