PREMIER LEAGUE SATURDAY: The Striker previews Saturday’s Premier League games with extended match stats and a recommended BETDAQ bet. What a cracker to start with ARSENAL v MAN U at 12.30pm!


12.30pm The Premier League fixtures are coming thick and fast now! After a busy midweek schedule, we start the weekend on BETDAQ Betting Exchange with an absolute cracker as Arsenal host Manchester United. Both sides were in action during the week, with Arsenal scoring four goals in a win over Chelsea and Manchester United conceding four goals (again!) to Liverpool. Whatever your opinion on both sides, you have to say that this is a fantastic chance for Arsenal to record another huge win in the Top Four race. Could they meet United at a better time? United look to be in disarray at the moment – their players have no fight in them, and they are basically just hanging around until this season ends. In my opinion, it has been a great shame that the United players threw in the towel on the season so early – given the losses Arsenal and Spurs have had – I feel they could still be in the Top Four race if they had applied themselves better. Perhaps it’s a sign of the troubles the club has at the moment – the players would rather moan to the media that they don’t like Rangnick’s training sessions than put in some effort. It’s been a big week for United with the announcement of Erik ten Hag as the new manager, but he has a huge task on his hands.

Not many people would have expected Arsenal to beat Chelsea on Wednesday night, and that has put them back into the Top Four race. They needed to win that game as it was their game in hand and they were three points behind. With the sides level on points now, Arsenal are still behind on goal difference so they still need Spurs to slip up at some stage. That win against Chelsea has definitely given them some fresh hope though – especially since they went into that game off the back of three losses! Arsenal aren’t a side that you would want to have a Max Bet on, they aren’t reliable enough for a stake like that, but as I said above they will never get a better chance to beat Manchester United. This United side has so many issues at the moment and they looked truly fed up at Anfield midweek. An early Arsenal goal could see another embarrassing defeat for United here – I’m happy to keep stakes in check because you can never be fully confident on Arsenal, but I can’t see past a home win here.

The Striker Says:
Three points win Arsenal to beat Manchester United at 2.16 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Arsenal are unbeaten in their last three Premier League home games against Man Utd (W2 D1), keeping a clean sheet each time – they’ve never kept a clean sheet in four consecutive home league games against the Red Devils.
● Manchester United won the reverse fixture 3-2 against Arsenal in December, ending a six-game winless run against the Gunners in the Premier League. They’re looking to complete their first league double over Arsenal since 2017-18.
● Arsenal have won just three of their 15 Premier League games against Manchester United on Saturdays (D5 L7) and are winless in seven since a 2-1 home win in November 2008. However, two of the Gunners’ three such victories against the Red Devils have been in an early kick-off slot (11:15 in March 1998, 12:45 in November 2008).
● Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games in London (W8 D5), since a 2-0 loss at Arsenal in January 2020. The last top-flight side from outside the capital to have a longer unbeaten run in London was Liverpool – 16 games between May 1987 and October 1989.
● Manchester United have the best 100% win rate in Premier League games played on St George’s Day, winning all three such matches without conceding a single goal. This is their first league meeting with Arsenal on St George’s Day since 1960 – the Gunners running out 5-2 winners at Highbury.
● Arsenal have lost their last two Premier League home games, 2-0 v Liverpool and 2-1 against Brighton. They lost four in a row at the Emirates last season (Oct-Dec 2020) and three in a row in 2019-20 (Dec 2019), but hadn’t lost three in a row at home in any of their previous 42 league campaigns before this.
● Arsenal lost at home to Brighton on 9th April, and away to Southampton on the 16th. The Gunners haven’t lost a league game on three consecutive Saturdays since December 1992 (four in a row).
● Since beating Leeds United 5-1 on the opening weekend of the season, Manchester United are winless in their last five Premier League games at 12.30 on Saturday, alternating between defeat (3) and a draw (2) each time.
● Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored six goals in his last seven appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, including a brace in the reverse fixture in December, and a brace on his last visit to the Emirates Stadium in May 2009 (Champions League semi-final).
● Emile Smith Rowe is Arsenal’s highest goalscorer at the Emirates Stadium in all competitions this season (6), with the Gunners winning all six home games in which he’s scored this term. Smith Rowe opened the scoring in the reverse fixture against Manchester United – the last Englishman to score home and away against the Red Devils in the same season for the Gunners was David Rocastle in 1991-92.


