Premier League preview | Value strikers
You know how it is. You’ve studied the stats, gone with your gut and plumped for the latest foreign import in a hairband to get the first goal of the game.
You sit back and hit the remote safe in the knowledge that later, he’ll be rattling the onion bag before the opposition have worked up a sweat.
But pretty soon you’re venting your fury on Twitter quicker than a post-Major Lee Westwood after your ‘certain’ first goalscorer proves he couldn’t hit a bull on the arse with a banjo before getting the sideline hook.
What went wrong? Well checking out Paddy Power’s bank of ‘first’ goalscorers may have netted you a tidy profit.
Christian Benteke, Aston Villa
The Belguim striker (22) came from nowhere at Villa Park to end the season with 19 goals. The glamour clubs where soon sniffing as Villa slapped a £20m price-tag on their precocious talent who, after a bit of persuasion, signed a new deal at Villa Park.
First-scorer goals against Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton didn’t always bring three points for Villa but did bring the realisation that the Belgium striker was going places. Luckily for Villa fans not for another few years.
With a £290 profit to £10 stakes last season in the first-goalscorer market – Benteke has allready bagged seven goals in five pre-season friendlies to reduce Paul Lambert’s sleepless night count. For now.
Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham
The former Spurs and Manchester United striker has been called a few names in his time – lazy b****** chief among them. But despite an aversion to running – managed to score 15 league goals for Fulham last season – hitting the net first eight times.
This netted punters a cool £270 profit on the Bulgarian hit-man who may have to start putting in a proper shift now that Darren Bent’s signed on loan from Aston Villa. Time to change the T-shirt to ‘Give me the ball and I’ll take Paddy to the Cleaners.’
Rickie Lambert, Southampton
England’s latest poster boy who got the winner against Scotland after a mid-week cameo for Wayne Rooney. But Lambert has always known where the goals are and struck 13 times for the Saints in his first season in the top flight as part of his 103 goals in 196 games for Southampton.
Getting the first goal against Man United, Aston Villa, QPR and Stoke saw the lanky striker net a £190 profit to a £10 stake for his first-goalscorer backers. It’s a long way from the Beetroot factory.
- Betting: All the opening weekend’s Premier League action here