PREMIER LEAGUE THURSDAY: The Striker previews Thursday’s Premier League games between NORWICH v CHELSEA, SOUTHAMPTON v NEWCASTLE, WOLVES v WATFORD and LEEDS v ASTON VILLA all with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.


7.30pm All the focus might be on Europe this week with the Champions League and Europa League Last 16 ties, but we also have Premier League action to enjoy on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. It’s a busy time for the Premier League at the moment as they try to catch up on the postponed fixtures from the Covid19 outbreak over Christmas, and we also have the FA Cup next round to fit in too which has changed the fixture list for the weekend before the International break. We have four fixtures to enjoy tonight, and we start the evening with Norwich hosting Chelsea. Norwich were totally outplayed again last weekend at home to Brentford, and we’re getting to the stage of the season now where they have more or less no chance of staying up. That must be very hard for morale in the camp because only a few weeks ago they somehow made it out of the bottom three after being nailed to the bottom of the table. Then they bumped into Manchester City and Liverpool, and that’s just what happens in the Premier League – it’s hard to see them being able to live with this Chelsea side. Although Chelsea have a lot going on at the moment off the field, they put that aside for an impressive performance in the second half against Burnley to score four times.

Chelsea are obviously the shortest price of the night, they are trading as short as 1.3 at the time of writing and this should be comfortable win for them. Norwich came up well short in the games against Manchester City and Liverpool recently, and although Chelsea aren’t at that level, I feel this is a case of how many goals will Chelsea score rather than will they win. Both sides have had a lot of goals in their recent games – Chelsea even conceded twice against Luton Town in the FA Cup. Norwich essentially have “nothing to lose” here by playing an open game, and I was surprised to see over 2.5 goals trading as big as 1.76 when I clicked into the market. On paper, this one shapes up to be a very open game and I think we could see a lot of goals here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar game to the Norwich v Brentford game here the weekend, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the same score line too. Over 2.5 goals stands out as the value here.

The Striker Says:
Three points win Over 2.5 goals at 1.76 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Norwich are winless in their last 13 Premier League meetings with Chelsea (D2 L11) since a 3-0 home win in December 1994 under John Deehan.
● Chelsea have won their last five Premier League games against Norwich, winning 7-0 in the reverse fixture back in October. There have been three occasions of the Blues netting 10 goals against an opponent in a single Premier League campaign – Wolves in 2003-04, Sunderland in 2009-10 and Aston Villa in 2012-13.
● Norwich City have won just one of their last 29 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Premier League games (D8 L20), and are winless in 13 (D3 L10) since a 4-2 victory over Watford in May 2016. The Canaries have also lost both of their Thursday games in the competition.
● Chelsea are unbeaten in their four Premier League midweek games this season (W1 D3), though the last three have all seen the Blues open the scoring before eventually drawing 1-1 (vs Everton and twice against Brighton).
● Norwich are without a win in their last eight matches against reigning European champions (D1 L7), losing the last six in a row by an aggregate score of 21-2 – their last such win came at home to Aston Villa in October 1982 (1-0).
● Chelsea have won their last three Premier League games by an aggregate score of 7-0. They’ve not won four in a row without conceding in the competition since December 2016 under Antonio Conte.
● Teemu Pukki has scored 44% of Norwich’s 16 Premier League goals this season (7/16), the highest such share by a player in the competition in 2021-22. However, Pukki has scored in more Premier League games while ending on the losing side than any other Norwich player in the competition’s history (7).
● Chelsea’s Mason Mount has been involved in six goals in his last three league appearances against Norwich (5 goals, 1 assist), netting a hat-trick in the Blues’ 7-0 victory in the reverse fixture.
● No Chelsea player has scored more goals under Thomas Tuchel in all competitions than Kai Havertz (13). The German has scored four goals in his last five appearances for the Blues, as many as he had in his previous 23.
● Mason Mount has been involved in 10 of Chelsea’s last 17 Premier League goals against newly promoted sides (6 goals, 4 assists). Indeed, since his first Premier League season in 2019-20, only Jamie Vardy (17), Mohamed Salah (16) and Son Heung-Min (14) have more goal involvements against promoted teams than Mount (9 goals, 4 assists).


7.30pm We have a very interesting fixture here as Southampton host Newcastle! Although Southampton had a big setback at the weekend with a 4-0 loss to Aston Villa, they come into the game in good form in general. Newcastle have been fantastic lately to be fair, and they have put together an eight game unbeaten run to shoot up the table. They aren’t even in the relegation fight anymore! Given the terrible position they were in going into the transfer window, things are looking very positive now and their fans can get excited about the future. It’s a very interesting situation because as I said before, we haven’t really saw a takeover of a club in the position of Newcastle have so much money – almost unlimited. Realistically if they can break into the top half next season and then go from there, probably increasing the quality of the players with each season. Perhaps in three to five seasons can they challenge for European spots depending on how much money is pumped into the club. The game at the weekend against Brighton was very even, but Newcastle grinded out a result like a team playing with a lot of confidence. In another close game here, that might be what carries them through.