3pm We have three games kicking off at 3pm, and we start those with Leicester hosting Aston Villa. Leicester would have been very disappointed with their 1-1 draw midweek against Everton – they scored early and held onto the lead until the 92nd minute. That basically just sums up their season. With such a slow start in the Premier League they were never going to achieve anything this season, so I’m sure they will be fully focused on their Europa Conference League Semi-Final against Roma next week. From that point of view, Aston Villa might view this game as a good chance to get back to winning ways after four straight losses. They were losing close games by one goal against West Ham, Arsenal and Wolves but then lost 4-0 to Spurs! In fairness to Villa, those Spurs goals were pretty special and they won’t concede goals like that every week. Villa have been a tricky side for me to weigh up this season – I still don’t believe Gerrard has dramatically improved the side and I think their xG figures have more or less stayed the same. They rode a good wave of momentum when he first took charge, and they were lucky to pick up some wins that they didn’t deserve when you look at the xG figures.

There’s no doubt that this will be a close game, and it’s easy to see why we have the most open market of the day. I felt Leicester would get the job done against a very poor Everton side midweek, but they were poor again. They conceded an xG of 1.72 which is probably Everton’s biggest xG figure for a while! Leicester continue to be unimpressive, and there isn’t much to get excited about to be honest when you look through their recent games. They have their hands full with Roma, and have enjoyed beating lower quality opposition in the Europa Conference League up until now. I wouldn’t be a huge fan of Aston Villa, but when you look at the under lining numbers I feel they have a very good chance here. They were very unlucky to lose away to Wolves in their last away game, creating an xG of 2.52 and then the game with West Ham was also very even – Villa are worth a small bet to get the job done here in what should be a pretty low quality game.

The Striker Says:
One point win Aston Villa to beat Leicester at 2.64 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Leicester lost this exact fixture 1-0 last season, with Ross Barkley netting the winner in the 90th minute. They’ve not lost consecutive home league games to Aston Villa since April 1981.
● Aston Villa are looking to complete the league double over Leicester for the first time since 2003-04, following their 2-1 win at Villa Park in the reverse fixture.
● Of all teams Leicester have faced at least 20 times in the Premier League, only against Leeds (45%) do they have a higher win rate than they do against Aston Villa (40% – 10 wins from 25 games).
● Aston Villa have played more Premier League games on St George’s Day without ever winning than any other side in the competition (4 – D2 L2).
● Aston Villa have lost their last four Premier League matches, last losing five in a row in October and November under Dean Smith. If they lose this match, it would be the second time this season a side has lost five in a row under two different managers, along with Norwich (Dean Smith and Daniel Farke).
● Leicester City have won their last three home Premier League matches, last having a longer run between August and December 2019, when they won seven in a row.
● After overperforming their xG by five goals in their first 16 Premier League matches under Steven Gerrard (26 goals, 21 xG), Aston Villa have scored just two goals from an expected goals total of 5.8 in their last four games, underperforming by almost four goals. Villa had eight shots on target in their 4-0 defeat to Spurs, their most in a Premier League game without scoring since May 2010 vs Blackburn (also 8).
● Aston Villa haven’t had a single goalless draw in the Premier League this season – the last time they didn’t have any 0-0 draws in a single league campaign was in 1989-90. Meanwhile, the Villans are the only side without an away draw in the Premier League this season.
● Though they’re averaging 1.1 points-per-game away from home in the Premier League this season, only Norwich and Everton (11 each) have lost more on the road than Aston Villa so far this term (10).
● Leicester’s Harvey Barnes has been involved in five goals in his last four Premier League games against Aston Villa (4 goals, 1 assist). Against no side has he scored more in the division than he has Aston Villa (4), while only against Burnley (6) has he been involved in more goals for the Foxes.


3pm Manchester City host Watford next, and we have the shortest price of any sides in the major European leagues here! City are trading as short as 1.13 to win here, and who can blame the market with Watford being so poor this season. With City locked in a battle for the title with Liverpool they can’t afford to lose focus even though they have a massive Champions League Semi-Final coming up next week against Real Madrid. Guardiola won’t let them forget just how important every game is at the moment though, and it’s pretty much impossible to see anything bar a City win here. I won’t be tipping them at 1.13, but they are definitely a good acca booster to add to any BETDAQ Multiple this weekend. I feel this is a question of how many goals City will score rather than will they win, and from a betting point of view that is the big question too. City haven’t really hammered any sides recently, granted they have had a reasonably tough fixture list but with such a busy fixture list I can’t see them chasing goals here into the final 15 minutes.

I felt the same when they played Burnley prior to the Atletico Madrid game in the Champions League – that they would get a few goals ahead and just play out the time in control of the game. We will very likely see the same result here, and we’ll see a few subs if City go 2-0 up too. Brighton managed to hold them to 0-0 at half-time before City did the damage in the second half, and although I fully expect a City win here I do feel that Watford can keep the score line respectable. Any Other Home Win (Manchester City to score four or more goals and win) looks worth laying at 2.66 in my opinion. I can see City going 2-0 up and going into cruise control with such a big game midweek. I don’t expect Watford to see much of the ball here, and City won’t want a hectic game here either – I can see them completely controlling the game and staying in second gear.

