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Premier League predictions: Jones Knows thinks Everton can take advantage of an undercooked Chelsea




Fulham vs Liverpool, Saturday 12.30pm

They go again. With such little change, barring a slight revamp of their forward line, there is absolute confidence that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be out to steamroll opponents from the first whistle yet again. This is a team that scored 147 goals across all competitions last season, including 94 in the Premier League where they are unbeaten in their last 19 games, winning 16.
I’m intrigued to see how Fulham fare with Marco Silva rightly back at the top table of English football, but easier challenges will lie ahead.
The price is a little skinny for me to officially back, but those that like playing the short ones should take full advantage of the 10/11 with Sky Bet for Mohamed Salah to score in the match and the boost of Evens for him to have a shot on target (£10 maximum).

Despite Liverpool’s rampant run of results, the Egyptian’s form went off the boil towards the end of the campaign but a prolonged rest and signing a new contract on July 1 seems to have lit the fire under Salah again judging by his performances in pre-season. He ripped Manchester City apart in the Community Shield, reminding everyone just why he landed the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards last season.
Bournemouth vs Aston Villa, Saturday 3pm

Jumping to firm conclusions at this stage of the season isn’t a wise betting tactic but I’d be flabbergasted if Bournemouth overperform on their season expectations from the markets, where they are odds-on to go down.


They only just scraped over the line last season in the Sky Bet Championship with a lack of attacking quality a real worry for their prospects as they make the step back into the big time.
Against, technically, the team that is most likely to finish bottom this season, Aston Villa’s attacking players are worth a second look in the goalscorer markets in a match they are taken to win quite cosily. The one that stands out is Leon Bailey at 4/1 in the anytime market although I’d want to see him consistently perform at this level before investing myself, despite his impressive pre-season.

Bailey had a stop-start season following his £30m move from Leverkusen – the good, the bad and the injuries – but a promising pre-season has many Villa fans believing this is his restart season. It’s often either 9/10 or 5/10 from the Jamaican, but he tore Manchester United apart in Perth during pre-season. Steven Gerrard isn’t short of options but it seems Bailey’s form has catapulted him to a starting spot.
Leeds vs Wolves, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £1M!

A difficult season could be on the cards for Wolves. They perplexed many with their defiance of the key metrics throughout last season, posting strong numbers early on when losing matches, then those figures fell through the floor when results started to pick up. By the end of the campaign, they were pretty tedious to watch with no real obvious game plan leading to just one win in their last nine when a European finish was within their grasp.

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Morgan Gibbs-White is an exciting prospect but whether he’ll produce the same level as when on loan in the Championship is debatable, and Pedro Neto could have the world at his feet if he recaptures his form and fitness. Too many ifs, though.

Leeds, meanwhile, look a team to sit back and watch for a few weeks before making any sweeping statements after a summer of massive change within their ranks. It could go either way under Jesse Marsch.


This really is a horrible match to try and come to a confident conclusion on. I’m chickening out.
Newcastle vs Nottingham Forest, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £1M!

Those that have cast their eye over my ante-post season previews, will know I am fully invested in Callum Wilson scoring goals for the Toon this campaign. I’m on him to win the Golden Boot at 33/1 and make the England World Cup squad at 6/1, so it won’t come as a surprise to read I’m playing him to score this weekend.

Wilson has a history of scoring goals early on in a campaign. In the last nine seasons when he has been fit enough to start a season (eight out of nine), Wilson has scored on average five goals in the first eight matchdays of that season.
Overall it works out at an average goals scored per 90 minutes of 0.6 in the first eight matchdays of a season. That compares to a 0.3 average in games over the course of the rest of the season. His body seems to peak after the pre-season period.

Wilson is certainly talking a good game, too. He said: “This season, I feel strong, I feel fit, I feel robust. It’s down to me now to prove those doubters wrong. I thrive off that.”

Everything points to him and Newcastle starting with a bang. He’ll be carrying my money this weekend in the first goalscorer market at 5/1 – the first of many, we hope.
Tottenham vs Southampton, Saturday 3pm – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £1M!