Southampton have impressed me this season and I am a fan of them, especially at home where they have put in some very good performances. They’ve also picked up draws against Manchester United and Manchester City – I know they were outplayed in both games, but that’s always going to happen against the top sides – they dug in and got a result. The games here against Everton and Norwich were impressive wins, but those two sides have been playing poor football lately, and now they face an in-form Newcastle side. To be honest I can’t see anything bar a very close game here, and I was surprised to see Southampton trading as short as 2.0 in the match odds market. I can’t see the game reflecting those odds and I expect a much closer game. From a value point of view, I think the Southampton lay is the best bet of the evening in my view. I feel it offers a lot of value.

The Striker Says:
Four points lay (liability) Southampton to beat Newcastle at 2.0 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Southampton have lost just two of their 20 Premier League home games against Newcastle (W13 D5). Indeed, Saints have won more Premier League home games against the Magpies (13) than they have vs any other side in the competition.
● Newcastle have lost just one of their last nine league games against Southampton (W5 D3), though that defeat did come in this exact fixture last season (0-2).
● Southampton are unbeaten in their five Premier League midweek games this season (W2 D3), one of just four sides yet to lose on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in the competition this term along with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.
● Newcastle United have earned seven points in three away Premier League games in 2022 (W2 D1), four more than they managed in nine away matches in 2021 during the current season (D3 L6).
● Southampton are unbeaten in 10 home Premier League matches (W5 D5), only twice previously having longer home unbeaten runs in the competition: 13 between May 2002 and January 2003 and 12 between October 2004 and March 2005.
● Newcastle are one of just two sides (along with Liverpool) without a Premier League defeat so far in 2022 (W5 D2), while only the current top two of Manchester City (19) and Liverpool (22) have earned more points this year than the Magpies (17).
● Southampton have won their last four home games in all competitions, last winning five consecutively at St Mary’s back in October 2016 under Claude Puel. Current boss Ralph Hasenhüttl last registered five consecutive home wins between September 2016 and January 2017 as RB Leipzig manager (seven in a row).
● Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse has scored in each of his last two Premier League games against Newcastle – he’s never netted in three consecutive appearances against an opponent in the competition.
● Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock’s first two Premier League goals came against Southampton, netting against them with Arsenal in June 2020 and with the Magpies in February last season.
● Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser has been involved in four goals in his last five games in the Premier League (2 goals, 2 assists), as many as he had in his previous 50 appearances in the competition (4 assists).


7.30pm In terms of betting, this is probably the most interesting game of the evening. Wolves were completely outplayed by Crystal Palace here at the weekend – they lost 2-0 but it could have easily been more. That followed on a reasonably poor performance against West Ham and when you look at their xG figures they are very average. They have been creating figures like 0.84, 0.93, 1.12, 0.67, 1.78 and 1.07. Pretty low figures with only the 1.78 standing out in their win away to Spurs. Obviously the two losses to Arsenal have put a big dent in their season and their challenge for the European spots, but they still have a decent chance until the losses to West Ham and Crystal Palace. You could make the argument that they arrive into this fixture playing their worst football of the season, but the big question here is are Watford good enough to take advantage? Watford played well at the weekend at home to Arsenal but ultimately added another loss to the list. There will be some big opinions either way on the Wolves price at 1.87.

Although Watford picked up a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford before the Arsenal loss, they didn’t deserve to get a point. Manchester United played very well creating an xG of 2.93 and should have won easily. It’s just been that type of run for United at the moment, it’s just the position the club is in at the moment that nothing is going right. I have to say, I don’t fully trust this Watford side to perform and get a result here, but when you look at the Wolves form you wouldn’t want to be backing them at odds on. I would lean towards the Wolves lay – indeed I couldn’t put anyone off it – just purely because I expect a much closer game than those odds suggest. However, I don’t have any confidence in this Watford side who have been very poor this season. I feel the best value option is under 2.5 goals at 1.65. Wolves just aren’t firing up front at the moment and I can see them struggling to score here. If Watford sit back we could see a very boring game here and under 2.5 goals stands out, but this is a game for small stakes in my opinion.

