THE boss Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) has trawled through his big book of stats to unearth the best value Anytime Goalscorer from Wednesday's football.
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge | Wednesday 28th November 2018, 20:00 | BT Sport
Borussia Dortmund survived a potential banana skin on Saturday, coming away with a well deserved 2-1 triumph at Mainz to cement their place at the summit of the Bundesliga. Lucien Favre’s charges are now unbeaten in their opening 12 league matches for just the second time in the club’s long and rich history.
BVB skipper Marco Reus is enjoying an exceptional season. He didn’t get on the scoresheet on Saturday but the gloriously gifted 29-year-old has been an instrumental cog for Dortmund. His special relationship with Favre since their Borussia Monchengladbach days, plus his consistent fitness has been key.
At 5/4 (Black Type), Reus is an attractive price to notch for Die Schwarzgelben on Wednesday evening. The German international is averaging just under a goal-a-game on Bundesliga duty for BVB and has notched nine times in 16 starts across domestic and Champions League duty this season.
Reus is posting 0.40 Expected Goals per-game across those 16 outings, firing in two shots per-game with over half hitting the target. The local hero is also on penalty duty for the hosts, who are just 1/3 to pick up maximum points here.
Under Favre’s watch, Dortmund have W12-D3-L1 in the Bundesliga and Champions League, scoring at least three goals on nine occasions. If we only look at matches at their Westfalenstadion home, Die Schwarzgelben have plundered 30 goals in eight games, notching three or more times in seven showdowns.
In six of those eight encounters on home soil, Dortmund have generated at least 2.50 Expected Goals and they should be given plenty of joy against Club Brugge side in crisis mode.
The Belgian champions made a flying start to their title defence (W8-D1-L0) but have since managed W1-D3-L3, including a shoddy 3-1 defeat at home to Zulte Wagerem on Friday night. Head coach Ivan Leko was at a loss to explain the rotten reverse, describing it as their worst performance of the season.
Brugge have now shipped 12 goals in their past seven games, giving up an average of 1.50 Expected Goals. On the road, they’ve won once in six at teams in ninth and above, and in all competitions it’s four losses in seven away from home as they’ve leaked at least twice on five occasions.
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest | Wednesday 28th November 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith claims his side were well short of their best after watching them come from behind to beat Birmingham in one of the great Second City derby games on Sunday. The Claret & Blue were 4-2 winners but could easily have been two goals down before turning the tide.
Consistently dreadful defending from Birmingham’s attacking set-pieces eventually led to the opener, before Che Adams wasted a glorious chance to double the Blues’ advantage when he then hit the post from close range. Villa improved thereafter, although their defensive frailties remain concerning.
Villa have W4-D0-L2 since Smith arrived in the hot-seat – recording three clean sheets – but they’ve given up an average of 1.28 Expected Goals in that sample, conceding 4.50 on-target efforts despite enjoying 59% of the ball.
That should encourage Nottingham Forest who head to Villa Park having scored in all bar two of their 18 Championship encounters, failing to net only once in nine on their travels. The Tricky Trees have registered at least two goals in five of their road trips, generating an average 1.58 xG in games as guests.
Surprisingly, only four divisional rivals are firing in more shots on-target than Aitor Karanka’s troops on their travels (4.56 per-game) and one Forest forward certainly stands out from the crowd in 2018/19. Lewis Grabban has scored 10 goals at a rate of one every 130 minutes since joining in the summer for £6m.
Not since 2002/03 have Nottingham Forest boated a 20-goal striker but Grabban is well on course to end that that wait. He’s scored in eight of his last 11 league appearances, averaging 0.67 xG per-game due to his penalty-taking status, attempting over two shots per-90 minutes, of which half are finding their target.
Grabban is available to back at 12/5 (Betway) to score, odds that imply just a 29% chance. And he’ll be eager to impress at Villa Park having scored eight times in 15 outings for the Claret & Blue during a loan spell last season.
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge – Marco Reus to score at anytime (5/4 Black Type)
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest – Lewis Grabban to score at anytime (12/5 Betway)