PREMIER LEAGUE: The Striker previews Wednesday’s Premier League games – all with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats. MANCHESTER CITY v BRENTFORD, NORWICH v CRYSTAL PALACE, TOTTENHAM v SOUTHAMPTON and ASTON VILLA v LEEDS.


7.45pm We have another fantastic night ahead on BETDAQ Betting Exchange on Wednesday with four Premier League fixtures to enjoy. We start the evening with what should be a very enjoyable game as Manchester City host Brentford. I know Brentford have been a much better side at home compared to away from home, but they have really impressed me with how they have approached the Premier League this season and it’s nice to see them sitting safely in mid-to-low table avoiding a relegation battle. They’re going to have a very difficult night ahead away to Manchester City however, and the market is fully expecting a comfortable home win here with City trading as short as 1.13 at the time of writing. While I can respect how good Brentford have been this season, there’s still a massive gulf in class between the sides. City have been fantastic this season, and they are so far ahead at the top of the table they can probably start focusing on the Champions League which is back next week.

While Brentford have been enjoyable to watch this season, they do arrive into this fixture off the back of five straight losses in all competitions. They got hammered 4-1 by Everton at the weekend and they have been conceding a lot of goals lately. Despite losing 3-1 at home to Manchester United, they actually played very well and created a bigger xG than United! I do worry about them away from home however, and perhaps the Liverpool game in mid-January is the best guide to this fixture. Liverpool won 3-0 and created an xG of 3.59 to 0.33. I feel we’re looking at a very similar outcome here, and when you considering Southampton also put four goals past Brentford in their away game prior to that I can see City scoring plenty here. Brentford enjoy playing an open game, and that’s very unlikely to work against City too. Any Other Home Win (Manchester City to score four or more and win) looks the value at 2.55 in the Correct Score market.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Any Other Home Win Correct Score at 2.55 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Following a 1-0 win earlier this season, Manchester City are looking for their first league double over Brentford since 1936-37, a season in which they won their first top-flight title.
● This is Brentford’s first visit to Man City in any competition since October 1989 in the League Cup, losing 4-1 at Maine Road under Steve Perryman.
● Excluding the 1992-93 season, just two teams have won away at the reigning Premier League champions in their maiden campaign in the competition (D5 L20) – Derby in 1996-97 (3-2 vs Manchester United) and Bournemouth in 2015-16 (1-0 vs Chelsea).
● Manchester City have won each of their last 17 Premier League games played on Wednesdays, including a 1-0 win against Brentford in the reverse fixture in December. In Premier League history, only Liverpool have had a longer winning run on a specific day of the week (21 on Saturday between 2018 and 2020).
● Brentford have lost each of their last four league games, with the Bees last losing five in a row back in December 2007 under Terry Butcher in League Two.
● After keeping a clean sheet in three of their first five Premier League games (0.4 goals conceded per game), Brentford have recorded just one shutout in their last 18 in the competition (2 goals conceded per game).
● Since losing 2-0 against Crystal Palace in October, Man City have won their last six Premier League home games by an aggregate score of 20-4. Overall, Man City have scored 771 goals in 353 Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium (2.2 per game), the best ratio of any side at a specific venue in the competition (min. 20 games).
● No team has opened the scoring in more different Premier League games than Man City this season, with the Citizens winning all 17 games in which they’ve scored first. Only two teams have ever had a 100% win rate when scoring first in a completed Premier League campaign – Portsmouth in 2007-08 (14/14) and Manchester United in 2017-18 (21/21).
● Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne has been involved in 13 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances against promoted sides (5 goals, 8 assists), setting up the Citizens’ winner against Brentford in his last such game.
● Ivan Toney has scored six Premier League goals this season, twice as many as any other Brentford player. He could become the first player to score in three consecutive top-flight matches for the Bees since Len Townsend in November 1946.


7.45pm Tuesday night was all about the relegation battle with Newcastle, Watford and Burnley all in action – now it’s the turn of Norwich who need to keep their winning run going. Despite finally getting out of the relegation zone before the winter break, they are still very much in danger. Don’t get me wrong it was a fantastic achievement to get out of the bottom three from where they were, but they played more games than Newcastle, Watford and Burnley and then you to consider how Newcastle have added to their squad in January – Norwich are still odds on to go down. In a nutshell, they just need to keep winning games and hope that the Newcastle signings don’t fire. Norwich would have been delighted to keep their winning run going in the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Wolves at the weekend – however they probably would have preferred that to be a Premier League game! They were lucky to beat Watford prior to the winter break, but they did play very well at home to Everton. This is a game that they will look at and give themselves an excellent chance. Crystal Palace are a decent side, but they are average and will probably always be a mid-to-low Premier League side.

The winter break came at a bad time for Crystal Palace, because you could say they were playing their best football of the season. Their xG figures were very strong in late December and January – the sides actually met just before the New Year and Crystal Palace ran out easy 3-0 winners. Since then they created an xG of 2.97 v West Ham, got an (undeserved to be honest) draw away to Brighton and they played very well in their loss to Liverpool. I know Norwich are riding on a crest of a wave at the moment but they are still a very limited side. They caught Everton at a great time when they weren’t happy with their manager and then they were lucky to win 3-0 against Watford. I’m happy to keep stakes small here but Palace are worth backing at 2.22.