Spurs fans are right to be excited about the forthcoming season. My thoughts on them being a potential threat to Manchester City and Liverpool can be read here and, on that basis, they should carry far too much quality for a flimsy Southampton side who are always great to watch but concede too many goals at key points in matches.

Finding value in ‘player prop’ markets like shots is going to become increasingly harder this season with the five substitutions rule likely to impact on playing time for certain players with no tweaking of the prices offered.
That, added to an already tightening up on prices by bookmakers in those particular markets, is going to make it tougher for lovers of such quirky betting opportunities. Yet, there are still angles to exploit and Kyle Walker-Peters is a man to certainly get involved with in his shot prices. The ever-improving defender averaged 0.8 shots per 90 minutes last season as boss Ralph Hasenhuttl gave plenty of license for his full-backs to join attacks, sometimes in very central positions.
A switch to a back three this season could mean even more emphasis on the wide players setting the tone for attacks and Walker-Peters undoubtedly has the ability to make a difference in the final third. Southampton aren’t going to sit back in north London so I’m very happy to invest in Walker-Peters, against his former club, to fire at least two shots on goal at a temping price of 5/1 with Sky Bet.
Everton vs Chelsea, Saturday 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £1M!

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Deciding how much emphasis pre-season form has on a club’s prospects for when the serious stuff gets going is always a tricky one to put into practice. Even according to their manager, Chelsea are far from ready to be at their best for this trip to Goodison Park. They head into the new season with concerns over whether they can replicate, let alone improve on, the third-place finish and couple of cup finals they achieved last time around.

As my colleague Peter Smith explained in his pre-season piece analysis on the west London side, Chelsea have been presented with an extremely tricky run of home games up to the World Cup break, with Tottenham, Leicester, West Ham, Liverpool, Wolves, Man Utd and Arsenal coming to Stamford Bridge in that order before the pause in November. And such is the level of the top two, a slow start could mean curtains for a title push before even the season has really begun.

This just might be a great time for Everton to use the Goodison Park fortress to its maximum against an undercooked favourite. Not only have Frank Lampard’s side won four of their last six home matches, they have also enjoyed four straight home wins over Chelsea, who are starting to find the Toffees a bit of a bogey team to overcome.


Who is going to score that winning goal though? Richarlison is gone, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is now injured and Chelsea are very defensively watertight. Bore draw it is.
Leicester vs Brentford, Sunday 2pm

Forgive and forget. That’s my motto with Leicester City and their underperformance last season.

They finished a disappointing eighth in the Premier League last term, picking up 52 points. It was a 12-point underachievement on what we had seen from Brendan Rodgers’ side in the two previous seasons. Key defensive injuries cost them the opportunity to play Wesley Fofana and Jonny Evans together as a partnership last season. That was massive. Having a fully-fit Fofana ready to go from the first whistle is an exciting prospect. To my eye, he’s the best young centre-back in world football. No wonder Chelsea are toying with the idea of paying £80m for him.

With a far more settled side and no European football to negotiate, there is enough quality in the dugout in Rodgers and in his exciting young side to really kick-on again this season. Read here why I’m backing them for a top-six finish and if they are going to be capable of those heights, Brentford really shouldn’t be giving them too many problems.
Manchester United vs Brighton, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £1M!
It may sound completely ludicrous to say this about Manchester United, but this season may just be seen as a lengthy pre-season for when the real judgement on Erik ten Haag can be made during the ’23/24 campaign. This is a chance to put some building blocks in place to make sure United can flourish again. Easier said than done in this era of expectant and inpatient football fans.

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The signings of Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez seem a sensible start, though, and I’ll be watching closely to see if the new boss can get his message across early to a dressing room that looked so divided and unmotivated last season. Quite frankly I have no idea how they will fare this weekend against a dangerous and supremely coached Brighton side. The draw it is.


The prices around the performances of Jadon Sancho are ones to keep on the radar as I’m expecting him to flourish under the guidance of the new boss.

