English Premier League

Jones Knows Notebook: Arsenal winning to nil offers up huge value

Mikel Arteta has built a mean defence at Arsenal
Arsenal have shipped just two shots on target in their last three PL games

Sky Sports' betting expert Lewis Jones - aka 'Jones Knows' - is back with his weekly notebook, where Arsenal's outstanding defensive record brings forward a betting opportunity to exploit this midweek...

A case for the defence: Arsenal's awesome axis

Arsenal were matched at 14.013/1 for £515.75 to win the Premier League on the Betfair Exchange just a few weeks ago. If you were one of the lucky ones to get a piece of that, congratulations, you're in a fantastic position.

Arsenal have since won their opening five league games in a calendar year for the first time in their history. There is an aura developing around them once again. Whatever Mikel Arteta did on that trip to Dubai has worked a charm. It's amazing what a tan can do a person. His boys are now firmly in the title picture with 5.39/2 the current price available on the Betfair Exchange.

Gone is the chaos of last season. Arsenal are more business-like. Get the job done, onto the next one.

It's a style of football based on control. Last season, Arsenal's games featured the sixth-most expected goals in the division. This season, they have featured the third-fewest.

Defensively, they possess the best process in the Premier League when it comes to expected goals against, boasting a per 90 average of just 0.73 xG.

They also lead the way in the more traditional metrics like clean sheets (10) and actual goals conceded (22). In their last three Premier League games they've restricted their opponent to just two total shots on target - that includes facing Liverpool, who usually average 6.8 shots on target in the Premier League based on this season's numbers.

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, protected by Declan Rice, are an awesome axis. The two defenders are a centre-back pairing of near-perfection. Imposing, athletic, difficult to pass and, most importantly, on the same wavelength.

Since the start of last season in all competitions, Arsenal can boast a 69 per cent win ratio when Saliba and Gabriel start together. Without one of them, that ratio drops to 55 per cent.

These phenomenal numbers must be taken advantage of in the betting markets. Arsenal's win at Burnley was the 14th time in 29 away games in all competitions where Saliba and Gabriel have started that the Gunners have won without conceding a goal.

That works out at a 49 per cent strike rate from a healthy sample size of results. Up next for Arsenal on Wednesday night is another away day in Porto in their Champions League last 16 clash. An early look on the Betfair Exchange shows that 2.757/4 is available to back on another Arsenal win without conceding. That's a nice edge to get on your side.

Back Arsenal to win to nil v Porto @ 2.757/4

Bet now

Bruno packing a punch in new advanced role

Newcastle look a disjointed football team now - Eddie Howe admitted as much after their 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. There have been 41 total goals scored in their last nine games across all competitions, so perhaps the bonkers nature of their fixtures will be enough to keep the locals happy.

While there hasn't been much to shout about recently for the Toon Army excitement should be brimming regarding Bruno Guimaraes' new advanced role.

He's looked lost this season playing as the No.6 at the base of Newcastle's three-man midfield but the switch to play him closer to the attackers has unleashed an exciting version of the Brazilian. He looks a player reborn.

He's made 23 runs into the box across his last three games, which is more than he's made in his previous 14 games combined in the Premier League, highlighting his added attacking licence.

Nottingham Forest felt his quality in Newcastle's 3-2 win, where the Toon hero scored twice, wheras he grabbed an assist in the 4-4 with Luton and played a huge part in Matt Ritchie's leveller in the 2-2 with Bournemouth.

It might be a small sample size but his goal and assist probabilities are on the increase - hopefully without the market reacting. For a player with his intelligence and quality, this new role is right up his street.

Keep a close eye on his assist and goalscoring prices in the coming weeks. There is value to be had.

Now read Mike Norman's Monday Night Football preview of Everton v Crystal Palace

Follow Lewis Jones' Premier League tips and predictions across Sky Sports each week.

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