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PL predictions: Arsenal to beat Tottenham

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Our betting guru Jones Knows reckons Arsenal will claim North London bragging rights on Sunday

Brentford vs Liverpool, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports Image: Brentford vs Liverpool - live on Sky Sports

Brentford are a very smart club. The decision to base their season of survival on clean sheets rather than playing the free-flowing football that got them to the Premier League is one Norwich must be wishing they had adopted. In their five fixtures, Brentford have conceded just two goals, a statistic backed up by their expected goals against figure of 3.92 - which marks them down as the second best defence in the Premier League. A thorough test awaits here though.

Liverpool have their swagger back but the 4/9 with Sky Bet for an away win doesn't get me excited. The 6/4 for a Liverpool win to nil is a little more tempting, although it could take time for the Reds to break down this well-organised outfit.

Brentford are being rated too highly in terms of their ability to restrict Liverpool getting shots away though. This has led to Sky Bet offering very generous Liverpool shot lines with 18 or more being allowed to be punted at 7/2. A fantastic price.

In their last 14 Premier League matches, Liverpool - full of verve and energy - have averaged 21.36 shots per 90 minutes in that period. This season, they are working at a 25 shots per 90 minutes ratio with 125 being posted in their five games. They are just the second side since 2003/04 to have 100+ shots in their opening five games of a season - with Chelsea having 138 in 2009/10.

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To give you a flavour of the value being offered here, Liverpool have had 16 or more shots in 13 of their last 14 Premier League encounters. Let's not forget, Brentford are a newly promoted team and - naturally - there's going to be plenty of fear factor on show, taking on one of the best teams in Europe.

Yes, they have restricted teams like Brighton, Aston Villa and Wolves to minimal efforts on goal but this is Liverpool we're talking about. Jurgen Klopp's men are a different level and a relentless beast in terms of suffocating teams when going forward. I'd be very surprised if they don't clear the 16 or more shots line and punters should also respect the 21+ (11/2 with Sky Bet) and 25+ (22/1 with Sky Bet). That 22/1 line would have won in three of Liverpool's five Premier League fixtures this season.

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BETTING ANGLE: Liverpool to have 18 or more shots (7/2 with Sky Bet)

Saturday 25th September 5:00pm Kick off 5:30pmSouthampton vs Wolves, Sunday 2.00pm, live on Sky Sports

I'm yet to truly get a handle on both these two teams, which is proving problematic for prediction and betting purposes. Having backed Southampton for relegation in the summer, I've been surprised with their performance levels that should have amounted to more than the four draws they have picked up.

Can they get that elusive first win here? Well, the markets can't split these two. And I'm thinking along the same lines. I do think Wolves will finish considerably higher than Saints come the end of the campaign but their current conversion rate in front of goal makes them impossible to fancy.

Wolves have struggled for goals with just two in the Premier League this season - an own goal by Watford's Francisco Sierralta and a goal from a yard out by Hee-Chan Hwang in the 2-0 win at Watford. This is despite attempting the third highest amount of shots this season, behind only Manchester City and Liverpool.

Wolves also have the highest expected goals figure this season (9.2) to back up their shots data. The difference of -7.2 between goals scored and expected goals is the biggest negative difference in the Premier League. If they start taking these big chances, then an opposition team is in trouble. I don't think it'll start happening here though. A fifth consecutive draw for Southampton has to be the play.


BETTING ANGLE: Back the 1-1 correct score (6/1 with Sky Bet)

Arsenal vs Tottenham, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports

Mikel Arteta is now in a place of calm and tranquillity at Arsenal. Managers get to that place when knowing exactly what his best starting XI is and are able to pick it consistently.

Three wins across all competitions without conceding certainly has put a spring in the step of everyone around the club and has got me firmly in the camp of wanting to back them at the prices available (6/5 with Sky Bet) this weekend. Meanwhile, Tottenham can count themselves lucky to have nine points on the board. An expected goals figure of just 4.42 is the worst in the Premier League and points to a clear problem with their ability to create chances. That simply isn't good enough when you have arguably the world's best striker in your ranks.