The 22-year-old’s first season in the Premier League saw him score three goals and provide three assists and rarely show his true ability. Yet, there have been signs in pre-season that Sancho might be about to recapture some of his Borussia Dortmund form, scoring three goals and playing with much more aggression and zip.

That confidence could filter through to his shots and shots on target potential over the next few weeks, where he is being priced up on the basis of last season’s numbers. Like my overall opinion on Manchester United, he’s best watched rather than punted this week but keep a close eye on him.
West Ham vs Manchester City, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports – PLAY SUPER 6 TO WIN £1M!

Trying to predict when Manchester City are going to lose a football match is a bit of a thankless task. But such is their skinniness in the markets most weeks, it’s something I’m always looking to consider.

This could be the right time to strike.


To beat City you need the opposition to play with great pace and power in transition, defend deep and cause a threat from set-pieces. The Hammers tick all of those boxes in what should be another profitable season for David Moyes, whose job has become easier keeping hold of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen.

Those two are capable of producing performances to compete with City’s star men but there is a nagging doubt in my mind that Pep Guardiola will have his boys much further forward than they were in the Community Shield. And let’s not forget, Man City’s only defeat in their final 28 Premier League games last season (W23 D4) was the 3-2 defeat vs Tottenham in February. A narrow away win it is.

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2022 World Cup: Unwanted history for hosts Qatar against Ecuador



Qatar on Sunday, became the first host country to be defeated in their opening game in the 92-year history of the World Cup.

Ecuador beat the Middle East country 2-0 courtesy of two first-half goals from captain Enner Valencia. Ecuador’s captain also saw a goal ruled out for offside. The result means Qatar become the first host nation ever to lose their opening game at a World Cup.

It’s obviously not the start Qatar will have wanted to make to a competition that had been plagued by controversy before a ball had even been kicked.

Supporters also made their feelings clear about the match at half-time as they abandoned the game in large numbers with the hosts already 2-0 down. Initial estimates suggest around 20,000 supporters left the game at the break.


There were just 11 shots in this game (five for Qatar, six for Ecuador) – no World Cup match on record (since 1966) has seen fewer attempts.

The hosts return to action on Friday against Senegal.

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Victor Osimhen Bags Huge International Award And Recognition



Nigeria and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has received a huge international award and recognition for his relentless contribution at the international and club level.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen received a huge international award from the Globe Soccer Awards. The talented player was recognized for his immense contribution to both club and country.

He was crowned the Emerging Player Of The Year 2022, which was deserved on every level as the player has continued to show his importance at the club level for Napoli by contributing towards the impressive run of the club in the new season as well as the previous season.

Although the Super Eagles of Nigeria would not be going to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, he had been one of the stand-out players for the Eagles in their qualifiers.


Contragulations Victor.

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2022 World Cup: I am totally, absolutely focused on Portugal- Ronaldo says amid Man Utd criticism



In the wake of his scathing interview about Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo declares that Portugal will be his “absolute focus” during the World Cup.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, in an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, which will be made public in its entirety on Wednesday, criticised United manager Erik ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick, and senior officials at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo claimed that United had “betrayed” him and that the team had not advanced since Alex Ferguson left in 2013.

Man Utd react to Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan

After the interview, United reacted with a statement on Monday mentioning it and promising to respond “after the full facts have been established.”


Prior to Portugal’s November 24 match against Ghana in Group H, the 37-year-old declared on Monday that his entire attention would be on playing for Portugal in Qatar.

“Total and absolute focus on national team work. United group, towards one objective: realise the dream of all Portuguese people!,” he posted on Instagram.

Despite missing United’s previous two games due to “illness,” he posted a photo of himself with his Portugal teammates during a training session.

Without Ronaldo, the Red Devils defeated Fulham 2-1 on Sunday, moving them up to fifth place in the Premier League, three points behind Tottenham with one game remaining.

In the Middle East, where Fernando Santos’ team will also play Uruguay and South Korea, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to lead his nation to World Cup triumph.


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