The Striker Says:
One point win Crystal Palace to beat Norwich at 2.22 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Norwich City are winless in six Premier League matches against Crystal Palace (D2 L4) since a 1-0 win back in November 2013 under Chris Hughton.
● Crystal Palace have only lost two of their last 20 league meetings with Norwich (W11 D7), with both defeats coming at Carrow Road, in 2007-08 and 2013-14.
● In their Football League history, the only team Norwich have beaten more often in league football than Crystal Palace (43 wins) are Queens Park Rangers (50), while Crystal Palace have more league wins against Norwich (47) than any other side.
● Norwich have won their last two Premier League games, netting 38% of their total goals this season in these victories (5/13). The Canaries last won three consecutive top-flight league games in December 2012.
● Only Burnley (0) have won fewer Premier League away games this season than Crystal Palace (1), with the Eagles’ sole victory on the road this term coming at reigning champions and current league leaders Manchester City in October.
● Norwich have won just one of their last 28 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Premier League games (D7 L20), beating Watford 4-2 in May 2016.
● Crystal Palace have won just five of their 36 Premier League games played on a Wednesday (D15 L16). Only on Fridays (0%) do the Eagles have a lower win rate on a specific day of the week in the competition than on Wednesdays (14%).
● Nine of Crystal Palace’s 34 goals conceded in the Premier League this season have been from outside the box, a league-high for both total and percentage (26%) in the competition this term.
● Last time out against Watford, Josh Sargent became the first Norwich player to score more than once in a Premier League match since Teemu Pukki’s hat-trick against Newcastle in August 2019.
● Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Édouard has been involved in five goals in his last four Premier League games (3 goals, 2 assists), more than he had in his first 15 appearances in the competition (3 goals, 1 assist).


7.45pm Another interesting fixture here and an interesting market! Southampton managed to pick up a 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City before the winter break, and I know they had home advantage that time it’s still an impressive performance. They have been playing pretty well recently too. That being said, Southampton hosted Spurs just before the New Year and although the game finished 1-1 Spurs finished the game with an xG of 2.90 compared to Southampton’s 0.43. When you consider that Spurs have been playing some excellent football at home since Conte took over, this could be a difficult night for Southampton, When you look through the form of Southampton recently, they have put in some good displays but they always seem to come up short against the top sides. You wouldn’t exactly call Spurs a top side, but you can’t really knock them since Conte took over. They have been very solid apart from the losses to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and before the winter break.

The big question here is do you take the 1.65 on Spurs, and I feel the answer is yes. You have to be impressed with their home form under Conte – since he took over they have finished with xG figures of 2.48, 2.43, 2.14, 2.87 and 2.53. Even in their recent away games, their xG figures have been 2.90, 2.09 and 4.68 before losing 2-0 to Chelsea with an average performance. I won’t read too much into that as the top three look much better than the rest in the Premier League this season, and Spurs bossed the game against Southampton recently too. They are due some luck after only getting a draw when creating an xG of 2.90 so perhaps that luck will come here. I respect the fact Southampton are a solid side and they have been playing well, but this Spurs side should totally outclass them here and the 1.65 is worth backing.

The Striker Says:
Two points win Tottenham to beat Southampton at 1.65 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Tottenham Hotspur have won their last five home Premier League matches against Southampton, since a 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane back in May 2016.
● Southampton have lost 13 of their last 19 Premier League matches against Spurs (W3 D3), although drew 1-1 earlier this season. They haven’t avoided defeat in both games against them in a season since 2003-04 (W2).
● Spurs have won seven of their 10 home Premier League matches this season (D1 L2), only the second time in the last 10 campaigns they have won as many as seven of their first 10 home games, winning eight in 2016-17 under Mauricio Pochettino.
● Since the start of 2021, Southampton have conceded 57 away Premier League goals, 18 more than any other team. Under Ralph Hasenhüttl, Saints have shipped three or more goals in 19 of their 60 away games (32%) with only Dave Jones (35%) seeing his teams concede 3+ goals in a higher percentage of away games in Premier League history (min. 50 away games).
● This is Spurs’ first home Premier League game since Boxing Day, a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace. With this their first home game in 2022, it is the latest into a year they’ve played their first home league game since 1985, when they lost 2-1 to Man Utd in March.
● Southampton have dropped 20 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only Newcastle dropping more (21). Saints have drawn five of their last seven league games after taking the lead (W2).
● Antonio Conte has won 20 of his last 21 home league matches as a manager across spells with Inter Milan and Spurs, drawing the other 2-2 with Liverpool. He is unbeaten in his first five with Spurs, with only Peter Shreeves (first six games in 1984) and George Graham (first 11 games in 1998-99) having a longer unbeaten home start as Spurs manager in the top-flight.
● Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been directly involved in 17 goals in 12 Premier League starts against Southampton (11 goals, 6 assists), and has scored five goals in his last three at home against the Saints. Kane has been involved in more goals against Southampton than any other player in Premier League history.
● Harry Kane (11) and Son Heung-Min (9) have scored 20 of Tottenham’s last 29 Premier League goals against Southampton, combining for six of those. They are one of only three duos to combine for six goals against a club, after Alan Smith and Mark Viduka vs Charlton (6), and Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba vs Bolton (7).
● Southampton winger Nathan Redmond has assisted five Premier League goals this season, his most in a single campaign and the most of any Saints player this season. However, his last eight assists have all come at home, last assisting away from home back in July 2020 at Bournemouth.