I'm all for the home win.

The Emirates stage is firmly set for Emile Smith Rowe to showcase his talent on Super Sunday - he is a huge price in the various goalscorer markets considering the positions he's taken up this season in a very advanced role off the main striker for Arsenal.

The 21-year-old has been one of the shoots of hope for Arsenal this campaign and could quickly become their main dangerman across all markets if finding a bit of form in front of goal. He has yet to command respect in the goalscorer markets, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang taking up a huge chunk of the percentages. To my eye, his overall sharpness in and around the box is nowhere near the electric levels we have been accustomed to seeing. Meanwhile, Smith Rowe has posted an expected goals figure of 0.68 this season from his seven shots.

A continuation of these types of numbers should result in Smith Rowe troubling the scorers at regular intervals this season. And confidence should be flowing a bit more after opening his account for the season off the bench against AFC Wimbledon in midweek. His prices of 12/1 to score first and 9/2 anytime are worth following. As is the 7/1 for Arsenal to win with him scoring in the match.


BETTING ANGLE: Smith Rowe to score and Arsenal to win (7/1 with Sky Bet)

Image: Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench to score Arsenal's second goal in midweek Crystal Palace vs Brighton, Monday 8.00pm, live on Sky Sports

Brighton dominated both Premier League meetings against the then Roy Hodgson-managed Crystal Palace last season but failed to win either game, drawing 1-1 at Selhurst Park and losing 2-1 at the Amex to a stoppage time goal by Christian Benteke. Their shots data in those fixtures equated to a goal every 22.5 shots - a common theme to their problems under Graham Potter. Basically, they were having to create lots of chances to score a goal.

That is something they have rectified this season as they are now averaging a goal every eight shots and are outperforming their expected goals data. It's all very unlike Brighton. Whether they can sustain it though, is up for debate.

Meanwhile, Palace under Patrick Vieira are attempting to become more of a possession-based team than under Hodgson. Their average possession stats are up to almost 50 per cent on average despite having faced Chelsea and Liverpool in their first five Premier League games.

Monday 27th September 7:00pm Kick off 8:00pm

So, what does this all mean for this particular encounter? A low scoring one, probably but the markets are already well prepared for that with just 4/7 on offer with Sky Bet for under 2.5 goals. Those sorts of prices aren't really my style so I'm going to play a 66/1 shot with Sky Bet as they seriously underestimate the chances of Wilfried Zaha getting sent off.

Zaha always plays on the edge, more so now than ever with his prickly reactions to getting fouled leaving him vulnerable to an aggressive coming together with the opposition. He played a big part in the dismissal of Japhet Tanganga in the win over Tottenham, a game he was booked in, meaning he has now induced eight opposition red cards since his Premier League debut in 2013 - the most of any player.

Confrontation follows Zaha around. Four red cards have been shown his way during his career, with the last coming in January 2019 during one of his many run-ins with James Ward-Prowse. The referee that day was Andre Marriner, who takes charge of this one. All the ingredients are there, under the lights in a derby match at Selhurst Park, for Zaha to lose his cool with VAR watching like a hawk.


BETTING ANGLE: Wilfried Zaha to be sent-off (66/1 with Sky Bet)

This weekend's predictions

Chelsea vs Manchester City - JONES KNOWS PREDICTED 1-1

Manchester United vs Aston Villa - JONES KNOWS PREDICTED 2-1

Everton vs Norwich - JONES KNOWS PREDICTED 1-2

Leeds vs West Ham - JONES KNOWS PREDICTED 1-3

Leicester vs Burnley - JONES KNOWS PREDICTED 1-2

Watford vs Newcastle - JONES KNOWS PREDICTED 1-1

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