Somewhere in the UK, a man walked through the middle of his office on Monday morning with his arms outstretched. His colleagues formed a line either side of him, applauding and cheering. He high-fived them all before returning to his desk. We’ll call him Keith.
Keith is a bookmaker. He’s the man who gave Matt Doherty the highest likelihood among defenders of scoring in Gameweek 7. He also pulled off the fabled one-two with his Gameweek 7 clean sheet predictions, giving Liverpool and Leicester the top spots.
In other words, Keith has more predictive prowess than a Nokia 3210. Can he extend his run into Gameweek 8? Let’s see what the bookies are saying.
Gameweek 8 Clean Sheet Odds & To 2+ Goals Odds
City back where they belong
It’s not a huge surprise to see Man City at the top of both the 2+ goals (88%) and clean sheet (62%) odds this week. They host Wolves, who only registered their first win last weekend (and that was against Watford, so it doesn’t really count).
Given that Wolves have a trip to Turkey on Thursday, it’s not ludicrous to suggest that a genuine pack of wolves might have a better chance of getting a result against Guardiola’s men.
A lack of Kevin De Bruyne looks bad on paper, but this is a side who romped to a second consecutive title last season without their talismanic playmaker. It’s unlikely they’ll struggle without him.
More dirty sheets
Managers hoping to finally profit from a few clean sheets may well have to wait another week, because the bookies are forecasting a flurry of goals in Gameweek 8.
Only one team (the aforementioned Man City) have been given a higher than 50% chance of keeping a clean sheet. Second to them is Liverpool on 45%. It’s a huge and unusual drop-off that reflects just how fragile clean sheets have been this season.
Meanwhile, there are eight teams who have been given a higher than 50% chance of scoring 2+ goals.
Tottenham’s turmoil continues
When a top six side plays Brighton, their clean sheet odds are usually abnormally high. So it speaks volumes that the bookies have only given Spurs a mere 37% probability of keeping a shutout against the goal shy Seagulls.
In short, Spurs look like a team in turmoil. The number of rumours of internal player disputes are only exceeded by the number of goals they conceded against Bayern Munich in midweek. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for FPL managers who invested in their defence ahead of this good fixture run.
Gameweek 8 Anytime Goalscorers By Position
Sterling on the rise
In these turbulent times, it’s unusual to be reading about the strength of the Sterling. And yet, here we are.
Raheem Sterling dominates the midfielders likelihood of scoring this week. The fact he only played 30 minutes during City’s Tuesday night win against Zagreb will only strengthen his odds. Salah and Mane, meanwhile, have a day less to recover and must face much harder opposition in Leicester.
It may well be time for Sterling to reward those who kept the faith in him.
Any whiff of a mid-priced forward revolution this season seems to have finally evaporated. Whilst Pukki, Abraham and Haller continue to register decent odds, it’s the premiums who grab the bookies’ plaudits ahead of Gameweek 8.
Namely, Aubameyang and Aguero top the pile. Both have caveats, however. Firstly, Aguero played 89 minutes on Tuesday, and Guardiola has rotated him in recent games. With Jesus back to full fitness, might we see more rotation against Wolves?
Meanwhile, Arsenal have a Thursday evening fixture that will come just three days before their Premier League tie against Bournemouth. If Aubameyang plays against Standard Liege, he might not his usual potent self on Sunday.
Alonso back with a vengeance
Marcus Alonso might’ve had two goals against Brighton in Gameweek 7. The left-back is famed in the FPL-sphere for his propensity to get forward; a habit he hasn’t lost since Emerson’s introduction to the first team.
With Lampard confirming that Emerson won’t be back until “after the international break”, the door remains open for FPL’s favourite spaniard. With a combined xG of 0.54 and xA of 0.98 in his last 2 games, it’s easy to see why the bookies are backing him for success against Southampton in Gameweek 8.