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Is Sky Sports expert on the money with latest Newcastle United claims?

2 months ago
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The Sky Sports column ‘Jones Knows’ has given some interesting analysis and commentary on what is currently the position at Newcastle United.

The column makes predictions on what will happen at certain Premier League matches and also debates other matters / issues at clubs as well.

However, unlike the usual ex-pro predictions, that are usually simply based on how ‘big’ a club is and whether or not they won the previous game, this one has proper analysis and insight, not lazy assumptions.

The Sky Sports ‘Jones Knows’ column looks at the matches from a betting perspective and has been concentrating on this Newcastle United home game against Fulham.

Lewis Jones (who is the Sky Sports expert behind the ‘Jones Knows’ column) has highlighted some major underlying factors that could / should have a big bearing on this Newcastle v Fulham game.

“I bow down to anyone who saw this Fulham goal bonanza coming.

“After scoring just 10 goals in their opening 12 games, they’ve now hit 16 in their last four, including putting back-to-back 5-0 home wins together.

“And to think I was close to pulling the trigger on them to be relegated last month. Bullet dodged. Marco Silva is a seriously underrated operator.

“Bottom lips were trembling all over the show at full-time at St James’ Park in midweek as somehow Newcastle were knocked out of Europe despite some impressive performances.

“Eddie Howe has a serious task to try and galvanise those players to go again and not make tiredness an excuse.

“Without Sven Botman and Nick Pope this is a defence that can be got at, especially when attack like Fulham arrive in such purring form.

“Across their last eight matches, Eddie Howe’s side have shipped an average of 2.31 expected goals against per 90 and have faced a per game average of 17.25 shots on their goal.

“A fresh and firing Fulham can hit somewhere near those averages with the prices surrounding Alex Iwobi at the forefront of my betting plans.

“In his last six starts the former Everton man has fired 17 shots and netted three goals playing in Silva’s fluid attacking foursome. Those numbers make his shot prices of Evens with Sky Bet for two or more and anytime goalscorer price of 5/1 very attractive punts.

“Score Prediction: Newcastle 1 Fulham 2

“Jones Knows best bet: Alex Iwobi to have two or more shots (Evens with Sky Bet)”

Some interesting stuff as normal, when it comes to what the Sky Sports expert says, even if I don’t always agree with his conclusions.

Fulham have certainly improved their goalscoring, only 10 goals in the first 12 PL matches, now 16 in their last four. Something has certainly changed!

However, what has been the biggest factor…?

I scratched below the surface of these last four games, using BBC Sport stats.

Fulham 3 Wolves 2 (Fulham 6 efforts on target, Wolves also had 6)

Liverpool 4 Fulham 3 (Fulham 5 efforts on target, Liverpool had 12)

Fulham 5 Forest 0 (Fulham 6 efforts on target, Forest had 1)

Fulham 5 West Ham 0 (Fulham 8 efforts on target, West Ham had 5)

I have no doubt that Fulham have played better in recent matches BUT I think these stats show something extra, they are having one of those incredible periods where pretty much every shot they are having on target is flying in.

Look at the West Ham match, six on target and five of them go in! The last two matches, 14 efforts on target ends up with 10 goals!!

Whilst overall in the four matches, 25 efforts on target and 16 goals…

I think Newcastle United will have to play well today but reality is that before they got three goals at Anfield from their five efforts on target, Fulham had only scored six goals in their other seven Premier League away matches and only won one of them, which was at Everton on the first day of the season.

Whilst pretty much every Fulham shot on target has been ending up in the net recently, for Newcastle the exact opposite.

I am not saying Eddie Howe’s team have been on their best run of performances BUT they definitely have got far fewer goals recently than they deserved. Absolutely battering Man U but winning only 1-0, whilst on Wednesday, eight efforts on target compared to AC Milan’s two, yet lose 2-1!

Poor finishing (Almiron!!!) has obviously played a part but how many times can NUFC manage to hit the woodwork???

Whilst Maignan makes that save from Bruno on Wednesday that was even better than Alisson against Almiron in August.

I think if Newcastle reach anything like the levels they showed for that first hour against AC Milan, or indeed the form against Chelsea and Man U in the two most recent home PL matches, then Fulham’s recent luck / form will come to an end.

There is a reason why Newcastle have won seven of their eight PL matches at St James’ Park and if they perform today, it will be eight from nine.

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