Assists betting is back with a bang this season and it’s encouraging to see Coral join Boylesports at the party, albeit with a limited offering on televised Premier League games only.
The competition can only be good for punters however and the early signs indicate that Coral are willing to offer a hint more value – but also less depth – than their counterparts.
So where should our money be going? Here’s a look at some of the players likely to provide the value over the coming weeks.
With two assists in five starts this season, I’m amazed to see Zabaleta quoted at a massive 8/1 this weekend against an average Villa side. A quick look at the field-position heat map v Man Utd indicates just how attacking he’s become under Pellegrini, spending over 45% of the game in the opposition’s half.
Per match, he averages 14 attacking passes in the final third, which is more akin to a midfielder, and he boasts the second-most crosses in the City team (17 in 5 games). So why is he almost double the price of his fellow full-back Aleksandar Kolarov? I’ll be getting on the 8/1 anytime and the 25/1 first assist.
The West Brom midfielder has only played twice this season but has already shown his attacking potential. He’s yet to bag an assist but averages the third-best key passes stat in the league (3.5 per game) and is statistically the most accurate crosser in the EPL (3.5 per game) . In last week’s 3-0 victory over Sunderland – the final trigger for Paolo Di Canio’s sacking – Amalfitano was the star of the show: scoring one goal, creating three good chances and making 17 passes in the final third. And as a designated corner taker, he offers an on-going threat from set pieces.
This weekend sees the Baggies travel to Old Trafford, so it may be worth keeping the powder dry. That said, Amalfitano is pretty much guaranteed a start and like Zabaleta is available at a whopping 8/1 anytime. That’s enough to secure a bit of my money; it’s a price that we are unlikely to see in the future.
This kid could be the next Nicky Shorey. Seriously. You might think that’s a piss-take, but if you’ve ever read any of the garble I’ve written in the past you’ll know just how highly I regard Sir Nicky (… and the coin he earned me last season). Similar to Shorey last season, young JWP takes just about every set piece imaginable, and his delivery – flat, powerful and varied – is similar in style to a young David Beckham. The big issue is that JWP remains just that. A youngster. As such, Pochettino has used him sparingly so far, but when he does get on the pitch, he’s dynamite.
In two starts in his favoured attacking right-midfield slot he’s already picked up an assist so far and in his three full appearances averages 1.8 key passes per game, 3.2 accurate crosses (the second-best in the league) and 14 passes in the final third.
In recent matches, the 18-year-old seems to have fallen out of favour, with an average of only 16 minutes game time in the last two games, so I’d suggest you wait until the team sheets are announced before deciding to wade in (… this bet could be a slow burner).
Of course, he did start in the 2-0 midweek defeat of Bristol City… and claimed two assists. He’s available at 4/1.