THE always-excellent Ben Ragg (@Punters_Corner_) has taken a deep dive in the ante-post markets and found a 70/1 four-fold to consider, as well as a 20/1 goals shout ahead of the 2020/21 big kick-off.
WLB Season Preview 2020/21 | A 70/1 ante-post four-fold to consider
Southampton for a Top-10 Finish (13/8 SkyBet)
If results only counted from December, Southampton would have finished fourth in the Premier League, managing 43 points from 25 games. Ralph Hasenhuttl completed a magnificent turnaround after suffering a 9-0 loss at home to Leicester – a record loss by any home team in the EPL era.
Hassenhuttl’s preferred 4-2-2-2 formation worked wonders for Saints last term and it brought the best out of players such as Stuart Armstrong, Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse.
If Ings stays fit, then this will be great for Southampton’s chances of another successful season. The former Liverpool flop managed 22 goals last season – just one behind Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy. Meanwhile, Saints turned Kyle Walker-Peter’s loan move into a permanent one and have also captured the signature of young prodigy Mohammed Salisu to bolster their options at centre-back.
In midfield, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has left for Tottenham leaving Southampton a little light so another midfield recruit should hold them in good stead for another decent campaign.
Bolton to win League Two (5/1 SkyBet)
Now in League Two, Bolton are favourites for the title under new manager Ian Evatt. The Trotters have been busy in the transfer market signing last season's top goalscorer at this level in Eoin Doyle. Wanderers have also added Premier League experience to their ranks in Matt Gilks and Alex Baptiste.
Bolton have completed a total of 16 signings this summer as they look to overhaul their squad from the year before. Evatt's options looks by far the strongest in the fourth-tier this term, and whilst making lots of signings is not always a good thing, the Trotters' recruitment looks astute, signing a good mixture of youth and experience, and I find it hard to see which team could beat them to the title.
5/1 looks a good price for Bolton to win the league with SkyBet.
Borussia Monchengladbach for a Top-Four Finish (15/8 SkyBet)
Borussia Monchengladbach had an impressive season last term, finishing fourth, and caught the eye with their attacking and aggressive style of play which is testament to manager Marco Rose.
Rose is another fantastic young coach currently managing in the Bundesliga and I expect him to build on a good first campaign with Gladbach. The Austrian played under the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Ralf Rangnick during his playing days in Germany so there’s no surprise he’s gone on to become a highly promising coach.
Whilst at Salzburg, Rose won the U19 Europa Youth League, as well as reaching the semi-final of the Europa League when in charge of the senior side, beating the like of Borussia Dortmund and Lazio in the process.
Monchengladbach have kept hold of their key players thus far in the transfer window, most notably Alessane Plea and Marcus Thuram. The former reached double-figures for both goals and assists in the Bundesliga last year, whilst Thuram registered 10 strikes and eight assists. The French attacking pair became a dangerous duo feared by many defences in Germany and beyond.
Elsewhere, Denis Zakaria and Florian Neuhaus have become highly sought-after midfielders in Europe with the latter recently earning a maiden call-up to the Germany squad.
Gladbach's rivals for the top-four Leipzig have lost chief goalscorer Timo Werner, whilst Leverkusen should be weaker without Kai Havertz, so if Monchengladbach manage to keep hold of their key players, they should have a big advantage in the race for Champions League qualification.
15/8 is a really great price with SkyBet for a team that are on the up and have a really exciting head coach.
Benfica to win the Primeira Liga (5/6 SkyBet)
Jorge Jesus was appointed as Benfica manager on the 3rd August for a second spell at the club after a hugely successful first spell winning 10 trophies and reaching the Europa League final twice. The Lisbon giants have also made some significant signings in the window, firstly with the addition of vastly experienced Jan Vertonghen on a free transfer.
Benfica also added firepower on the wings, securing the signatures of highly-rated wide players Everton and Pedrinho, both arriving from Brazil for £18m and £16m respectively. The Portuguese big boys capturing two wingers could also see Pizzi deployed in a central number 10 role as Jesus will likely revert to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
Benfica have also added Luca Waldschmidt to their ranks who gives them another alternative up top alongside Carlos Vinicius and Haris Seferovic. It will also be interesting to see what role Adel Taarabt gets given too – last term, for the first time in his career, Taarabt was reverted to a deeper role in midfield and thrived, showing discipline and defensive attributes no one had seen from him before.
Benfica’s biggest title rivals Porto have not been as busy in the transfer market making no notable signings. Therefore, the Lisbon outfit look like they are going to be a lot stronger this season so 5/6 on the returning Jesus guiding the group to another title looks a smart selection.
We can combine the aforementioned four bets for 70/1 four-fold accumulator with SkyBet.
Rodrigo Moreno to score 15+ Premier League goals (20/1 SkyBet)
My final angle is a different sort of bet but one that has been massively overpriced by SkyBet that can be found at the top of the Premier League Request-a-Bets. I wouldn’t usually recommend a price boost, but I can’t ignore the value on offer here.
Rodrigo Moreno joined Leeds last week for £27m and looks set to play as the main central striker for Marcelo Bielsa’s men. The Whites were sensational in their chance creation last season but lacked that cutting edge and strikers instinct that Rodrigo can provide.
If Rodrigo can stay fit all then season this looks a very good play. This same bet is priced at just 3/1 with Paddy Power, which again shows the value on offer.