After meeting Gareth Bale twice on Sunday at 14/1, Jones Knows is back with his Monday Night Football preview.

Everton v Southampton, Monday, 8 p.m., live on Sky Sports

All eyes will be on Everton here. Traditionally, one would think the Toffees would be vulnerable trying to secure a famous win like the one at Anfield. Lose this one and that historic victory will be weakened a little.

Importantly, eight of Everton’s twelve Premier League wins this season have been away from Goodison – only 35 percent of the points came home (14/40). I wouldn’t touch her around Evens against a dangerous Saints team.

Yes, they have only won one of their last 13 Premier League games since mid-December, but the Ralph Hasenhutt boys raise their levels if necessary, as seen in the Liverpool win and Chelsea draw.

I’m expecting a lot of midfield bite in this game as Tom Davies is improving quickly and facing a Saints side who play very aggressively through the middle with James Ward-Prowse at the forefront of their game.

Davies was sensational in the Anfield win with a destructive and tactically clever performance in front of his expertly organized defense. No player made more tackles than Davies (5) and no Everton player gained possession of the ball multiple times for his team (8). Carlo Ancelotti is getting the most out of midfield in the absence of Allan and the 11/4 with Sky Bet to get him into four or more tackles looks good to me.


COMPETITION ANGLE: Tom Davies makes four or more tackles (11/4 with Sky Bet)

Results from Sunday

Crystal Palace versus Fulham, Sunday at 12 noon

How Crystal Palace is 10 points away from safety is one of football’s great secrets. In their last four games, most of them without Wilfried Zaha, they have somehow accumulated six points despite having an expected total goals of 0.86. It probably saved their season as they don’t have to blow outside the tree stump to score points to prevent relegation now. Roy Hodgson’s men can block, block, block.

I am convinced that Fulham is the more successful side of these two, especially with Zaha still out, but Scott Parker’s men are still not to be trusted to take consistent victories at this level. This could be a similar story to Palace’s win over Brighton, where Hodgson’s boys will look second best for large parts but get a result nonetheless. I will play the draw.

One area Fulham can trust is their ability to get Ademola Lookman into shooting positions from outside the box. This month, only James Maddison and Bruno Fernandes are taking more shots from outside the box than Lookman (7), who is quickly becoming a shot-on-sight dealer.

Palace, who will likely defend deeply, have received 128 shots from outside the box – only Sheffield United scored more so I want to support Lookman to hit the target from distance with Sky Bet at 9/4.



ANGLE OF COMPETITION: Ademola Lookman to get one or more shots at target from out of area (9/4 with Sky Bet)

Leicester v Arsenal, Sunday 12 noon

The goal of the points at this point will revolve around the point around which the club can recover most quickly from its antics on Thursday night. Arsenal will take to the field in a far livelier mood after keeping Europa League hopes alive against Benfica, but it is Leicester that will certainly be the fresher side.

Brendan Rodgers’ tactical flexibility and ability to turn his roster around wisely is an integral part of his management. I’ve always felt that in his eyes a Premier League game was paramount over Europe and Thursday’s loss to Slavia Prague confirmed that. You’ll be ready to rock for this one.

A common theme of their season was the impressive level of performance after a clash in the Europa League on a Thursday. The Foxes won six of their seven Premier League games right after a game on Thursday, including a 1-0 win at The Emirates in October. At 6/4 they see undo.

The match down left in Leicester got my punting juices flowing too.

Hector Bellerin is tasked with handling a fresh Harvey Barnes who was rested mid-week. The Arsenal defender is the most booked player in the Premier League this season (8). One of them fouled Barnes in the corresponding game. In total, the flying Leicester man has booked 12 players this season, placing him only behind Jack Grealish in this regard. The 7/2 with Sky Bet for Bellerin looks very fair.



ANGLE OF COMPETITION: Hector Bellerin picks up a card (7/2 with Sky Bet) – VOID

Tottenham vs Burnley, Sunday 2pm, live on Sky Sports

Sunday, February 28th, 1 p.m.

Towards the end of Tottenham’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City, there was a moment that may have changed the course of their season. It was the rebirth and possibly the return of Gareth Bale. With 82 minutes on the clock, Bale showed a change of direction and skill for yet another seemingly overwhelming performance to beat two city defenders before Ederson parried his efforts. It was light. It was sharp. It was full of quality. It was Gareth Bale.

