Friday 30th October 2020
In Across the Leagues today:
My three nominated scorer picks drew a blank in the Europa League last night. Although Andreas Gruber wasn’t far off in terms of the First Goalscorer betting…
The Austrian found the net after just 12 minutes in LASK Linz’s 4-3 win over Ludogorets. Unfortunately, his teammate & compatriot Husein Balic had already settled that market in the 2nd minute.
Gruber, as well as Celtic’s Ryan Christie and Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, will stay very much on our radar in the matches and weeks to come. We’ll be on the lookout for nice prices.
And the value hunting continues for us this weekend, with three quotes catching the eye. Here’s the case for each, as I see them…
Atalanta have been frequent flyers for us for several months now. Last season’s top-scoring team in Serie A have carried on the goal-filled fun in the first weeks of 2020/21.
All seven of Atalanta’s games so far in the new season have gone Over 2.5 Goals AND Over 3.5 Goals. With score-lines of: 2-2, 1-3, 0-4, 4-1, 5-2, 1-4, 2-4. Four of those seven were wins.
In 2019/20, Atalanta had three players in the Top 10 Scorers in Serie A. Colombian attacking combination Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel with 15 league goals each, and Josep Ilicic with 14.
So far this season, midfielder Ilicic is yet to get off the mark from six appearances, and Muriel has got three goals from six games.
Atalanta’s 32-year-old Argentine midfielder Alejandro Gomez has been in form, with five goals in seven games, having only found the net eight times in total in the whole of last season.
Elsewhere in the attacking options in the squad, new signing Sam Lammers has got two goals in five apps, with the 23-year-old Dutchman arriving from PSV Eindhoven in September.
While the likes of Muriel and Ilicic bring a certain level of craft and flair to the team, the man that stands out most for me in terms of pure and simple goal-scoring potential for Atalanta this season is Duvan Zapata…
While it’s true that this exciting team share their goals around, Zapata is the spearhead of their attack, often the one to get on the end of crosses and snaffle up rebounds in the six-yard box.
The 29-year-old striker has been responsible for four of his side’s last seven goals. For the season so far, he’s on five goals from seven games. Zapata is also Atalanta’s first-choice penalty taker.
Returning from injury in January, Zapata ended the delayed 2019/20 season strongly, with five goals in his last 10 appearances of the campaign for club & country. Since the football resumed in June, the Colombian has scored a total of 13 goals across 23 matches.
I like the current Each Way prices for Zapata in the Top Goalscorer markets in two different competitions…
In Serie A, Zapata can be backed at 20/1 and 18/1, with 1/4 odds for a Top 3 finish.
The 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic is currently top of the Serie A standings, with six goals for AC Milan. It remains to be seen if he’ll end up jetting off to the MLS in the States again, or be able to stay fit for the full campaign in Italy and the Europa League.
Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku is a similar 4/1 price to Zlatan. I’m happy with our 33/1 Each Way wager on Lukaku in the Champions League (now 16/1, with two goals from the first two games in that tournament).
The other two big names in Italy of course are Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus, and our 16/1 winner from last season, Ciro Immobile (Lazio). Both men are currently stuck in self-isolation due to coronavirus. Ronaldo has three league goals so far, Immobile two. Ronnie is 5/2 (3.5) favourite for this market, with Ciro at 7/1.
Given the potency of Atalanta’s attack, and Zapata’s consistent scoring in 2020, he’s well capable of breaking into the three Each Way places here – and maybe even ending the season top of the pile.
In the Champions League, with the Each Way terms offering a place more, with 1/4 odds for the Top 4, Zapata is a standout 33/1, with 25/1 and 20/1 also available.
As it stands in Group D, Atalanta are in a decent position to finish in the top two spots and qualify for the Knockouts stages after Christmas. Liverpool are top with six points, Atalanta have four pts, Ajax have one, and Midtjylland are bottom with zero. Coming up on Tuesday, Atalanta are at home to Liverpool, with the Premier League side struggling to patch up the centre of their defence.
Big names like Ronaldo (10/1), Kylan Mbappe (10/1), Neymar (14/1), and last season’s Champions League top scorer, Robert Lewandowski (7/1), are all yet to get off the mark in the current competition.
Zapata has a three-goal head-start on those guys, with two of the six Group-stage rounds played.
The Atalanta man looks underrated here. In fact, he’s even being ignored in some quarters… BetVictor and Betway don’t even list Zapata in their 2020/21 Champions League markets right now. Which is a pretty strange oversight, considering the Colombian is currently the 2nd-top scorer, with three goals from two games.
Looking at this weekend’s match markets now, and Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson continues to be priced up at big odds in the Anytime Scorer lists…
The penalty-taking 21-year-old is out on his own at the top of the current top scorer chart in the Scottish Premiership, with eight goals from 11 games.
Since the last weekend in September, Lewis has netted a total of six goals across just five matches overall, landing Anytime Scorer bets in four of them.
We’ve been on Ferguson during that run with plenty of success, at 5/1 against St Mirren, and then at 8/1 against Celtic last weekend.
This weekend sees the Scottish FA Cup semi finals at Hampden Park. Sunday afternoon’s game is a rematch of last week’s league fixture, with Aberdeen taking on Celtic once again. Last week’s encounter ended 3-3, with Ferguson scoring two penalties.
Once again, the oddsmakers appear to be underestimating the chances of this young player. Odds of 17/2 (9.5), 15/2 (8.5) and 5/1 (6.0) should be taken.
Champions League 2020/21
Each Way terms: 1/4 odds 1-4 places.
Italy, Serie A 2020/21
Each Way terms: 1/4 odds 1-3 places.
Scottish FA Cup
Celtic v Aberdeen
I’ll be back on Monday with my next article. There’s another good week of football for us to look forward to, with round three of the Champions League & Europa League kicking off from Tuesday.
Enjoy the football…