Our tipster Jones Knows, who is 67.5 points in profit for the season, has two bets to attack this weekend at 80/1 and 13/2.
How did our bets do last time?
On a weekend when not much got my value-seeking radar beeping, my only official bet of Joe Willock and Alexis Mac Allister to score fell pretty flat. Willock wasn’t included in the Newcastle squad so that part of the bet was void meaning we had one point running on Mac Allister to score for Brighton at Arsenal at 4/1. The Seagulls attacked with great intent and found a way to the Arsenal goal twice but nothing dropped the Argentine’s way. He remains a player to watch in the goalscoring markets for the remainder of the season though – as does Willock when he returns to fitness.
Onto this weekend…
P+L = +67.5
I do love nothing more than backing centre-backs to win me money. So this bet has a nice ring to it.
Harry Maguire should get chances vs Norwich. They have only conceded eight goals from corners this season – a fair return – but the underlying numbers paint a different picture. They have shipped an expected goals figure of 16.68 from set-pieces, excluding penalties – only Leicester have posted a higher return.
Southampton have conceded 13 Premier League headed goals this season and Gabriel’s three goals makes him the joint-top scoring centre-back in the Premier League.
With Maguire and Gabriel playing at 3pm on Saturday, those wishing to get on will need to back it before then.
1pt on: Over 2.5 goals in West Ham vs Burnley and six or more Burnley corners (13/2 with Sky Bet – Bet Here!)
This change of mentality to playing “must-win” football in the last two matches has seen a positive effect on Burnley’s attacking metrics – something that will continue to spike over the next few weeks. Games have been much more open affairs with their past two games seeing five goals scored and a total expected goals figure of 8.71 when collating both teams. Travelling to face a West Ham side whose games at the London Stadium average 3.13 and have seen a both teams to score percentage of 75 per cent this season, does give this game the look of a goals-heavy one. The markets have the goal line around 2.5 goals which I think is too low. This means we must attack the overs with confidence at Evens.
I also want to throw in Burnley’s corner count into the mix. Dyche’s men won nine against Everton and seven in their defeat to Norwich – another sign that their attacking intent has gone up a notch. Only Aston Villa and Southampton have won more corners in the Premier League since March 1 than Burnley and that included a fixture with Manchester City where they won just one. Take that game out and they are averaging 7.2 corners per 90 minutes.
Therefore, Sky Bet’s lines on Burnley corners are worth following. Those that like backing short prices should take a look at Burnley to win four corners at 4/6 as West Ham have conceded at least four corners in their nine Premier League games but I’m pushing the boat out a little further by attacking the six or more corner line at a gigantic 11/4 with Sky Bet.
Combine the two angles and you have a very juicy 13/2 shot to attack.
Pep Guardiola jokes he’s ‘sorry’ that he stopped Mikel Arteta from becoming Manchester City manager
The Gunners head north leading rivals City by five points with a game in hand atop the Premier League, but acutely aware of the challenging taking on the frustrated Guardiola and company.
Arteta left Guardiola’s City setup in December 2019 to take the Arsenal helm, transforming the Gunners in remarkable fashion since.
“I am pretty sure if I would have left here before, he would be here [at City] and he would be the best, absolutely,” said Guardiola, of Arteta.
“But I extended my contract, I am sorry, and he didn’t wait, so it could not happen. But definitely it could have.”
Arteta joined Manchester City’s coaching ranks on retiring as a player in 2016, learning his craft under master tactician and serial winner Guardiola.
City’s former Barcelona boss revealed how Arteta would never celebrate goals against the Gunners, the team he represented more than 100 times between 2011 and 2016.
“He loves the club; I remember when we were together here and we scored goals, he jumped a lot and celebrated – except with one team,” said Guardiola.
“One team, every time we score a goal, I jump, look back and he was sitting there. It was Arsenal.”
R Madrid 3 – 1 A Madrid
Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior scored in extra-time as Real Madrid fought back to beat local rivals Atletico 3-1 on Thursday and reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
On a freezing night at a sold-out Santiago Bernabeu hosting its first game for 77 days due to the World Cup break, Real started slowly and Atletico had many dangerous counter-attacks.
