Aston Villa vs Newcastle | Saturday 21st August 2021, 15:00
It was an inauspicious start to the season for these two…with Aston Villa finding themselves 3-0 down against newly promoted Watford before a late flurry saw them pull two goals back, while Newcastle conceded four in defeat at home to West Ham.
Both will feel that you can’t read too much in to an opening day defeat, especially when they were missing key men.
However, I do feel that defensive struggles could be a problem for both these sides this season and I am happy to take the 5/6 with on both of them finding the net.
Newcastle conceded 62 goals last term and while Villa only allowed 46, their xG against was over 53. Moreover, both sides have actually obliged in 12 of Villa’s last 13 league matches – most of which they played without the now departed Jack Grealish – and eight of Newcastle’s across the same sample.
With the likes of Allan Saint-Maximum, Joe Willock and Callum Wilson among Newcastle’s armoury and Emi Buendia, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey on display for Aston Villa, there will be plenty for defences to worry about and the 5/6 available with MansionBet looks plenty big enough for me.
Leeds vs Everton | Saturday 21st August 2021, 15:00
With the 1X2 market looks fairly accurate across the 3pm fixtures, I have had to dig a little deeper to find value and it is to the cards market I turn in Leeds.
Fans will be back in huge numbers at Elland Road for the first time in 17 years and it promises to be a magnificent occasion for Marcelo Bielsa’s men. A raucous atmosphere will be had and I hope that this leads to a card for a perennial offender, Allan.
Allan has six cards in 25 Premier League matches to date, so the 14/5 with SkyBet may not seem like great value but I think there are reasons behind this. With matches played behind closed doors last season it is perhaps unsurprising that fewer cards were shown and that is the case with Michael Oliver. He averaged 2.96 yellow cards per game in the 2020/2021 season, down 10% from the 3.28 per game he showed the previous season (where fans were at the majority of matches).
With fans back in stadiums I expect to see an increase in bookings in particular and would not be at all surprised to see Allan averaging a card every three games. The Brazilian averages 1.64 fouls per game in English football and mistimed four tackles against Southampton last week.
A boisterous home crowd is going to demand a card for every infringement and I can’t see Allan getting away with that many fouls this weekend so 14/5 with SkyBet looks like a standout price to me.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle – Both Teams To Score (5/6 MansionBet)
Leeds vs Everton – Allan to be booked (14/5 SkyBet)