Friday 12th March 2021
In Across the Leagues today:
Backing an AC Milan defender to score last night wasn’t such a crazy idea…
The on-loan Diogo Dalot didn’t come up with the goods against his parent club Man Utd. But at an even bigger price, centre back Simon Kjaer popped up with a stoppage-time away goal for the Italians.
As this Paddy Power screenshot shows, Kjaer was 35/1 to score. We’ll be keeping an eye out for future massive prices like that…
A reminder this weekend that we should be grateful to have the football on at all.
Twelve months ago, on Friday 13th March 2020. I was sat at my desk in a state of disbelief. Listening to the radio as one by one, the English and European fixtures were called off. It was a surreal time. Unprecedented.
While the coronavirus pandemic is still far from over, things do feel a lot more optimistic right now. Once we get fans back in the stadiums, the football will really feel like it’s back.
I’m starting to look forward to the European Championships with cautious anticipation…
Imagine a full crowd at Wembley this summer. It could well happen. Bring it on. And get ready to hear Three Lions… on the radio.
It’s the North London derby on Sunday, Arsenal v Tottenham (4.30pm, Sky Sports).
Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are the three big names at the top of the Anytime Scorer list, and no surprises there.
In my own derby-day player notebook for this one:
Gareth Bale has been finding some of his old form of late. The Welshman has scored in three of his last four starts for Tottenham. Back in the day, Bale found the net in his last two starts in the North London derby (2012/13 season). He’s around 2/1 (3.0) to score on Sunday, with Bet365 going 9/4 (3.25).
David Luiz is the kind of player that’s never far from a calamity. Although so far this season, the error-prone Brazilian has been okay on the cards front; he’s got three cards from a total of 26 appearances for Arsenal. And one of those was a controversial VAR job (straight red at Wolves in the Premier League). Luiz is 13/5 (3.6) for a card this weekend – that price with Skybet and William Hill.
Hector Bellerin is reported to be on his way out of Arsenal. As it stands, the Spaniard is the Gunners’ most-booked player this season, with eight yellow cards in the Premier League. Looking back over recent North London derbies, Hector hasn’t got many against Spurs though – none in his last six appearances in this fixture. Bellerin is a top-price 7/2 (4.5) for a card, again with Sky and Hills.
Granit Xhaka is the man for me in a rivalry like this. The hot-headed midfielder is only one card behind Bellerin in the 2020/21 list for Arsenal. He’s 21/10 (3.1) To be Carded here. And the most crucial stat for me is this one:
Here are Arsenal’s player Cards stats in the Premier League this season, taken from the Team Stats pages on our website:
It’s the EFL Trophy final this weekend – times two…
First up on Saturday afternoon, the rearranged 2019/20 final, Portsmouth v Salford. Followed on Sunday by this season’s trophy match, Sunderland v Tranmere.
Last time the EFL Trophy was decided, back in March 2019, Portsmouth defeated Sunderland on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time (2-2 AET).
Fancy another close match or two this weekend? Bet365 have a ‘Game Decided After Penalties’ market. Portsmouth-Salford is 11/2 (6.5) to go to spot kicks, and Sunderland-Tranmere is 6/1 (7.0).
Both finals are live on Sky Sports.
Doncaster Rovers v Northampton Town
League One, Sat 3pm
Compared to the relegation-threatened Cobblers, hosts Doncaster Rovers are flying high in League One (5th), and have won their last two at home. However, Doncaster are nine games without a clean sheet, and that suggests Northampton have a chance of at least getting on the scoreboard here…
As discussed in midweek, midfielder Ryan Watson is the one to watch at the moment, especially with odds of 7/1 and 6/1 available to score Anytime. At those prices, I’m going in again.
Heading to the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A stats now, and three men that are on the radar for Anytime Scorer bets…
These guys are all having great seasons in front of goal, and are available at bigger odds than the star names in their respective divisions…
For example, in this week’s Monday Report email we noted how Eintracht Frankfurt’s Andre Silva can be a better bet than Bundesliga top scorer, Robert Lewandowski.
In Germany this weekend, Lewandowski is short odds-on at just 1/3 (1.33) to score again for Bayern Munich. And Borussia Dortmund’s golden boy, Erling Braut Haaland, is just 1/2 (1.5).
In comparison, Silva, and Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric, are available at 9/5 (2.8) and 6/4 (2.5), respectively.
It’s a similar case in Italy, where top man Cristiano Ronaldo is odds-on at 7/10 (1.7) to net for Juventus this weekend. While Sassuolo’s top scorer Francesco Caputo is 6/4 (2.5).
I’m playing those three less-famous names by splitting a stake four ways in a Trixie (three doubles & a treble). The treble pays 16.5/1, and any two scoring generates a return.
The three games in question are:
RB Leipzig v Eintracht Frankfurt (Sun 2.30pm)
Stuttgart v Hoffenheim (Sun 5pm)
Sassuolo v Verona (Sat 2pm)
From the analysis above, here are my picks for the weekend…
I’ll be back next week, with the Champions League the big focus on Tuesday.
Enjoy the football…