Anytime Angles: Monaco men can make their mark

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THE boss Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) has trawled through his big book of stats to unearth the best value Anytime Goalscorer from Tuesday's football.

Brighton v Crystal Palace | Tuesday 4th December 2018, 19:45

Florin Andone’s first goal in English football earned Brighton a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at 10-man Huddersfield on Saturday. The win means the Seagulls are a point better off in 11th than at the same stage last season and nine points clear of the relegation zone as we head into the busy festive Premier League period.

The Romanian striker, signed from Deportivo in the summer and making his first Premier League start, is now pushing top club goalscorer Glenn Murray for a starting berth against rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. However, the likelihood is boss Chris Hughton will opt to recall Murray having rested the veteran forward at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Either way, there’s a smart way to support Murray this midweek.

To eliminate any concern over whether the 35-year-old will make the starting XI, back the Albion ace in the First Goalscorer market each-way at 5/1 (Betfair). If Murray isn’t on the field when the first goal is scored, our selection will be void, whilst the place part will pay-out at around 13/8 if he gets on the scoresheet after the opener.

Brighton’s second top all-time top marksman is on penalty duty for the hosts, scored in two of the Seasiders’ three meetings with Palace last season and has bagged six of his seven goal tally this term at the Amex. Murray averages a goal every 168 minutes in the top-flight with Albion and is posting 0.46 xG per-game in 2018.

Only Mohamed Salah (6) has scored the opening goal of more Premier League games this season than Murray (4) and I expect the hosts to rise to the occasion – Brighton have W10-D10-L5 at The Amex since promotion, scoring in 20 encounters. Exclude the Big Six and that record reads W7-D9-L1, scoring in 14 of 17.

Amiens v Monaco | Tuesday 4th December 2018, 18:00

Monaco suffered an agonising late loss at home to Mediterranean rivals Montpellier on Saturday night to remain entrenched in Ligue 1’s relegation zone. A Youri Tielemans strike had the principality club on track for a first home win of the season, but two goals in the last 10 minutes saw MHSC sweep to an undeserved victory.

Visiting boss Michel Der Zakarian admitted, “We played very badly in the first-half. We weren't at the races, and we were fortunate not to go in at half-time having conceded two or three.” It was an assessment that Thierry Henry agreed with, saying “We played well for 54 minutes. We produced some good football for a long time, but that's not enough.”

Having picked a skeleton side for their 2-0 Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid last Wednesday, Monaco arrived at this contest in high spirits as they looked to follow up last Saturday’s victory at Caen. Les Monegasques dominated proceedings in the opening 45 minutes at the Stade Louis II, but were unable to find the vital second goal.

Aleksandr Golovin crashed an effort off the crossbar soon after the interval as Monaco continued to be the aggressors. However, Henry’s troops tired in the latter stages, and with experienced duo Nacer Chadli and Radamel Falcao withdrawn, the struggling home side collapsed in the dying embers of the contest.

Nevertheless, Monaco should be encouraged by their efforts against a Montpellier side that’s risen to second in the standings. Chadli was particularly eye-catching, and at the centre of everything the principality club attempted in the final-third. With Golovin suspended this midweek, the creative burden will again fall on the Belgian.

Unusually, the former Spurs man has been far from prolific with his own attempts at goal so I’m comfortable overlooking his generous odds and instead focussing on two of his team-mates at bulbous quotes.

Moussa Sylla (21/5 Marathon) has yet to score a Ligue 1 goal this season but due to the various selection issues surrounding Les Monegasques, has been getting plenty of time on the pitch. The 19-year-old is averaging 0.47 xG per-90 minutes and has fired in at least two shots in six of his seven league starts in 2018/19.

The youngster is packed with potential and has impressed in five appearances in the Champions League, and is tipped to get an opportunity to make his mark against an Amiens side that’s kept just two clean sheets, and is conceding over 1.70 goals per-game this season. Indeed, no Ligue 1 side has faced as many shots from inside the box as the hosts.

Meanwhile, a longer odds interest poke is to back Benjamin Henrichs at 12/1 (William Hill) to strike at anytime. The versatile German full-back was pushed forward at the weekend to feature on the right-side of Monaco’s four-man midfield in a 4-4-1-1 system and impressed in the final-third, laying on the opener for Henry’s charges.

Henrichs has had an effort at goal in seven of his 11 starts across the Champions League and Ligue 1 starts, enjoying multiple touches in the box in five of those fixtures. Should, as expected, Henry persists with the 21-year-old in an advanced role, he should have opportunities to enhance his one-goal tally with his new club – 12/1 is much too big.

Best Bets

Brighton v Crystal Palace – Glenn Murray to score first (5/1 Betfair)

Amiens v Monaco – Moussa Sylla to score at anytime (21/5 Marathon)

Amiens v Monaco – Benjamin Henrichs to score at anytime (12/1 William Hill)

About Author

After starting his career in newspaper journalism, Mark soon found his way into the online betting world, forging a career in content, social media and marketing production. With a huge passion for stats, the Football League and European football, Mark’s other interests include playing rugby, following his beloved QPR and travel.

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