Burnley vs Brighton | Saturday 6th February 2021, 15:00 | Sky Sports
One thing behind closed doors matches have shown is that home advantage is pretty much non-existent at the minute, yet this week I am endorsing two home sides.
I will start with Burnley, a side that continually defy both the odds and the data. Sean Dyche’s team have amassed 22 points this season, which is incredibly impressive given that they have only found the net on 13 occasions and have been overly reliant on set pieces to keep that tally up.
Burnley face a Brighton side who have secured deserved victories over Tottenham and Liverpool in their last two encounters and are understandably favourites for this game.
The underlying data bears this out. Brighton are sixth in the table, while Burnley are 19th and seemingly overly reliant on goalkeeper Nick Pope. Despite all of this, I am siding with the hosts! While most clubs seemingly haven’t had an advantage at home, that is not the case with Burnley.
The Clarets have gained 13 of their 22 points at home (despite playing one fixture fewer) and watching them I find it easy to see why. The Turf Moor pitch is tight and Burnley are a well-drilled outfit.
Their record at home this season may not seem great, with four wins and five defeats from ten matches but four of those five losses came against members of the Big Six. If you look at their home results against sides in the bottom half, they have won three and lost one – with the sole defeat coming against 12th placed Southampton.
Brighton are clearly a far better side than Burnley and I am concerned that Burnley will be missing a couple of key players (including striker Chris Wood) but the prices suggest that there is limited home advantage and I simply believe Burnley are an outlier where this is concerned and also think that Brighton’s performance levels may drop after tough games against Tottenham and Liverpool in the last six days.
All things considered, the 8/5 with BetVictor on Burnley in the Draw No Bet market looks attractive.
Newcastle vs Southampton | Saturday 6th February 2021, 15:00 | BT Sport
Once again I am finding value in the underdog, this time at St James’ Park. Like Sean Dyche’s outfit, Steve Bruce’s side have defied the underlying data in the last season and a half, with results looking a lot more positive than performances. However, I do think there are green shoots of recovery on Tyneside and am happy to back the hosts at 43/20 to win this match.
Newcastle may have lost their last two home matches but – in contrast to much of the previous data – they have been the better side in both encounters as despite two 2-1 defeats they had 43 shots to their opponents 15 across the two matches. Between those two games they had a fully deserved 2-0 victory away to Everton and I feel that the market is simply taking too long to realise that Newcastle are improving.
In contrast, Southampton’s results and performances have regressed. 9-0 defeats are always an outlier (although two within 15 months must surely be concerning) but the simple truth is that The Saints have won one game in nine in the Premier League. I do think that results have regressed to the mean and their current 12th place is fairly reflective of where they should be.
Therefore in addition to taking the 43/20 with Unibet on Newcastle to win this match I will back Callum Wilson to score the first goal at 9/2 with Bet365. The Newcastle striker has scored the first goal in four of his 19 games since he moved from Bournemouth and given the home sides reliance on him for goals, I think this is good value.