Moutinho to see yellow in Black Country derby
Wolves vs West Brom
Goalscorer: Leander Dendoncker to score anytime @ 11/2
Wolves have found life tough since losing talismanic striker Raul Jimenez to injury, struggling to find someone to fill his goalscoring boots. Youngster Fabio Silva has been playing more regularly, but hasn’t been getting on the end of chances (0.13 non-pen xG/avg match), and in fact, it is midfielder Leander Dendoncker who leads this current Wolves crop in non-pen xG/avg match with 0.24. He is yet to score this season, but has been getting on the end of chances (3.05 xG), averaging 1.6 shots per avg match and 0.51 shots on target per avg match. He offers a threat from late runs into the box as well as set pieces, so the 11/2 about him to score looks a nicely priced angle.
Carded: Joao Moutinho to be booked @ 4/1
Given the way I expect this game to pan out, with Wolves doing all of the attacking and West Brom sitting deep and trying to counter attack, I think a Wolves holding midfielder could get a card in an attempt to stop a counter. Joao Moutinho is good for that and has already seen four yellows this season at an average of 0.31 per avg match, while also seeing red once. His price of 4/1 looks big to me.
Same Game Multi: Wolves to win, Under 3.5 Goals and Ruben Neves 1+ shot on target @ 4.15
While it will likely be a struggle, I think Wolves will prevail, though it will be a low-scoring grind, similar to what we expect to see from Nuno’s side. Given the expected set-up of West Brom, I can see Wolves taking plenty of pot-shots from distance, and the king of such attempts is Ruben Neves. Adding the Portuguese to get a shot on target boosts the price nicely.
Back big priced Bednarek
Leicester vs Southampton
Goalscorer: Jan Bednarek to score anytime @ 25/1
This is a big priced play, mainly due to the fact that Leicester have had real struggles from dead ball situations this season. 32% of the Foxes xGA total this term has come from corners and set pieces, equating to 0.41 xGA per game. That means that Leicester are allowing 52% more than the league average from dead ball scenarios. Southampton pose a real threat from such situations given the delivery of James Ward-Prowse, while Jan Bednarek is an awkward customer from set pieces. It is a longshot play, but worth a small stake.
Carded: Jonny Evans to be booked @ 5/2
While Southampton will be without Danny Ings for this game, a front two of Che Adams and Theo Walcott can prove slippery for defenders. Jonny Evans has been a mainstay for Leicester this season, and has had his name taken five times in 13 appearances. Couple this with the fact that we have a card happy referee taking charge of this one, as Stuart Attwell is averaging 50.5 booking points per game this season, and Evans appeals.
Same Game Multi: Southampton or Draw and Under 3.5 Goals @ 2.49
Neither of these teams are prolific in attack, with Leicester heavily reliant on penalties this season, which have boosted their attacking figures. The Foxes have averaged just 1.15 non-pen xGF per game this season, while Southampton have fared even worse (0.96), so I don’t expect fireworks here. Southampton have been resilient defensively though, especially of late (0.76 xGA per game in five games preceding Liverpool win), so I like their chances of getting something in a low-scoring contest.
Reds to avoid defeat in low-scorer
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Goalscorer: Edinson Cavani to score anytime @ 12/5
Edinson Cavani has played a bit part for Manchester United so far this season, but prior to his three-game ban, he was starting to hit a groove and make a real impact for the table toppers. The Uruguayan will likely get the start in this game, especially with Anthony Martial questionable, and his underlying process – albeit in limited minutes – is impressive (0.73 xGF/avg match). Liverpool are missing key players defensively, and Cavani is a shrewd enough operator to take advantage.
Carded: Bruno Fernandes to be booked @ 13/5
This is more of a price play than anything else, as I like the look of a few United players that are perhaps too short. Fernandes was booked in midweek against Burnley after constantly questioning the referee, and that was his fourth yellow this season. He averages 1.5 fouls per avg match this term, and if things aren’t going his way, he could talk his way into the book.
Same Game Multi: Liverpool or Draw, Under 3.5 Goals and Half Time Draw @ 3.45
I am expecting a very cagey game at Anfield, with neither team really wanting to lose. Manchester United have been playing well of late, but this is a step up to what they have played of late. Liverpool’s home form is hard to ignore, and their home process even more so (2.37 xGF, 1.00 xGA per game). Jurgen Klopp’s side should avoid defeat. Only one of the last 10 head-to-heads in all competitions has seen four or more goals, and I think this will go under that mark. Given how cagey I expect this game to be, a half time draw makes appeal as these two sides feel eachother out early on.