Cross Game Multi Tips: Back Ward-Prowse to test Ramsdale
With no midweek fixture for Arsenal this week they should be the fresher team and have a real advantage against a Burnley side who don’t have the quality to be able to rotate, but I’m put off backing them in the league at the minute now that Arteta seems to have prioritised the Europa League and may well be looking to rest some key players once again with Olympiakos coming up midweek. Despite Burnley’s injury concerns it’s great that they now have Chris Wood back available, he’s the key to how they play and no one in their side hits shots on target more frequently than the New Zealand international.
Wood managed 3 shots against Leicester on his return and Burnley notched an impressive 7 as a team, with that in mind I think the evens price for 4+ shots on target for Burnley is rather generous. Burnley completely dominated the aerial battles against Leicester and I can see them doing exactly the same here. Arsenal always tend to raise their game against the bigger sides under Arteta but it’s these games where they should be winning that they tend to under perform, in fact they have played 3 top 6 sides in their last 6 matches and only conceded 9 shots on target over those games, yet in their 3 against non top 6 sides they’ve conceded 20!
Sheffield United secured a valuable win midweek but also lost yet another defender after Jagielka's red card, that’s 8 first choice defenders/midfielders they have unavailable for this game and it’s tough to see this being able to dictate much of the play especially with Southampton having such an impressive recent record against the Blades.
One player I do have my eye on once again is James Ward-Prowse, his goals have dried up of late but this is simply because teams have done everything to avoid conceding free kicks against the Saints, but this Sheffield United side rank 2nd for fouls committed this season and with how deep they defend it could mean shots from distance are frequently on. In their last 4 games they’ve conceded 4 shots to John McGinn; 4 to Curtis Jones, 3 to Zambo-Anguissa and 2 to Declan Rice, so the 15/8 for Ward-Prowse to have 2 shots looks a fine price to take, I’m also tempted to have a small bet on the 15/2 for him to have 2 shots on target, too.
It would have been tough to imagine a few weeks ago that Brighton would be favourites coming in to this game against Leicester especially with home advantage being virtually non existent, but with Leicester's injury crisis and the memories of their end of season collapse last year it’s hard to argue any different. Brighton games tend to be fairly predictable of late, they dominate possession and chances but fail to put the ball in the net and often concede a soft goal up the other end.
I think this could be a game where Leicester represent the best value purely because they are best against sides who dominate possession and it will give Vardy plenty of space to make runs on the counter. Another player who could benefit from this injury crisis is Youri Tielemans, he’s very often been deployed as one of the 2 deeper sitting midfielders but with no Maddison or Barnes he was given an advanced role midweek where he managed 3 shots. He will also very likely be on free kick duty again too so the 7/5 on him to have 2+ shots is my preferred play and again I’m going to have a small bet on the 15/2 available on him to have 2+ shots on target.
There is one final bet that’s caught my eye, too: Leicester to score 2 or more goals, get 5 or more corners and Brighton to receive 2 or more cards is 12/1; it landed in this fixture last season and was 1 card away from landing in the reverse fixture this season and I think 12/1 is simply too big to ignore.