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And so, the November 2020 international break is over: let us never speak of it again.
Still punch-drunk from Friday’s onslaught of team news updates, we’re swapping FPL flags for a flutter as we turn attention away from our injury-ravaged Fantasy squads and have a small punt on the weekend’s action.
Every Saturday morning, we combine our love of underlying stats with sheer gut instinct as we pick out a few sensibly staked bets on the upcoming top-flight fixtures.
The odds featured in this piece are all provided by our official sportsbook partner, bet365.
Please gamble responsibly and always remember: when the fun stops, stop.
LEICESTER PIG OUT (ON GOALS?)
Let’s put things in perspective: even an injury-hit, under-strength Liverpool side will still give most teams a run for their money.
A club doesn’t go 63 home league matches unbeaten without having something about them and Jurgen Klopp’s troops have coped admirably without the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk in the past.
They’ve seldom had to manage with all of them being absent at the same time, however, and there’s no question that Sunday’s clash on Merseyside gives Leicester City a better-than-usual chance of ending their winless 20-year run at Anfield.
The Foxes are no mugs, either: top of the table after eight Gameweeks, they have already beaten Manchester City and Arsenal on their own soil in 2020/21.
And so bet365’s enhanced odds on a Leicester City win of any scoreline at 3.90 (up from 14/5) does catch our eye this weekend.
Jamie Vardy – 4/1 to open the scoring, if you’re asking – is the usual source of goals from the Foxes.
But the absence of the usual personnel down Liverpool’s right flank is worth thinking about. Who deputises for Alexander-Arnold? Will there be adequate cover in front of the stand-in full-back? And without the threat of Mohamed Salah to push them back, will Leicester’s left-sided players attack with more abandon?
It could be Harvey Barnes operating from that flank at Anfield but it was set-piece specialist James Maddison in Gameweek 8.
As well as the usual first goalscorer odds (it’s 9/1 for the England international), there are other markets of note.
Maddison is 11/10 just to have a single shot on target (or more), while an assist from the playmaker is 4/1.
Maddison has already created five chances and supplied as many accurate crosses in just 270 minutes of football this season – both totals that are unsurpassed by any of his teammates, despite the fact many of them have had over twice as much game-time.
SPURS OF THE MOMENT
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, the two highest-scoring assets in FPL this season, are both suffering net transfer losses ahead of Gameweek 9, with Son dropping in price on Saturday morning.
The main reason? A tough upcoming fixture run, starting with a clash with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
As a result of the tricky-on-paper match, Spurs and their players are available at some attractive odds.
When was the last time that Kane, who has had more shots than any other Premier League player this season, was available at 5/1 to score first?
While it can be hard to second-guess who will open the scoring in any given game, the bet365 first goalscorer market gives punters the opportunity to bet each way on their players, as one would in a horse race – the details of which are below.
Each Way First Goalscorers
Place an Each Way First Goalscorer bet on any Soccer match.
If your player scores at any time during the game in 90 minutes play, we will pay you out at 1/3 odds for unlimited places.
An outright Spurs win is 29/10 with bet365 and, if you’re looking for an even better price than that, bet365’s enhanced odds sees that tip over to 4.10.
The Lilywhites have been more conservative of late, scoring just four goals in their last three games.
And City have struggled to hit top gear this season: no more than two goals have been scored in any of their last five league fixtures.
So with Jose Mourinho potentially getting ready to turn the engine off on his Leyland Swift somewhere in the region of Spurs’ 18-yard box, 11/8 for under 2.5 goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium mightn’t be a bad shout.
TWO ON THE BOUNCE FOR CZECH?
We had some joy backing Tomas Soucek a fortnight ago – and we’re placing more faith in him again today.
West Ham take on Sheffield United on Sunday and the Blades have allowed more headed chances than any other top-flight club this season.
That’s a stat which could bode well for Soucek given that he sits top among FPL midfielders for headed opportunities.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Burnley v Crystal Palace doesn’t scream ‘goalfest’.
Burnley are looking a bit more solid with their first-choice centre-back pairing now fit and available, securing clean sheets in two of their last four games and largely frustrating Spurs in Gameweek 6.
They themselves have scored only one goal in the last six Gameweeks, however.
A Clarets clean sheet is 7/4 if you’re looking for a reason to watch what could be a good advert for the six o’clock news on the other side; a Palace shut-out, as it happens, is exactly the same price.
Bore Draw Money Back
Refund for any Soccer game that finishes 0-0 at bet365.
Applies to losing pre-match bets on any Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast markets. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. New and eligible customers only.
For all the latest Premier League odds, visit bet365 and build your personalised football bet.
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