Atletico captain Koke delivered a brilliant through ball to Nahuel Molina who ghosting in behind Reals defence and the full back set up Alvaro Morata, a former Real academy player, to tap the ball into an empty net in the 19th minute.
Eder Militao wasted a golden chance to equalise in the 32nd minute after Toni Kroos had delivered a perfect cross.
It was not only until Dani Ceballos came off the bench to replace the injured Ferland Mendy late in the first half that Real started to play better.
The 26-year-old midfielder injected a new dynamic into the team who were far more aggressive after the break.
Benzema wasted two good opportunities and Federico Valverde also sent a shot wide from just outside the box.
Substitute Rodrygo equalised in the 79th with a delightful goal, dribbling past three defenders before finishing well.
With Real Madrid in full control, Atletico played most of extra time with 10 men after defender Stefan Savic was shown his second yellow card for chopping down Eduardo Camavinga in the 99th minute.
Five minutes later, Real substitute Marco Asensio sent a low cross into the box and Vinicius’s deflected shot reached Benzema who unleashed an unstoppable strike into the net.
Vinicius secured Real’s win in the dying seconds with a brilliant individual goal, running half the length of the pitch before scoring with a low shot.
“We got behind very early and after Mendy’s injury the whole team had to be rebuilt. But we woke up and played really well after the break,” Ceballos told TVE.
“They played better in the first half, but the coach corrected things in the second; we took control of the ball and found the goal. Then, after the red card, everything was easier.”
Real Madrid joined Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals.
Everything we know about Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle
It’s conference championship week. With only four teams on the NFL schedule this week — the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Cincinnati Bengals — one interesting storyline can dominate the entire conversation leading up to the games. This time, it’s QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle.
The fact that this storyline is the dominant one heading into the weekend makes sense. He’s the best player in the league, and his team is hosting the AFC Championship Game against the Bengals who are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Also, the game is taking place one week after he suffered a high-ankle sprain and was still able to hobble the Chiefs to victory — aided of course by a timely 98-yard touchdown drive that was led by backup quarterback Chad Henne.
How mobile does Mahomes look right now?
Since his right ankle got rolled against the Jacksonville Jaguars, no leg in America has had as much attention on it as his. Not even Brent Maher’s as he overcame his kicking yips during the Dallas Cowboys’ loss on Sunday to the Eagles. Mahomes’ ankle has so much attention on it that Fox 4 KC’s Harold R. Kuntz has been filming him walking down from the press conference podium the last two days. And by filming Mahomes, I mean only his legs.
Thursday update: Mahomes didn’t even need to use the stairs.
Knox’s assessment: Don’t be a hero… until Sunday.
Kuntz isn’t the only reporter on the scene sharing video footage of Mahomes’ mobility. During the portion of practice that was open to the media, many videos were sent out of Mahomes moving around. As the Chiefs were warming up, Mahomes actually jogged and spun as he headed toward his next station. He is certainly running better than he was on Sunday.
In their comments to the media, Andy Reid said that Mahomes “did a nice job and was “comfortable with what we did.” Mahomes said that he believed his Wednesday practice went, “better than I expected.”
For Chiefs fans — and those of us who want to see a well-played AFC Championship Game — this news out of Kansas City is the best we could’ve received. On the Chiefs’ most active days of practice, Mahomes was seen moving very well. Also, he and the head coach both gave positive updates about the health of the most important leg in sports this weekend.
Will the ankle affect Mahomes’ play on Sunday?
There is no possible way that Mahomes will be 100 percent against the Bengals. They are going to test that ankle by trying to apply the same type of pressure that disrupted the Buffalo Bills during the Bengals’ Divisional Round win on Sunday. However, if he can move around all game as well as he has been in practice, he will be able to play well enough for the Chiefs to have a chance at victory.
We’ve received the closeup and overhead views of Mahomes’ health. All that is left is the view at Arrowhead Stadium from the CBS cameras at 6:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 29, 2023.
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