Adrian Clarke has a pair of EFL goal angles to get stuck into this weekend!
The Championship is enjoying a significant upturn in goals now that fans are back inside stadiums, with the average rising from 2.31 to 2.6 per game. The first of two ‘overs’ shouts this week is in the second tier…
Cherries Clash With Luton Has The Look Of Goals
Unbeaten table-toppers Bournemouth are flying along very nicely and will relish a home clash with Luton Town, who have one of the most porous defensive records in the division.
Shipping 14 goals in eight games – a tally only two Championship clubs currently exceed – the Hatters have found the going tough when opponents come at them.
Giving up a 3-0 lead to draw at home to Swansea City last Saturday will certainly not have done wonders for their confidence ahead of a much stiffer test at Bournemouth.
Dominic Solanke has five goals already.
Phillip Billing – undoubtedly one of the most gigantic No.10s in world football – has begun to chip in with goals too, and left-sided whiz kids Jaiden Anthony and Jordan Zemura are also delivering end product as well as excitement.
Scott Parker’s men look like a top team at this level, scoring 13 goals so far.
In front of their own fans, I’d expect them to try and put on a show by the sea.
As for their opponents, Luton Town are often worth a goal of their own.
Nathan Jones’ team has notched in every away match so far this season and have dangerous forwards of their own that could pose problems. With three goals so far, Elijah Adebayo can be a real handful if the right service comes his way.
Opta’s Expected Goals metric places Luton Town second highest with xG from open play this term, just behind Fulham and three places ahead of Bournemouth.
So instead of scoring nine times from open play, the stats suggest the Hatters should have bagged 11.8!
Not bad for a mid-table team.
That’s a signal of Luton’s attacking intentions, and given how unsure they have looked in defence without one or two key figures, attack may well be the best form of defence for them at the Vitality Stadium.
I do like the goals line in this fixture.
Over 2.5 goals is available at 1.88 with Matchbook, and I sense that we’ll see the net bulge on numerous occasions.
This bet has landed in all of the Cherries’ home matches so far, and overall across their 16 Championship games combined, these two teams have been involved in 10 contests where Over 2.5 goals have been scored.
I fancy Bournemouth to take the points, and goals are likely.
Fallen Giants Should Serve Up Entertaining League 1 Encounter
As a top-flight fixture back in the day, not too many people would have been getting excited about Sunderland versus Bolton Wanderers, but in League 1, it’s a match that will attract plenty of attention this weekend.
Sunderland sit joint-top alongside big-spending Wigan Athletic, having scored in all but one contest; their only defeat away to Burton Albion.
Lee Johnson has constructed a new-look, younger, hungrier Black Cats side that is playing a brand of attacking football the supporters are happy to get on side with.
Consequently, optimism on Wearside is on the rise.
Clean sheets are not the basis of their success. Sunderland have only kept one in seven games so far, with both teams scoring in five of those fixtures.
They boast the second-highest xG Expected Goals ranking from open play, and only Rotherham United and upcoming opponents Bolton can top their average of 14.6 shots per match.
Star turns have been Ross Stewart, Aiden McGeady and Elliott Embleton, and together that trio will be confident of tormenting anyone at the Stadium of Light.
A Wanderers side that’s leaked 12 goals (the third most in League 1) will be in their eye line on Saturday afternoon.
Despite that questionable defensive record, Ian Evatt’s Bolton are a decent outfit. Victories against Ipswich Town, Lincoln City and Oxford United showcased their quality.
They keep the ball superbly, playing some lovely football, and on the back of those pretty patterns, they don’t have a problem creating goal opportunities.
Just ask ambitious Ipswich Town, who were recently spanked 5-2 at Portman Road.
Oladapo Afolayan (4 goals), Eoin Doyle (3) and Josh Sheehan (3) are their principal goal threats, but the likes of Antoni Sarcevic, Amadou Bakayoko and Lloyd Isgrove also have the talent to cause problems home or away.
With the firepower at their disposal and having scored nine goals on the road, Wanderers will not turn up at Sunderland playing for a nil-nil draw.
With just two clean sheets of their own, it suits them to concentrate on causing problems at the other end of the pitch.
To me, everything’s set up for a lively League 1 clash between two sides that are better with the ball than without it.
Both teams to score is an option at 1.71, but I prefer the bigger price of 1.87 on over 2.5 goals.
Those who have a ticket for this Stadium of Light meeting should get value for money.
- Bournemouth v Luton Town Over 2.5 goals (1.88)
- Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers Over 2.5 goals (1.87)
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