The Striker Says:
One point win Under 2.5 goals at 1.65 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Wolves are looking to complete the league double over Watford for just the third time, previously doing so in the second tier in both 1991-92 and 2008-09.
● Watford have won just three of their 20 away league games against Wolves in their history (D11 L6). However, two of those victories have come in their three visits to Molineux in the top-flight (5-0 in December 1983 and 2-0 in October 2018).
● Wolves have lost all three of their Premier League games played on a Thursday, doing so twice in February this season against Arsenal, and in January 2020 against Liverpool. In the competition’s history, no team has a worse 100% loss rate on a specific day of the week than Wolves’ 3/3 on Thursdays.
● Watford have lost 18 of their 22 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Premier League games away from home (W1 D3), with their only such victory coming at Arsenal in January 2017.
● Wolves have lost their last three Premier League games in a row, as many as they’d lost in their previous 13 in the competition (W7 D3 L3) – they last lost four consecutive top-flight games within the same season in 2011-12 (7).
● Since a run in which they conceded in 17 consecutive away Premier League matches between January 2020 and January 2022, Watford have kept three clean sheets in four away games under manager Roy Hodgson, conceding just once. If they keep a clean sheet in this game, it would be only the ninth instance of a team shipping one goal in their first five away Premier League games under a manager.
● 63% of Watford’s Premier League points this season have come away from home (12/19), the highest such share in the division this term. Indeed, the Hornets have lost just one of their last five on the road in the top-flight (W1 D3), having lost 12 of 14 before this run.
● Wolves have conceded six goals in their last four Premier League games, having shipped just five times in their previous 12 in the competition. Wolves were 2-0 behind at half-time against Crystal Palace last time out, having conceded just twice in the first half of their previous 19 Premier League games combined.
● Wolves have scored a higher share of their Premier League goals from outside the box than any other side in the competition this season (25% – 6/24). Meanwhile, Watford are the only side yet to score from outside the box in the Premier League this term.
● Watford’s Moussa Sissoko has scored two goals in his last three Premier League games, as many as in his previous 131 appearances in the competition. The last time the Frenchman scored more than twice in a single Premier League campaign was in 2014-15 with Newcastle (4).


7.45pm We finish the evening with the most open market of the night as Leeds host Aston Villa. This is probably the most important game of the evening, as every game is absolutely vital for Leeds at the moment. The Brentford win over Norwich at the weekend has definitely added a little pressure to the situation, but Burnley and Everton lost so that leaves the door open for Leeds now. A win for Leeds here could put immense pressure on Everton – the general view is they are “too good to go down” but if Leeds picks up a few points soon that definitely piles the pressure on Everton who aren’t used to these relegation battles while Burnley are! The Leicester win over Leeds at the weekend took the headlines, but anyone who watched the game knew Leeds deserved to win – they bossed the game and that was a big improvement on their performances in recent weeks. I was very interested to see what the players would do after Marcelo Biesla was sacked, and it appears the players are happy with that decision given their high performance level at the weekend.

You have to say that they have a fantastic chance to win here. I know Villa have put together two wins now but in general they have been very average this season. They were playing average football before Steven Gerrard took over, and although they rode a good momentum wave when he first came in, that wore off recently and they “needed” those two wins to get back on track. The game against Brighton was pretty close, but the 4-0 win to Southampton was good at the weekend. That was their highest xG figure for quite a while, and if they follow that up again they will win. While it’s no surprise to see a very open market here as this should be a close game, I don’t agree with the odds after the Leeds performances against Leicester. I know one performance doesn’t change much and we need to see more, but I’d have the sides priced very evenly here. Villa are marginal favourites at 2.66, but I would them out towards 2.8 like Leeds and the draw a little shorter. The percentage call is the Villa lay to have Leeds and the draw on my side.

The Striker Says:
Two points lay (liability) Aston Villa to beat Leeds at 2.66 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Leeds have won just one of their last nine Premier League home games against Aston Villa (D5 L3), having won three in a row against them at Elland Road before this.
● The away side has lost just three of the last 16 Premier League games between Leeds and Aston Villa (W7 D6).
● Aston Villa have lost three of their last four Premier League games in Yorkshire, though the exception was a 1-0 victory at Leeds last season. The Villans had lost just one of their previous 18 matches in Yorkshire in the competition before this (W9 D8).
● Having won six of their first seven midweek Premier League games following their promotion, Leeds are now winless in their last three on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in the competition (D1 L2), conceding 16 goals across these three games.
● Leeds have lost their last three home league matches, last losing four in a row at Elland Road in September and October 2015 in the Championship. In the Premier League, they last had longer losing run at home between September and December 2002 under Terry Venables (five in a row).
● Aston Villa have won just four of their last 16 Premier League matches against sides starting the day below them in the table (D4 L8), losing seven of their last 11 such matches (W3 D1), including their last two – 1-0 defeats to Newcastle and Watford in February.
● Leeds have conceded four goals in each of their last two home league games, a 4-2 defeat to Man Utd and 4-0 defeat to Spurs – the Whites last shipped 4+ goals in three consecutive home league games back in September/October 1960 in the second tier. The only two Premier League teams to ship 4+ goals in three home games in a row are Derby County (April/May 2008) and West Brom (Dec 2020/Jan 2021).
● This is Jesse Marsch’s first home league game as Leeds United manager – he has won his first home league match at his previous three clubs, netting four goals in each of the previous two (4-1 vs SV Mattersburg with Red Bull Salzburg in 2019 and 4-0 with RB Leipzig vs VfB Stuttgart in 2021).
● Daniel James scored a brace in Leeds’ away 3-3 draw with Aston Villa earlier this season, with Tommy Wright the last Whites player to score more than once home and away against the same opponent in a league season in 1984-85, scoring two away and a hat-trick at home against Notts County.
● Only Danny Ings (9) and Ollie Watkins (8) have been involved in more Premier League goals for Aston Villa this season than Philippe Coutinho (6 – 3 goals, 3 assists), despite the Brazilian only playing seven games for the club. Indeed, Coutinho is averaging a goal or assist once every 87 minutes for the Villans this term.