Lionel Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo. Diego Costa. These are the names that will get bandied around by everyday punters backing a first goalscorer, and why shouldn’t they be? They are the current modern-day superstars, used in every Sky Sports montage on TV, and lauded by football pundits week in and week out. But what if you were a little bit shrewder? What if you could pick out a lesser-known hero, who could still boost your bank balance without drawing the attention same kind of attention Messi and Ronaldo receive?
Well now, with the help of the Paddy Power Blog, you can.
It’s a hipster bet on two in-form players, who are deadly in front of goal, but whose names you might not be all that familiar with. At odds of 26/1 for both to score first a £5 each-way bet returns £164 if they both open the scoring, with the safety net of a £30 return if they each score one of the first five goals of the game. Pretty tasty right? Get your skateboard out, comb your beard, and pour yourself some fair trade underground coffee that isn’t mainstream yet, while we reveal the two players who could put that cash in your back pocket this weekend.
Odion Ighalo – Watford
Not one Championship player in the last two months has as many league goals as Odion Ighalo (12). In fact, if you include all the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 players into that comparison, Ighalo comes second to some fella at Barcelona called Lionel Messi who has 13. In his last eight Championship games, Ighalo has a whopping 12 goals, failing to score just once as Watford were beaten 2-0 by Bournemouth.
The Hornets have the fourth best home record in the Championship and the second best scoring rate – averaging 2.4 goals every game at Vicarage Road. Norwich are the visitors on Saturday in a tasty tie between fifth and sixth, but Watford fans should be confident of their Nigerian striker getting on the scoresheet again. Ighalo has scored 15 league goals in total this season from 53 shots, giving him a conversion rate of 28.3 per cent. To put that into some kind of context, Diego Costa’s conversion rate in the Premier League this season is 27.9 per cent.
Bas Dost – Wolfsburg
Since the start of December, Bas Dost has had 22 shots and scored nine goals. That’s a jaw-dropping conversion rate of 41 per cent. You could say, the Dost-man always delivers. Am I right guys? Terrible puns aside, Dost has scored eight goals in his last five Bundesliga games, failing to score in just one of them away to Eintracht Frankfurt. That run of games included the opening two goals of Wolfburg’s 4-1 win over Bayern Munich – Pep Guardiola’s only league defeat this season – and four goals in a thrilling 5-4 win away to Bayer Leverkusen last week.
This Sunday second-placed Wolfsburg face a Hertha Berlin side who have won just two of their 10 league games on the road. Berlin have also kept just one clean sheet, and have conceded an average of more than two goals a game in each of their away trips this season. Their defence is there to be got at and that makes Bas Dost’s chances of adding to his tally very attractive indeed.
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