The Striker Says:
Two points lay (liability) Any Other Home Win at 2.66 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Manchester City have won their last 14 meetings with Watford in all competitions and could become the first English league side in history to win 15 consecutive competitive games against an opponent.
● Watford have lost 11 of their last 12 away games against Man City in all competitions, with the exception being a 0-0 draw in December 2006. Their last away win against the Citizens was in the top-flight in April 1987 (2-1).
● Manchester City have won 15 of their last 16 Premier League games against sides in the relegation zone (D1) since a 3-2 loss against Norwich in September 2019. Since drawing 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion in December 2020, the Citizens have won their last nine such matches by an aggregate score of 31-0.
● Watford have taken just one point from 39 available in away league games against reigning top-flight champions (W0 D1 L12), drawing 2-2 at Chelsea in December 2015. The Hornets have conceded 45 goals in these 13 games, losing 8-0 at Man City last time out.
● Watford have lost 22 league games this season, more than any other Premier League side. The only top-flight campaign in which they’ve lost more was in 1999-00 (26).
● Watford are the only side yet to score a Premier League goal from outside the box this season. Indeed, none of their last 83 top-flight goals have been from distance, since Gerard Deulofeu’s strike against Cardiff City in February 2019.
● Man City manager Pep Guardiola has won all 10 of his meetings with Watford in all competitions, by an aggregate score of 42-4. It’s his best 100% win rate against an opponent in his managerial career.
● Against no side has Man City’s Raheem Sterling scored more goals in all competitions than his 11 against Watford, with Sterling scoring 10 times in his last six against the Hornets.
● All three of Watford boss Roy Hodgson’s Premier League wins over Manchester City have come away from home (two with Fulham, one with Crystal Palace), only beating Newcastle more often in away games (4).
● Emmanuel Dennis has scored in five Premier League games which Watford have lost this season – no player has scored in more defeats than the Nigerian this term. It’s also the joint-most Premier League games a Watford player has scored in and lost in a single campaign, level with Heidar Helguson in 1999-00.


3pm We finish the 3pm games with Norwich hosting Newcastle, and this is another fantastic chance for Newcastle to keep climbing up the table. I know Newcastle have benefited immensely from new investment and that is basically what saved them this season after the January transfer window, but you have to give them credit for what they have done since then. They were in the relegation fight, looked odds on to go down at one point and now they have a good chance of finishing in the top ten – that’s some turnaround. The money obviously helps, but it was always going to be an interesting situation because I don’t recall a side in a relegation battle having such a budget! They might even battle for a European spot next season if they can keep progressing – maybe not top six but if there’s extra spots available if the Top Four win the Cups and we get European spots down to eighth for example. Their target to finish the season must be ninth, because they won’t catch Wolves sitting in eighth. Finishing ninth after being in the relegation battle would be a huge achievement to be fair.

It’s a different story for Norwich though. They sit bottom of the table and have no chance of staying up. It was Norwich and Newcastle locked together in the bottom two spots when the new Newcastle owners came in! Although Norwich are certain to go down, they are still having an impact as they managed to beat Burnley 2-0 recently and they were very close to pulling off a result against Manchester United. Norwich aren’t playing too badly at the moment – they have created xG figures of 1.69 and 1.52 in their last two games which is good to see – it looked like they had given up on the season after the loss to Leeds. I’m going to keep stakes low here because Norwich have done well recently, but I fancy Newcastle to keep their winning run going and they are worth backing at 2.22. The Crystal Palace game was a classic example of Newcastle just edging close games at the moment and I can see a very similar result here.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Newcastle to beat Norwich at 2.22 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Norwich are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games against Newcastle (W2 D2), having been winless in six against them previously (D2 L4).
● Having won their first away Premier League game against Norwich 2-1 in January 1994, Newcastle are winless in their last seven top-flight visits to Carrow Road (D2 L5).
● All five of Norwich’s Premier League wins against Newcastle have come in home games – no side have they beaten more at Carrow Road in the competition than the Magpies (also 5 vs Southampton).
● Norwich are looking to win consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since August 2019, the second game of which was against Newcastle. They last won back-to-back Premier League games at Carrow Road within the same season in January 2016.
● Newcastle have lost each of their last three Premier League away games, last losing more consecutively in January 2021 (5). 10 of the Magpies’ 13 points on the road this season came in a four-game spell between January and March (W3 D1).
● Norwich have scored twice in their last two Premier League games, beating Burnley 2-0 and losing 3-2 against Manchester United. The Canaries haven’t scored at least twice in three consecutive Premier League games since May/August 2013.
● Norwich have had four Premier League hat-tricks scored against them this season, with these being netted by Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling, Ivan Toney and Cristiano Ronaldo. No team has ever conceded five hat-tricks in a single Premier League campaign before.
● This will be Norwich’s 54th Premier League game when starting the day bottom of the table, with only five teams ever playing more. 81% of these matches will have been over the Canaries’ two previous campaigns (44/54) – 20 in 2019-20 and 24 this season.
● Over Norwich’s last two campaigns in the Premier League, Teemu Pukki has scored all four of their goals against Newcastle in the competition, with the Finnish striker netting a hat-trick the last time the sides met at Carrow Road (August 2019).
● With his goal against Manchester United last time out, Teemu Pukki became the first Norwich player to score 10+ goals in more than one Premier League season (11 in 2019-20, 10 this term). Overall, only Chris Sutton (33) and Grant Holt (23) have scored more Premier League goals for Norwich than Pukki (21).


