ADAM GOODWIN (@agjournalism) has trawled the various Request-A-Bet style offerings from across the industry and delivered his three favourite fancies ahead of the big 2019/20 season kick-off.
- Harry Maguire and Aden Flint to score 5+ goals each (7/1 Sky Bet)
I really like the look of this bet and, at 7/1, it looks a tasty price. Both Harry Maguire and Aden Flint are towering centre-halves who have collectively scored 59 league goals across their careers – not bad for a couple of defenders.
Whether he’s at Leicester or Manchester United, Maguire will always be dangerous from set-pieces. He scored three goals last season and two the season before, and he’s now becoming an incredibly influential part of the Foxes team. If he does decide to stay at the King Power, Maguire will have James Maddison or Youri Tielemans – two incredible deliverers of a dead-ball – supplying him with set-pieces, so it’d be hard for ‘Slabhead’ to not nod a few in.
If he decides to go to United, Paul Pogba certainly isn’t a bad player to cross the ball into you either!
Admittedly, Flint scored just one goal in the Championship last season, but his goalscoring record in previous seasons has been frankly ridiculous for a centre-back. He once scored 15 goals in League One for Bristol City from defence, and has notched at least five in three of his last four seasons in the Championship.
Flint has just joined Cardiff, who scored 32% of their goals from set-pieces last season and, last time they were in the Championship, their central-defenders scored 11 between the two of them. They also have Will Vaulks, who has a monster throw-in, and plenty of good deliverers of the ball, including Joe Ralls and Joe Bennett. I’d be very surprised if Flint didn’t score five goals.
Premier League Mix & Match
- Liverpool and Manchester City top two finish, Harry Kane top goalscorer, Leicester top half finish, and Manchester United to score 70+ league goals (20/1 Sky Bet)
Whilst Tottenham are seemingly closing in on Manchester City and Liverpool, the pair – who battled it out for the title last season – still look streets ahead of the rest of the league.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will continue to go all-out for their first Premier League title, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they hit a similar points total to last year, despite not significantly strengthening the squad. City have bolstered theirs by breaking their transfer record to sign Rodri, as well as bringing in Angelino. It’s hard to envisage the division without these two perched at the top.
As for Harry Kane, he’s been amongst the league’s top goalscorers for the last five seasons, winning the Golden Boot in two of those campaigns. He *only* scored 17 goals last time out because of injury but, with that all hopefully all behind him – and a European Championships to prepare for – I have no doubt that the England forward will be in the upper echelons of the top goalscoring charts come the end of the season.
Leicester are former Premier League champions and now have a manager that’s finished second in the division, so it seems far from ludicrous to suggest they’ll finish in the top half. They’re arguably the best side outside the top-six with undoubted quality in Ben Chilwell, Harry Maguire (presuming they can keep hold of him), new recruit Youri Tielemans and James Maddison. The top half will be the minimum expected from the Foxes.
Manchester United scored 65 goals last season and were the fifth top scorers in the league. Defensively is where they struggled but they’ve been linked with players in forward areas. United’s attack could include Paul Pogba, Dan James, Marcus Rashford, along with potentially another world-class forward, if they decide to sign one.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the Red Devils playing free-flowing attacking football when he took over, and I think that will continue next season.
Three League Combo
- Tottenham to finish in the top four, Bristol City and Fulham to finish in the top six, and Birmingham and Bolton to be relegated (100/1 Sky Bet)
Whilst I don’t think they’ll break the top two, I’m confident Tottenham will finish in the top four for the fifth season in a row. I’ve already spoken about Harry Kane’s abilities in front of goal, and they’re just as good at the back, with Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld forming one of the top partnerships in Europe.
Spurs may be slightly weak at full-back currently, but the signing of Tanguy Ndombele makes up for any feebleness they had in centre-midfield. All of that, combined with the frailties Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea possess, means that I can see Mauricio Pochettino securing Champions League football for Tottenham again.
Bristol City have continued to improve season-on-season under Lee Johnson and, after narrowly missing out on the play-offs last season, I think this is finally the year the Robins can break the top-six.
Johnson offers consistency and builds on that – which is exactly what he’s done again this season – and the permanent signings of Tomas Kalas and Jay Dasilva, along with the addition of the exciting Sammie Sczmodics, is a real statement of intent. After playing some really good football last season and adding to a squad already full of quality, I’m confident this will be a good season for the Robins.
Unlike Bristol City, Fulham didn’t enjoy the best season last year. They were relegated from the Premier League but are aiming to bounce straight back under Scott Parker. There’s not much else to this, other than the fact they have an insanely good team.
Alfie Mawson, Joe Bryan, Tom Cairney, Anthony Knockaert, Ivan Cavalerio and, most importantly, Aleksandar Mitrovic are all incredible footballers at this level – Parker just needs to go out and tell them to play. I can see them competing for the title, so the top-six should be a breeze.
Birmingham surprisingly lost Garry Monk this summer and, even more surprisingly, appointed his assistant Pep Clotet as manager. Clotet has been a great coach at Swansea and Leeds, but in his only managerial role in England, he was sacked after just seven months. His recruitment was poor and failed to build on the superb job that Michael Appleton did before him.
Dan Crowley and Jake Clarke-Salter look like decent signings but a lot more will be needed to replace Michael Morrison, Jota and Che Adams. It could be a long, hard season for Blues next season and relegation could well be on the cards.
Starting the season with -12 points and just a couple of senior players – need I say anymore re: Bolton? Phil Parkinson, if he stays, will put up a fight in Lancashire next season but I just can’t see it being enough. It would be a miracle if Bolton don’t go down.
2019/20 – Harry Maguire and Aden Flint to score 5+ goals each (7/1 SkyBet)
2019/20 – Liverpool and Manchester City top two finish, Harry Kane top goalscorer, Leicester top-half finish, and Manchester United to score 70+ league goals (20/1 SkyBet)
2019/20 – Tottenham to finish in the top-four, Bristol City and Fulham to finish in the top-six, and Birmingham and Bolton to be relegated (100/1 SkyBet)