Adrian Clarke is back with two value Premier League plays this weekend…
Also, catch him, Mark O’Haire and Miguel Delaney on our Weekend Football Podcast.
Football: Premier League Gameweek 15; Plus EFL & Europe https://t.co/yePmFzdrvY
— Matchbook Betting Exchange (@TeamMatchbook) November 3, 2022
FOREST’S BASEMENT BOYS CAN PICK UP A RESULT AGAINST THE WEAKENED BEES
Brentford aren’t in good form, they are winless away from home, and they travel to Nottingham Forest without their suspended talisman Ivan Toney this Saturday.
Do I think Steve Cooper’s basement boys can pick up something against them in this match? Yes. Yes, I do.
Granted, Forest were awful last time out at Emirates Stadium, stinking the place out in a 5-0 loss at Arsenal. I was there, and during a painful second half they were nothing short of a rabble.
The manager refused to defend them afterwards (rightly so) which means I expect a positive and much more determined reaction from his players this weekend. A repeat will not be tolerated.
Minds will also be extra focussed because this is the exact type of match they must win if they are to prolong their stay in the top-flight beyond 2022-23.
Nottingham Forest’s survival hopes will rest on strong home form and backed by a vociferous and packed City Ground I do get the impression they will be competitive on the banks of the River Trent. .
The two-time European champions have scored in all but one home game until this point and beaten West Ham United and Liverpool 1-0 to claim their only two victories so far.
That last success against the misfiring Reds was a master class in collective grit and determination.
Player-wise Jesse Lingard has been a big disappointment but in Morgan Gibbs-White, Brennan Johnson and Taiwo Awoniyi they do possess young, hungry, talented forwards who can hurt anyone on their day. These are the key men for Forest this weekend.
Brentford look a touch vulnerable.
They were walloped 4-0 by Aston Villa in their last away game, and on their previous road trip they meekly succumbed 5-1 at the hands of Newcastle United.
Results like that just didn’t happen last season for Thomas Frank’s side. Their stability as a team unit feels like it is on the wane.
Away trips have also been tough for a while, especially from a defensive standpoint.
Brentford kept a clean sheet in two of their first three away Premier League games, but have since kept just one in their last 22 on the road, shipping 49 goals.
If that run continues here, they will need at least two goals to win the match.
That won’t be easy considering Toney is absent. When you also realise Brentford have scored just four goals in their last seven Premier League games with him in the starting XI, I wouldn’t expect an avalanche in this contest.
I’m not quite confident enough to back a Forest win on the nose (2.9 with Matchbook) but I do believe a draw is the worst they will manage here. Theerefore I am pleased to see them rated odds against in the Draw No Bet market.
It feels like a good time to face Brentford and Nottingham Forest must take advantage.
My selection is Forest +0.0 at 2.04.
OPPOSING GOALS IN EAST v SOUTH LONDON DERBY
West Ham United might be sailing majestically through the UEFA Conference League, but closer to home they are struggling to generate much excitement.
Just two of the Hammers’ 13 Premier League contests have featured more than two goals this season, with their fixtures averaging a mere 1.85 goals a game.
The reasons are two-fold.
David Moyes is safety-first, we know that. The Scot knows how to organise a defence, and because of that they are rarely blown away. No one has scored more than twice against them this term.
At the other end of the pitch West Ham’s football is yet to click into gear. The form of Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca has been patchy at best. They are all on two goals for the campaign so far. By now, all of them would have expected more.
Those combined issues, coupled with a refusal by Moyes to release that one-striker-at-a-time handbrake has contributed to the Hammers failing to score in 46 per cent of their matches.
You can’t rely on them to score goals.
Crystal Palace for their part, are struggling to find the back of the net away from Selhurst Park.
They have bagged just three away strikes all season (two at Manchester City) and have failed notch any in their last 339 minutes on the road.
They have creative talents aplenty but the lack of a sturdy midfield platform is holding back their progress.
A 3-0 pasting at Everton a fortnight ago should prompt a heavy focus from Patrick Vieira on keeping things significantly tighter out of possession, so don’t expect a gung-ho approach from the visitors.
Picking a winner here is tough. I’d just about side with the hosts, but my gut feeling says this won’t be a match containing thrills and spills aplenty.
Both Teams to Score is the outsider here (2.02) but we still get a decent enough 1.96 on BTTS NO, and that is my pick for the London Stadium.
It feels preferable to backing a low Under 2.0/2.5 goal line (2.02) this time around.
- NOTTINGHAM FOREST +0.0 v Brentford (2.04)
- West Ham vs Crystal Palace BTTS NO (1.94)
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