5.30pm We finish an intriguing day with a massive game for Spurs as they travel to take on Brentford. Spurs fans would have watched in horror midweek as Arsenal managed a 4-2 win over Chelsea away from home – they really wouldn’t have expected that and by the time this game kicks off, they could be three points behind Arsenal if they beat Manchester United. That will be a lot of pressure, but every game is going to be a pressure situation to the end of the season. This is going to be a very tricky game for Spurs too as Brentford come into the game in great form. They have won five of their last six Premier League games, and they are playing some classy football too. It’s almost funny that they were involved in the relegation battle a few weeks ago when everyone was looking at the games in hand situation for the teams below them in the table. It was nice to land a Max Bet on Brentford last weekend away to Watford, and although we won’t be having a Max Bet on them this weekend I do feel that they are worth supporting here. Spurs look a little short to me at 1.97, especially given the good football Brentford are playing at the moment.

The loss to Brighton last weekend was very worrying for Spurs. They had watched Arsenal lose to Crystal Palace and Brighton at that stage to gift Spurs an advantage, played early in the day and could have took that fourth spot in their hands. They were lucky in the end that Arsenal lost later in the afternoon to Southampton, but obviously the win over Chelsea opens up the race again. It will be interesting to see how these Spurs players handle the pressure – over the years you wouldn’t say that Spurs as a club handle pressure well, and it’s very important they put in a good performance here. They lacked a spark against Brighton though and barely created anything – I’m happy to lay Spurs this evening as slightly odds on – I would have them at least 2.1+ as Brentford have a huge amount of momentum at the moment and although their results don’t reflect it, they have been superb at home this season. This Spurs lay jumps off the page as a confident bet.

The Striker Says:
Four points lay (liability) Tottenham to beat Brentford at 1.97 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Brentford are hosting Tottenham for the first time in any competition since a 0-0 draw in the League Cup in September 2000, and for the first time in a league match since August 1949 (a 4-1 defeat).
● Following their 2-0 win in the reverse fixture, Tottenham are looking to complete their first ever league double over Brentford, though this is just the fourth different campaign in which they’ve met.
● The Brentford Community Stadium will be the 60th different stadium Tottenham have played at in the Premier League. They’ve won at 53 of the previous 59, with only Liverpool (57) and Man Utd (55) winning at more. However, no side have lost at more different Premier League venues than Spurs (51, level with Everton).
● Only Chelsea have won more points in Premier League London derbies this season than Brentford (14). Only three London teams have ever earned more such points in their maiden Premier League campaign, with all of them doing so in the inaugural campaign of 1992-93 (Chelsea 19, Tottenham 16, Wimbledon 15).
● After netting 25 goals in seven Premier League games, Tottenham failed to register a single shot on target in their 1-0 defeat to Brighton last time out.
● Tottenham have won just one of their last 11 away London derbies in the Premier League (D3 L7), losing each of the last five in a row. They’ve never lost six consecutive away London derbies in their league history.
● Both Brentford and Tottenham have scored three 90th minute winning goals in the Premier League this season, with only four teams ever netting four such goals in a single season (Sunderland 2007-08, Liverpool 2008-09, Everton 2009-10 and Newcastle 2012-13). In Brentford’s case, it’s the joint-most a team has got in their debut season in the competition, level with Wigan in 2005-06.
● Tottenham striker Harry Kane has faced 31 different opponents in the Premier League, with Brentford currently the only one he hasn’t scored against. Kane has been involved in 50 goals in Premier League London derbies (39 goals, 11 assists), with only Thierry Henry having a hand in more (55).
● Brentford’s Christian Eriksen has been involved in three goals in his last four Premier League games (1 goal, 2 assist), while the Bees have won all five league games he’s started. He could be the 26th different player to score a Premier League goal against Tottenham having previously played for them in the competition, which would be the most of any side (Chelsea also currently 25).
● Tottenham’s Son Heung-min has been involved in 18 goals in his last 18 Premier League games, scoring 13 and assisting five. As it stands, he’s on track to be the first player other than Harry Kane to finish a season as Spurs’ top league goalscorer since Emmanuel Adebayor in 2013-14.