Anthony Martial arrived at Old Trafford on September 1, and in little more than three weeks he has brought an overwhelming sense of giddiness to Manchester United fans that’s more often seen when a teenage boy discovers that there’s a 10 minute free window on the mucky channels at midnight.
The 19-year-old superstar is a French striker with a big reputation, so naturally, before even stepping foot in Manchester, he had been dubbed the next Thierry Henry. But rather than screw a nation out of a World Cup by blatantly cheating, Anthony Martial has done in just 115 minutes, what it has taken Wayne Rooney since February to accomplish – and that’s score three Premier League goals.
An emphatic strike off the bench against Liverpool sealed a 3-1 victory, and Martial followed that up with an impressive brace as Louis van Gaal’s side secured a 3-2 win away to Southampton last week. The £36m star has shown no signs of buckling under his hefty price tag as he has injected some pace and excitement into a United side that was threatening to look as dull as dinner with Michael Owen.
Now, he’s in line to make his first league start at the Theatre of Dreams, against a Sunderland side with the worst defensive record in the league. The Black Cats appear destined for the Championship next season and have shipped 13 goals in six games already in this campaign. More worryingly they’ve coughed up 108 shots against them (an average of 18 per match) and Anthony Martial won’t need a second invitation to have a pop. United’s latest superstar is a Fantasy Football must, while at odds of to score at anytime on Saturday he could be the banker of the weekend.
- To emphasise just how clinical Martial is, his three goals in two matches have come from just four shots – giving him a conversion rate of 75 per cent.
- If you take Martial’s three goals against Wayne Rooney’s last three league goals, it has taken Martial four shots and 115 minutes of football. It has taken Rooney 30 shots and almost 22 hours of football.
- Memphis Depay (third in the betting to score first behind Martial and Rooney) has attempted 21 shots this year without getting on the scoresheet – nobody has had that many punts without hitting the onion bag. More worryingly, 81 per cent of his attempts haven’t tested the keeper.
The for Martial to bag at anytime on Saturday afternoon looks to good to turn down, while it’s that he’ll break the deadlock at OT. Again, not a bad punt at all considering how poor some of Rooney’s performances have been recently.
But if you’re after a bit more bang for your buck, you might be tempted by Martial to score the opening goal of the game in a 3-1 win for United at 25/1. Last season the Red Devils won nine of their 10 home games against sides in the bottom half of the table, and in 40 per cent of those 10 games United won by a 3-1 scoreline.
That’s enough to get us tempted, as does the thought of picking up £130 from a £5 bet, so we’re willing to take a punt on the scorecast to add a bit of jam on top of the Martial anytime bet.
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