English Premier League

Jones Knows Notebook: Back a Bayer Leverkusen clean sheet at West Ham

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso has eyes on the Europa League prize

Sky Sports' betting expert Lewis Jones - aka 'Jones Knows' - is back with his weekly notebook, where he is all over Bayer Leverkusen's clean sheet price at West Ham on Thursday and eulogizes over Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise at Crystal Palace...


Friends reunited: Eze & Olise shine at Anfield

Crystal Palace beating Liverpool was a massive shock.

Crystal Palace winning a game when Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise both started, was not.

The dynamic duo started at Anfield for the first time together since Palace's 3-2 win over Sheffield United in January and Palace looked a completely different beast.

The numbers back up the visuals. Since the start of last season, in the 28 Premier League games where Eze and Olise have both started, Palace have a win percentage of 46% and average 1.4 goals per 90 minutes.

In the 42 games without at least one of them starting those numbers drop dramatically to a win percentage of 14% and 0.9 goals scored per 90 minutes.

Olise has only played 831 of a possible 2880 minutes in the Premier League this season due to recurrent hamstring injuries as Palace - and lovers of football in general, have been denied seeing one of the best young talents in Europe strut his stuff on a regular basis. He's still managed six goals and three assists this season in those 831 minutes - a very healthy goal involvement return and he was heavily involved in Eze's wonderfully worked goal at Anfield.

This was no smash and grab either, Palace won in fine style, creating a whopping 1.98 worth of non-penalty worth of expected goals. The highest expected goals against figure Liverpool have conceded at home in the Premier League this season.

With the shrewd addition of the very exciting Adam Wharton, this Palace team - with Eze and Olise fit and firing - look capable of positing some impressive attacking returns under Oliver Glasner in their remaining fixtures, starting at Selhurst Park on Sunday against West Ham.

Punters should be alerted to the 11/102.11 on the Betfair Sportsbook about Palace scoring over 1.5 goals in the encounter - a knocking early price to gobble up.

Back Palace to score over 1.5 goals vs West Ham @ 11/102.11

Bet here

No Paqueta or Bowen leaves West Ham short

Continuing with the negative theme regarding West Ham, my eyes were drawn to Bayer Leverkusen's clean sheet price of 9/43.25 on the Betfair Sportsbook for their trip to the London Stadium on Thursday.

That second goal from Victor Boniface in the Europa League quarter-final first leg was a hammer blow for David Moyes' men.

Clearly Leverkusen are a far superior team to West Ham anyway but taking Lucas Paqueta and Jarrod Bowen from their side makes this a huge potential mismatch - and one that isn't really being factored into the prices enough in my view.

Paqueta is suspended for picking up another yellow card in the first leg whilst Bowen has been desperately trying to get himself fit for this game after a knee issue but early signs are he won't make it

Without those two, I'd argue we have a Premier League relegation contender against one of the best teams in Europe. Paqueta is such a massive player for West Ham and the numbers are there to back that up.

In 53 games with him starting West Ham average 1.6 goals per game and 0.6 without him. A huge difference in such a low scoring sport like football. And if you take Bowen out of the equation too then I'm struggling to see how West Ham can even score against a team that will be fully fired up to get the job done.

David Moyes said after the first leg: "Let's try to get one and then see if we can get two."

Well, I think they'll get zero.

Back West Ham to score under 0.5 goals vs Bayer Leverkusen @ 9/43.25

Bet here

Now read our Champions League tips for the quarter-final second legs!


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


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.