8pm We finish a cracking evening with Aston Villa hosting Leeds. This is yet another very interesting fixture – you have to say it’s a great night of action! Villa come into the game as odds on favourites and I’m sure there will be some big opinions on that price. They have had great momentum since Steven Gerrard took over but their performances haven’t really been impressive. Their best two performances came against Manchester United in a 2-2 draw here but we know United have been really struggling lately and then the 2-1 win over Leicester here. They have picked up plenty of results under Gerrard, but they haven’t been blowing sides away. For example, they beat Everton before the winter break but they conceded a higher xG than they created and the same happened in the Crystal Palace win too, along with a win over Brighton in a very even game. Although Villa have rode their luck, that’s not to say that they won’t beat Leeds here. We all know that Leeds have had major issues at the back this season, and although they picked up two huge wins after New Year they haven’t solved their issues!

I know we have been through this before, but I feel the problem with Leeds this season compared to last season is they haven’t been as good going forward. Last season they created a lot of chances and enjoyed a lot of time at the ball – attack was their best form of defence. This year their level has dropped, and their issues at the back have been in full focus. They have conceded an average xG of 1.9 per Premier League game this season and that’s a very poor stat – you won’t win many games conceding two goals per game, and their place in the table is a fair reflection of their level. I feel Villa win here, but the 1.85 looks fair value to me and that is the correct price in my opinion. Over 2.5 goals looks the best bet here at 1.72 – Villa have saw both teams score in quite a few of their games and Leeds always play an open game. We could finish the day with a bang here with plenty of goals!

The Striker Says:
Three points win Over 2.5 goals at 1.72 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Aston Villa have lost their last two home league matches against Leeds, losing 3-2 in the Championship in December 2018 and 3-0 in the Premier League last season. They’ve never lost three in a row at home to the Whites.
● The home team has won just one of the last seven league meetings between Aston Villa and Leeds (D3 L3), a 1-0 Villa win in April 2018 at Villa Park.
● This will be Leeds United’s 4,000th league match since joining the Football League in 1920. The last four teams to hit this figure as a Premier League side have lost their 4000th game – Spurs in November 2017 (1-2 vs Leicester), Watford in April 2018 (0-1 vs Huddersfield), Bournemouth in December 2019 (0-2 vs Brighton) and Crystal Palace in July 2020 (2-3 vs Chelsea).
● Aston Villa have alternated between scoring once and scoring twice in their last seven home Premier League games (2-3, 1-4, 2-0, 1-2, 2-1, 1-3, 2-2) and have only failed to score in one of their last 16 games at Villa Park, a goalless draw with Everton in May.
● Leeds won their last away match against West Ham, winning 3-2. They haven’t won consecutive away games since May when they beat Burnley and Southampton, while the Whites last won their first two away league games in a year back in 2005 in the Championship, beating Coventry and Stoke.
● Since shipping eight goals in open play across their two defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal (four in each game), Leeds have only conceded once in open play in three Premier League games in 2022, a Pablo Fornals goal for West Ham. However, the Whites have conceded from both direct free-kick efforts they have faced this year (Maxwel Cornet for Burnley & Jonjo Shelvey for Newcastle scoring those goals).
● Steven Gerrard has lost two of his five home Premier League matches as Aston Villa manager (W2 D1) – he only lost three of his 59 home league games as Rangers manager (W48 D8).
● This could be Raphinha’s 50th Premier League appearance for Leeds, and the Brazilian has been involved in 25 goals in 49 games so far (14 goals, 11 assists), the most of any Whites player since his debut in October 2020. In that time he has also created the most chances (103), completed the most dribbles (101) and had the most touches in the opposition box (208) of any Leeds player.
● Leeds striker Patrick Bamford has started two matches at Villa Park in his club career and netted five goals, scoring twice for Middlesbrough in the League Cup in September 2017 and a hat-trick for Leeds last season in the Premier League. In Leeds’ history, the only player to score in consecutive league appearances at Villa Park is defender Pontus Jansson in 2016-17 and 2018-19.
● Lucas Digne has created four chances for Aston Villa in the Premier League since his move from Everton, all for Emiliano Buendía, including assisting his winner against the Toffees. Buendía has also created one chance for Digne, with the duo combining once every 36 minutes, the second-best ratio of any duo to play 100 minutes alongside one another this season (Jamie Vardy/Ayoze Pérez, one every 32 mins).