Mark Stinchcombe has three goals bets for this weekend’s action.
Backing Against Two Porous Defences
Two of the worst five defences in the league take on each other when Huddersfield meet Bournemouth, and I don’t think this is being taken into account here, with the goal line set at just 2.25 with a goal expectancy of 2.40. I mean for Huddersfield, who obviously struggle to score goals, just 15 in 29, who better to face than Bournemouth with the 2nd worst defence on the road? They’ve conceded 35 in just 14 games, at an average of 2.50, and the goal expectancy here is just 2.40!
I know I’ve talked and punted a lot on Bournemouth’s games this season but with every reason given the odds/goal line available on seemingly a weekly basis.
Their matches this season have seen 93 goals at a rate of 3.21 per game, with 37 of their last 50 going over 2.5 goals – 74% – and remember we’re only after over 2.25 here. They are very porous at the back and have managed just 9 clean sheets in their last 52 games. Expected goals in their matches average 3.1 per-game, not too dissimilar to the 3.21 they’re averaging, and even Huddersfield’s average xG per match is above the goal quote at 2.50.
In fact, their three Premier League meetings the results have finished 1-2, 4-1 and 0-4, all over 2.25, with an average xG of 3.02. So clearly this match up has previous for a recipe for goals (yes that’s right Huddersfield beat them 4-1 in this game last season!).
Cottagers To Give It A Lash
Next up is another pro-goals bet as Brendan Rodgers takes charge of Leicester City in his first home game against Fulham. There have been 92 goals in Fulham’s matches this season – 3.17pg – with them conceding 65 of those (2.24pg). I get the feeling that if they can score, we’ll be well on our way to an over 2.5 goals winner. Away from home, they have been abysmal defensively, conceding the most of any side in 37 (2.47pg). It’s been a season of woe for Fulham and surprising, certainly for me, given I had high expectations for them.
Leicester on the other hand, have moved away from the pragmatic Claude Puel and are now looking to Rodgers to move them to a more attacking style. However, I think Fulham should come here and believe they can achieve an upset when we see that Leicester have a negative goal difference at the King Power, and have lost more than they have won.
If we look at both sides average expected goals for the season, it’s 2.70 v 3.20. With the goal expectancy here 2.80, and think there’s a lot more scope that figure should be closer to Fulham’s average given their leaky defence. When these sides met in the reverse fixture it finished 1-1, however the xG figure returned 3.31.
Don’t Overthink Super Sunday
Finally ‘Super Sunday’ sees a classic Premier League fixture in Arsenal v Man Utd at the Emirates.
After recent years of previewing this match under the guise of Jose Mourinho and his bus parking tactics, it feels very refreshing to have this fixture without him with both sides providing much entertainment this season.
I want to side with goals, and my first port of call here is that both sides aren’t that good defensively. This is 8th v 7th in terms of goals conceded (39 v 38), which is not really in keeping of the overall standard of both sides given we know the gulf in class between the top 6 and the rest of the league. To put it into context, Newcastle United are conceding fewer goals and they’re in a relegation battle. In fact, if we go down as far as 14th, Brighton have conceded 41, who are also struggling, and that’s only two and three goals more respectively.
So I’m happy that both these sides are there to be got at defensively, and it’s positive to see they’re in the top four for goals scored. To break down the numbers, Arsenal’s games have seen 100 goals this season (3.49pg), with the xG figure returning 3.10. Under Solskjaer, Utd have seen 38 goals in his 12 games, (3.17pg) with the xG showing similar at 3.24.
The goal expectancy is 3.0 here, so you can see why I feel vindicated in taking over 2.75.
In fact both their matches have seen four goals this season, with this corresponding fixture in the FA Cup finishing 3-1 to Utd and the league game at Old Trafford ending up 2-2 despite Mourinho being in charge. The average xG across those two matches was 3.23.
Lots of goals this weekend, please!
- Over 2.25 goals Huddersfield – Bournemouth ~2.04 – 2.5 points
- Over 2.5 goals Leicester – Fulham ~1.87 – 0.5 points
- Over 2.75 goals Arsenal – Man Utd ~1.92 – 1 point
On this weekend’s Football Podcast Host Ali Maxwell is joined by Mark Stinchcombe and Mark O’Haire to look ahead to the weekend’s Premier League and Eredivisie action – with four selections in total from Arsenal vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Wolves, Huddersfield vs Bournemouth and Vitesse vs Feyenoord. Subscribe now to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, or on your preferred Podcast app by searching for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’.