JWP to test Pope at Turf Moor in this weekend's trio of shots on target bets
Gameweek three of the Premier League is almost upon us and I’ve got three more sizzling shots on target bets to present to you all.
Last weekend, Leicester’s Harvey Barnes delivered the goods by registering 2+ SOT in the Foxes’ 4-2 win over Burnley, even etching his name onto the scoresheet at the King Power after coming so close to a goal against West Brom the weekend prior.
Unfortunately, due to Mohamed Salah seemingly leaving his shooting boots at home against Chelsea - instead entrusting the goalscoring duties to teammate Sadio Mane - alongside Romain Saiss’ failure to create any danger in front of goal against Man City, Barnes was the only player in last weekend’s treble to stay true to his word. Still, a 9/5 winner is better than nothing.
Here’s hoping for a better return this weekend, let’s get started with the selections…
Southampton’s talismanic midfielder James Ward-Prowse is the first name on manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s teamsheet, and throughout the tail end of last season the England international really started to take his game to a new level, ending the campaign with five goals and three assists to his name in the Premier League.
Now a much more physical presence in the Saints’ midfield, JWP’s energy and passion is what makes Southampton tick. He has started to become a more forward-thinking footballer, improving ten fold from the sterile sideways passer he used to be.
The 25-year-old now plays in a more advanced role in Hasenhuttl’s attack-focussed XI, and because of this he is starting to see a lot more action in front of goal. Whether it be arriving late on the edge of the box to let a strike off from long-range, or loitering in and around the penalty spot ready to capitalise on loose balls, Ward-Prowse certainly poses a threat in the final third.
Last season JWP notched 26 shots on target in the top-flight - with only Danny Ings registering more throughout the course of the campaign for the Saints (37). This term, he’s flown out of the traps having registered three on target in his first two games against Crystal Palace and Tottenham.
One of the biggest pulls for Ward-Prowse in this market is his strength from dead balls situations. He is one of the best in the country when it comes to taking free-kicks, scoring a total of six throughout his senior Southampton career.
You always fancy him to at least test the keeper from these situations which is why he is such a good selection in the shots on target market. I fancy him to register at least one against Burnley this weekend, especially as the south coast side desperately need to get some points on the board after a poor start to 2020-21. At 4/6, JWP kicks off this weekend’s standout trio of SOT bets.
My second selection for this weekend’s action comes in the shape of Paul Pogba to register two or more SOT against Brighton.
After a season plagued by injuries and transfer speculation last term it seems as though, from the outside looking in at least, the Frenchman is now feeling more settled at Old Trafford. There is no doubting Pogba’s talent; on his day he is one of the best midfielders in world football, though inconsistency has often hindered his progress at United.
Alongside Bruno Fernandes in the middle, though, Pogba has an ally who is on the same wavelength as him - something United fans should be extremely excited about if the pair can remain fit this season. Since Fernandes joined the club in January, Pogba’s odds in the shots on target market have massively drifted due to his teammate being so prolific in that area.
Unless it's part of a Same Game Multi alongside other variables, it is now not really worth backing Fernandes in the SOT market as his odds are so slim each week (he’s priced at just 3/10 for one and 7/4 for two vs Brighton). Therefore, opting for Pogba could be the better option here. The France international still possesses a huge threat, bursting through from midfield to let long distance strikes away at goal and usually always tests the keeper when doing so.
Against Palace last weekend Pogba registered two shots on target, which was priced at a rather appealing 6/1.
This weekend against Brighton he is an even bigger price to register two or more (11/2), and I think he could find some joy given his performance last weekend and the fact United are desperate for a result after their dismal showing against Roy Hodgson’s side.
Fernandes’ movement in midfield is so good that it often pulls out a lot of the opposition and creates plenty of space for players like Pogba to run through to from deep, opening up a clear sight of goal in the process.
The 27-year-old is 7/5 to register one or more shot(s) on target against the Seagulls which is also an attractive price, but I’m getting behind him to have two or more at 11/2 for this weekend’s bet.
My final selection for this weekend’s shots on target sizzler is Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma to register one or more SOT against West Brom. The 25-year-old centre-half has notched two shots on target in his opening two games for the Blues this season, finding the net in the west London club’s opening day win over Brighton just under a fortnight ago.
No defender in the Premier League has registered more shots on target than Zouma so far, and this weekend Chelsea face a West Brom side who have so far shipped eight goals in their opening two matches and lie rooted to the bottom of the division, severely low on confidence.
The Baggies have clearly got some defensive frailties they need to address before it’s too late, and I thoroughly expect Frank Lampard’s side to exploit those this weekend with a comfortable victory at the Hawthorns.
Of course, Zouma’s opportunities are going to come solely from corners and free-kicks, but with it likely that the majority of this match will be played in West Brom’s half, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the visitors rack up the corners and set-pieces against a frustrated WBA side; if all goes according to plan, that is.
At odds of 7/2 for just one shot on target, I like the look of the towering CB to cause Slaven Bilic’s side some issues this weekend, and including him into this bet boosts the odds for the treble to a mouth-watering 47/1 with Paddy Power at the time of writing.
Fingers crossed for shots on target madness in gameweek three..