In the end, I decided to back Ait-Nouri to score against Aston Villa even though he didn’t start, as there was likely not going to be much liquidity in the market when he was subbed on. He came on at 60 minutes and appears to be the Wolves’ first-choice tactical sub (Podence did come off injured at halftime). Interestingly, he came in on the left of the attacking three (in a 4-2-3-1) for twenty minutes, then Julen Lopetegui switched to a 5-3-2, and he reverted to the left wing.
In those final ten minutes, he had a shot on target from inside the box in a game where Wolves created very little, with an xG of 0.83. He showed great initiative to get the shot away, picking up the ball at half way line, dribbled forward beating three players and got the shot on target, working the keeper. It’s not clear why other Wolves players didn’t support his run, only Traore eventually made an effort to get forward.
The shot had an xG of 0.07, or 7%, while we backed him at 26.0 (represents a 4% chance), so in that sense the bet is marginally positive longer term. Below is his heatmap for these 30 minutes, and it also shows that he had 24 touches, which is a lot more touches per minute than any of the other front players. It also compares well to Semedo and right back and right wing back at 53 and played the full game.
I staked 6 on this bet, which lost. All in all, it is a bet that I will continue to place once he is available at these odds.
Southampton Forest: Adams to Score 2 or more, 20.0, staked 4, lost
Having reviewed the Southampton starting line up against Nottingham Forest which had Bella-Kotcha and Lavia starting, while also playing with Walker-Peters and Perraud in the midfield (3-4-2-1), it looked like a much strong team and on that basis a higher chance of winning. I staked 4 on Che Adams to score 2 at 20.0, as I expected he was by far their main chance of scoring and would benefit from the supply from KWP and Perraud. However this wasn’t the case at all as Adams only had one shot during the game, and while it was their best chance at 0.29 xG, he was one of eight Southampton players who had one shot during the game. Bella-Kotcha also was subbed off at 33 minutes and Lavia at 60 minutes so both are still injury prone. I staked 4 on this and should avoid in future as Southampton are too unsettled and injury prone to accurately forcast a positive long term play at these odds.
Leeds West Ham: Bowen to Score 2 or more at 20.0, staked 4, lost
I also bet on the Leeds West Ham game after reviewing the line ups. West Ham have really been underperforming their xG this season and it was possible that this game might be quite open and that the West Ham attackers might get chances against the Leeds defence that has conceded 3 goals in each of their last three home games.
However while Bowen did win the penalty he didn’t take it and finished the game with no shots. We can see West Ham’s problem in this game in that they only had 5 key passes, so really aren’t creating good or many chances. The game finished level on xG (1.26 to 1.29) but again like Southampton, West Ham can’t find their best team, are creating poor quality chances and are also not getting them on target. On paper they look strong but something is not right behind the scenes. They need their first choice full backs to play and also need to properly intergrate Paqueta into their team. He had the most touches of their forward players at 50, but only one key pass. Most signings from overseas fail in the Premier League Paqueta this season at least looks like he is going to fall into that category.
When he is in the side, they are best to go against. Ngonto for Leeds impressed and took his goal well. Scammaca also took his goal well, but his celebration would suggest he’s a bit wound up by criticism he’s been getting which again is a red flag for poor morale in the camp.
Crystal Palace v Spurs: Correct Score 3-0 Palace, staked 4 at 85.0, lost
At halftime, Palace were on top, having 8 shots, and I thought that if they scored one early then Spurs might get caught on the break late in the game with Zaha and Eze in the side. Spurs had conceded the first goal in a game for the previous ten games in a row, and twice in each of their last seven games. Palace also finished with 19 shots in this game, the fourth most Spurs have conceded in a game (but 10 of them were from outside the box).
However, Spurs continued their strong performance in the second half of games (73 percent of their goals have now come in the second half) and scored four from an xG of 1.67 (Palace were 0.79). The catalyst might have been Conte’s team talk at half time. I can’t image he was happy especially after the 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa the previous game. He obviously still commands a lot of respect from the players and they rally for him. This should continue as the season progresses, and backing Spurs at half time this season looks a profitable play.
All in all, an evening of poor calls resulting in a loss of 18, leaving the betting fund at 287.