Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
After a compelling European football mid-week schedule, the Premier League returns with another full complement of fixtures this weekend.
As always, bet365 have a range of potentially lucrative individual player specials and markets available for Saturday and Sunday’s televised games, and as usual FST have been poring over the statistics to find you the best selections from each.
The action kicks off on Saturday lunchtime at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace take on Brighton, while title-chasing Man City play Watford at the Etihad in the evening’s televised fixture.
First up on Sunday, City’s top of the table rivals Liverpool play Burnley at Anfield, a game that’s swiftly followed by Chelsea’s clash with Wolves at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal’s tussle with Man Utd closes out the weekend’s Premier League action in a showpiece fixture that promises to have a huge impact on the race for a top 4 finish.
Check out selection of player special betting tips for the weekend’s televised Premier League fixtures below:
Dale Stephens – over 2.5 tackles – 5/6 (Crystal Palace vs BRIGHTON)
Brighton’s tenacious midfielder Dale Stephens gets through barrels of defensive work in the majority of his Premier League appearances for Brighton.
The hard-working 29-year old excels at recovering possession and he adds real bite to the heart of Albion’s midfield. Stephens has averaged 2.4 tackles per game in the Premier League this season, though that average climbs to a more notable 2.5 in Brighton’s away fixtures.
On Saturday, Stephens will anchor the Brighton midfield against a technically gifted Crystal Palace team at Selhurst Park. The Eagles results at home have generally been underwhelming this term, but as we pointed out earlier in the week, the statistics all suggest that an upswing in results in London looks inevitable for Roy Hodgson’s men.
Stephens is almost certain to be a busy man this weekend, and he is priced brilliantly at 5/6 with bet365 to make over 2.5 tackles against the Eagles.
Sergio Aguero – over 1.5 shots on target – 8/11 (MAN CITY vs Watford)
Explosive Argentine striker Sergio Aguero seems to feature in our player specials selections every other week. His regular inclusion isn’t down to a lack of creativity on our part – Aguero keeps making the cut because he keeps delivering the goods.
Having bagged 18 Premier League goals so far, Aguero is the Citizens’ leading marksman this season, and looking at his shooting statistics, it’s easy to see why.
Aguero has averaged 3.7 shots per Premier League fixture this season, 1.4 of which hit the target. City are notoriously a much more dominant side when playing at the Etihad, and that fact is also well represented in Aguero’s shooting figures.
Aguero has averaged an incredible 4.2 shots per game on home turf for City, and 1.7 of those attempts hit their mark on average.
On Saturday evening, City go head-to-head with Watford in Manchester in what looks another eminently winnable game for the champions.
Sergio Aguero will again be deployed as the focal point of Pep Guardiola’s attack, and he looks a great bet at 8/11 with bet365 to hit over 1.5 shots on target against a Hornets side that should be under the cosh from the first whistle.
Aguero just loves playing against Watford – the Man City striker has scored 10 goals in six appearances against them in all competitions, including netting two career hat-tricks against the Hornets.
Ashley Westwood – over 27.5 passes – 8/11 (Liverpool vs BURNLEY)
Liverpool have understandably been made heavy favourites to take maximum points from their skirmish with Burnley on Sunday, though the bookmakers might have oversold the dominance Pool are likely to enjoy against a Clarets team that have a history of bloodying the noses of the league’s bigger teams.
In the individual player markets, the bookmakers have forecast that Burnley midfielder Ashely Westwood’s impact on proceedings at Anfield will be limited.
Westwood has been priced at 8/11 by bet365 to play over 27.5 passes on Sunday – a miniscule pass total by anyone’s standard. However, we think the bookies might have got his one wrong
Westwood has averaged 40.6 passes per game for Burnley this season in the Premier League, a figure that makes him their second most prolific possession recycler behind Steven Defour.
The 28-year old has passed his way past 27.5 passes in 20 of his 25 appearances in the league for Burnley, and Westwood averaged 41.1 passes per game in his 6 previous starts against teams from the division’s “big 6” overall.
There is real consistency in Westwood’s passing averages for Burnley this season, and we think he is priced generously at 8/11 with bet365 to play over 27.5 passes again this week.
Conor Coady – over 0.5 tackles – 1/1 (Chelsea vs WOLVES)
Central defensive lynchpin and club captain Conor Coady has been an ever present for Wolves in their first season back in the Premier League.
The 26-year old, who routinely starts as the central member of a defensive three, has generally posted quite modest tackling numbers, averaging just 0.9 of them per Premier League game overall this season.
Unsurprisingly, Coady’s tackling workload noticably increased for Wolves in their games against the league’s top 6 teams, and the defender made 1 or more tackles in 6 of his 9 appearances against Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Man Utd and Arsenal.
On Sunday, Wolves travel to Stamford Bridge to take on a Chelsea side whose players have been fouled more than any other team bar Arsenal in the Premier League in 2018/19.
Those numbers suggest that Chelsea get tackled – a lot. and it’s likely that Wolves will have to stick the foot in quite a bit on Sunday in their attempts to stop Higuain, Hazard and co.
With that considered, we think Coady looks amazing value at even money with bet365 to make just a single tackle against the Blues.
Paul Pogba – over 0.5 assists – 5/2 (Arsenal vs MAN UTD)
Having sat out Manchester United’s famous 3-1 triumph over PSG in Paris on Wednesday evening, French midfielder Paul Pogba should be energised and fresh for his visit to the Emirates.
Pogba’s productivity has shot through the roof at United since Jose Mourinho was ousted and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club’s manager.
Alongside the 9 goals he has scored in his 15 appearances under the Norwegian, Pogba laid on 7 assists for his teammates – a number that accounts for 70% of his assists for the entire season to date.
Remarkably, 6 of those 7 assists were manufactured by Pogba in away games for Manchester United, and the 25-year old’s creative performances seem to spike when he plays away from Old Trafford.
Pogba’s ability to unlock defences will be key for United again on Sunday, and we think he’s worth backing at 5/2 with bet365 to grab another assist this weekend.
A 5-fold accumulator featuring our 5 player special selections above pays out at 37/1 with bet365! Click the banner below to bet now!
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