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The best defenders to look out for when choosing your shots on target bets

Wolves' Matt Doherty is among the best defenders for shots on target in the Premier League
Wolves' Matt Doherty is among the best defenders for shots on target in the Premier League

Shots on target (SOT) is definitely one of the most popular markets in football betting right now. It is a market which not every bookmaker has available to punters on their website/app, but the ones which do - the likes of Betfair, Paddy Power and William Hill - have really given themselves an edge over their industry competitors in recent times. 

Alongside player card and goalscorer betting, shots on target is our bread and butter here at BettingOdds.com

Just this week our in-house tipster Anthony Eadson landed an absolute corker by combining two of the aforementioned markets in a juicy 40/1 during the Tottenham v Everton match, and we’re certainly hoping for more throughout a jam-packed weekend of top-flight action.

While it is only natural to look at the attacking players in a certain match when selecting your shots on target bets, the prices for these players to register one, two or even three SOT per game are often extremely short, therefore at times making the risk greater than the potential reward. 

Premier League Odds

With this in mind, I’ve done a bit of digging and analysed the Premier League defenders worth looking out for when constructing your upcoming Same Game Multis, to ensure you get the best value out of your selections.

Unsurprisingly, prices for defenders to register just one shot on target during a match are much higher when compared to forwards and midfielders due to their positioning on the pitch, but with so many posing such a threat from set pieces, it can often be a profitable business. 

Remember, headers count as a shot on target if they end up in the net or at least goal bound but saved by the opposing goalkeeper, further enhancing the chances of your SOT bet landing. 

So, which defenders are the kingpins when it comes to this particular market?

Yerry Mina - Everton

Current top dog is Everton’s Yerry Mina. The Colombia international, who joined the Toffees from Barcelona in 2018, has so far registered 13 shots on target (two goals), which is largely due to how the Blues approach games under Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian has implemented a direct style of play since arriving at Goodison Park, utilising his squad’s physicality and aerial ability to maximum effect. 

Full-backs Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne are the key players in Ancelotti’s system, and their exemplary crossing ability from each flank have at times caused problems for opposing sides this time out. 

Everton are extremely dangerous from set pieces, with Digne’s delivery - one of the best in the whole league - often providing plenty of opportunities for players like Mina in front of goal, hence the high shots on target return.

Virgil van Dijk - Liverpool

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk follows closely behind Mina with 11 shots on target (four goals) this season. Due to his colossal 6ft 4 frame, the Dutchman is an imposing figure from corners/set pieces, and the first player his teammates look for when delivering balls into the penalty area. 

Alongside having potentially the best crosser in the world supplying him with perfectly-weighted balls into the box in the shape of Trent Alexander-Arnold, it’s no great surprise to see the former Southampton man rank near the top of this particular list. 

Today's football tips

Matt Doherty - Wolves

Wolves’ marauding full-back Matt Doherty has been a shining star for the West Midlands outfit since their promotion to the top-flight in 2017. Exactly like his Liverpool counterpart van Dijk, the Republic of Ireland defender has also registered 11 shots on target and scored four goals this term, and is a huge threat for Nuno Santo’s side each time they’re in action.

With speed-merchant Adama Traore terrorising opposing defenders on a weekly basis, Wolves tend to overload the right hand side, with Doherty continually looking to overlap and create chances in the final third, whether that be supplying crosses for the likes of Raul Jimenez to latch onto, or getting shots away at goal himself. 

Although officially classed as a defender, Doherty is as effective as a midfielder, with his attacking talents making him a decent option for SOT bets. His price is a lot higher than someone like Raul Jimenez or Ruben Neves due to his position, so is certainly a player worth looking at next time Wolves are in action. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool

Free-kick specialist Trent Alexander-Arnold makes his way into the top-three with nine shots on target and three goals this term. The Liverpool prodigy is probably the best right-back in world football at the minute, with his delivery from the right hand side proving a pivotal part in the Reds’ success throughout the previous two seasons.

It is his capabilities from set-pieces which has seen him become one of the deadliest defenders in the Premier League this time out, however, with two of his three goals this season coming from free-kicks on the edge of the area. 

With Liverpool having such a destructive three-pronged attack in the form of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino, they often draw in fouls on the edge of the box which result in free-kicks, in turn presenting plenty of opportunities for TAA to get shots away on goal. 

Harry Maguire - Manchester United

Level with Trent is Manchester United’s Harry Maguire. The England international has also registered nine shots on target this term, though has only scored once. This is purely down to his aerial ability from corners and free-kicks, with new signing Bruno Fernandes effortlessly delivering pin-point crosses straight to the somewhat oversized head of his teammate (sorry Harry).

To put it into context, Maguire is priced up at 6/5 to register 2+ shots on target against Aston Villa this evening, while Fernandes - the Premier League’s very own shots on target maestro - is priced at 1/25 for the very same bet. 

Of course, that is down to Fernandes’ strength in this particular market and the fact he is an attacking midfielder, but it does also render backing the Portuguese a little pointless from a value perspective, making Maguire’s price all the more appealing against a team who have really struggled defensively this season.

So there you have it, a comprehensive breakdown of the Premier League’s most dangerous defenders when it comes to the increasing-in-popularity shots on target betting market. There are plenty more worthy of consideration listed in our beautiful graphic below, while Fox Sports will have an updated list of defenders with the most SOT updated weekly. 

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