Since that moment, Bale has played 130 minutes for Spurs, two goals, two assists and most importantly, ready to make a meaningful difference for Jose Mourinho. His performance in the second half at West Ham, where he played in front of Harry Kane and Heung Min-Son, was everything Spurs fans have come to expect. Mourinho’s men were fantastic in the second half at the London Stadium when Bale hit the crossbar with a nice hit.

Burnley, who was absolutely rancid against West Brom, could get into serious trouble here as Bale will start in a home game for the first time this year. I want to invest in his chances of doing a monstrous job. My main game will be his all-time goalscorer prize of 2/1 with Sky Bet, but I’ll also put pennies on Bale to score from out of range at 12/1, Bale to score twice at 14/1, and Bale to grab a hat trick at 100/1.

The boy is back and I expect Spurs to push the table up in the next few weeks, starting here with a comfortable win.



ANGLE OF COMPETITION: Gareth Bale to Score Anytime (2/1 with Sky Bet) – WINNER

Chelsea v Man Utd, Sunday 4:30 p.m., live on Sky Sports

Sunday, February 28, 4:00 p.m.

It is far too early to make full predictions about Thomas Tuchel’s impact at Chelsea – but one thing we can say with confidence is their upturn in keeping the ball out of the net. As my colleague Nick Wright wrote in an article on Tuchel’s early games, Chelsea have had the fewest number of shots in the division since Tuchel’s appointment, and also have scored the lowest expected goals against the total. Tuchel has made defensive stability a priority since arriving. He switched to the three opponents and made Chelsea more robust by using two defensive midfielders instead of one.

Now comes the biggest test. Can he keep calm Manchester United’s free flowing attack led by Bruno Fernandes? Well, I would argue that it might not be as challenging a task as it initially seems.

A Fernandes penalty against Tottenham is United’s only goal in six major Premier League games this season. United have failed to keep up with rivals City in the title race as they have set a record in matches against teams vying for the top six spots. Solskjaer’s side have been without a win in their seven games this season against the traditional Big Six teams and Leicester. Fernandes will apparently be missed when the big opportunity comes. As you can see in the table below, he scored a goal, a penalty and an assist in 630 minutes against such opponents.

His individual performance in these games is summed up by the player ratings given by the Sky Sports journalism team for the game in question. In those seven games, he got an average player rating of just 5.3, which shows how little he has influenced these types of games.

Chelsea are prepared for counterattacks, an area where United are thriving but it’s tough to get an away win when all angles are assessed. As with most of the big boys’ matches this season, it is sure to be a tactical and very cagey affair with Chelsea dominating possession. One goal will likely do it for Tuchel.



COMPETITION ANGLE: Chelsea win by one goal (3/1 with Sky Bet)

Sheffield United v Liverpool, Sunday 7:15 p.m. live on Sky Sports

Sunday, February 28th, 7:00 p.m.

I haven’t lost confidence in Liverpool yet. A series of injuries to the central defender – combined with individual loss of form – have made Liverpool lose confidence. J├╝rgen Klopp can fix this.

With Phil Jagielka as the starter for the blades, they will defend deeply to protect their target. Liverpool only need one goal against the league’s worst attack.

This raises the prospect of Liverpool scoring shots from a distance and the prizes around Trent Alexander-Arnold hitting the target caught my attention. The Englishman has not yet reached the highs of last season in what has been a cautious year for him, but confidence is slowly returning after a series of classic performances on the right. He has had five shots in his last two games and likes nothing more than shooting from a distance against a low block and hitting the target twice this season from outside the box against Tottenham, Burnley, Sheffield United and Everton. The 11/4 for someone else is too big.



COMPETITION ANGLE: Trent Alexander-Arnold shoots on goal from outside the penalty area (11/4 with Sky Bet)

Saturday’s predictions

Man City-West Ham – JONES KNOWS PREDICTED: 2-0

West Brom-Brighton – JONES KNOWS PREVIOUSLY 2-1

Leeds United-Aston Villa – JONES KNOWS PREVIOUSLY 3-1

Newscstle-Wolves – JONES KNOWS DESIGNED: 2-1