With the gameweeks coming in such quick succession, some people might be getting a little fed up by the bookies’ odds.
“What’s the point?”, they may ask. “They’re usually wrong anyway.” Those naysayers are forgetting a fundamental attribute of our bookies’ odds article: people don’t read it to inform their transfers, they read it to gauge how much reason they have to be optimistic about their team’s prospects.
When I read the bookies’ odds, the first thing I do is look for my own players. In doing so, I have something to blame when it all goes wrong. That’s why the bookies’ odds will always be a tonic: because they give us a scapegoat.
If you’re looking for a responsibility-free approach to captaincy options and starting XI choices, you’re in the right place. After all, if the bookies’ are backing them, they must be the best pick. Right?
Gameweek 16 Clean Sheet Odds & To 2.5+ Goals Odds
No teams over 50% likely to score 2.5+ goals
Take a look at your Gameweek 16 squad. Notice anything? That’s right: virtually all of your players have away fixtures.
The vast majority of the best teams in the Premier League – with the exception of Man City – are playing away in Gameweek 16, which always worries the bookies. Home advantage is a real thing, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all. Chelsea, for example, have scored 8 more goals on the road than they have at Stamford Bridge – despite the fact they’ve played an extra game at home.
Could they be the most underrated team this week? They’ll travel to an Everton side in a state of flux. Silva may be out, but will the Toffees benefit from the “new manager bounce” when the new manager in question is David Moyes?
It remains to be seen, but 29% to score 2.5+ goals at Goodison feels harsh on Lampard’s men.
City backed for clean sheet despite recent form
Man City haven’t kept a clean sheet in any competition since October. The loss of Laporte was considered a significant blow when it happened, but few pundits saw it as a league-losing injury. As the gap between City and Liverpool widens, it might well be the most decisive event in the title race.
They’ll host Man United on Saturday evening. Whilst the Manchester derby has lost some of its gravitas in recent seasons, it remains one of the most important fixtures in the calendar for these two sides. Derbies, as we know, are always unpredictable.
But regardless of the rivalry between the two sides, Man United will feel they can add further insult to Laporte’s injury this weekend. This is a team who have scored 10 goals in their last 4 games, after all. Should a poor City defence really be given a 50% likelihood of keeping them out? I’d argue that it’s far too high.
Arsenal odds demining for defence
If you cover up the team names along the bottom of the table above, you can probably still spot Arsenal.
They travel across London to West Ham on Monday evening on the back of their worst run of form since 1977. To put that in perspective, Aubameyang was just 17 the last time Arsenal were this bad.
At 29%, their clean sheet odds are the 12th worst. That’s a damning stat for a team facing arguably the worst side in the league at the moment. Their goal scoring odds, however, are the fourth best. This is 2019 Arsenal in a nutshell.
If Ljungberg can find a way to remedy their issues at the back, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Until that point, however, it’s anyone’s game at the London stadium. Finally: some MNF that I might actually tune into.
Gameweek 16 Anytime Goalscorers By Position
Aubameyang a surprise entry
Given the number of away fixtures for the top teams this week, perhaps it makes sense that Aubameyang finds himself top of the goal scoring odds. Nonetheless, it’s the first time in a while that we’ve seen the Gabonese forward above the likes of Abraham and Vardy.
The Arsenal man is in a rich vein of form, having bagged a brace on his last away trip to Norwich. West Ham, meanwhile, are ripe for the picking. They’ve conceded 6 goals in their last 2 home games, and with Pellegrini’s future still in doubt, now feels like a great time for Arsenal to turn things around.
If you’ve got him, he could be a great differential captaincy pick for that Monday evening game.
Pukki back in the conversation
Remember when Teeumu Pukki was one of the most owned strikers in the game? Well, after consecutive goals in his last 2 games, he’s worthy of consideration once more.
Whilst the Finnish striker dropped off the FPL map, his adoration in Norwich never wavered. That’s because Pukki is the kind of player who can disappear just as easily as he can change a game. Norwich fans know that from last season.
With 8 goals in 15 games, Norwich’s talisman is on course for a 20-goal season. That’s more than feasible for a player who started the season with a sequence of challenging fixtures. Whilst Pukki will be frustrating to own at times, his aptitude for scoring against any and all opponents makes him an intriguing long-term option.
Dele Alli up there with the best
The bookies are no longer able to ignore Dele Alli’s form. Enough has been written about his turnaround under Mourinho, but it’s only this week that FPL managers are looking at him as a possible captaincy option.
That’s for a few reasons. He’s scored in every game he’s played under Mourinho so far, for starters. That might be compelling enough, but add to that the fact that he’s one of the few top players with a plum home fixture, and suddenly he becomes difficult to look past.
The bookies are backing him at 51% to score in Gameweek 16, which puts him in the company of Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling. It’s a powerful illustration of his progress since Pochettino’s departure.