The Goalscorer Gamble: Depleted Newcastle should fear Giroud

Dan Fitch returns with five more goalscorer tips and he begins with a back of Olivier Giroud to add to his tally for Arsenal, but who else makes the quintet?

After a few weeks of decent results we drew a big, fat blank last weekend as each and every one of my goalscorer selections stubbornly failed to find the net.

In such circumstances I normally eschew the juicer prices available and go for some guaranteed results. Today I’m instead planning to mix things up a little.

We start in the Premier League with Arsenal’s visit to Newcastle. The Magpies are currently suffering from a crisis that sees John Carver having only 13 senior outfield players available. Most are injured but he’s also without the services of his captain Fabricio Coloccini and top scorer Papiss Cisse, who are both suspended.

Having suffered European disappointment in midweek this looks like the perfect game for Arsenal to bounce back. There should be goals and I expect Olivier Giroud to be among them. Giroud has 15 goals in 25 games this season and has found the net seven times in the last eight games. Back Giroud at odds of 2.26/5 to add to his tally.

We stay in the Premier League for Aston Villa’s match with Swansea. One of the best things about Tim Sherwood’s brief spell in charge at Villa Park is that Christian Benteke is back among the goals.

Once rated as the most talented young striker in the Premier League, Benteke’s career stalled through injury and the general lack of goals for Villa during Paul Lambert’s reign. He’s now scored three times in his last three games and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t add more against a Swansea team that have only won four of their 14 away games this season. Let’s take a chance on Benteke to score the first goal at 6.611/2.

Next we head to Italy for an in-form striker in a struggling team. Inter Milan are without a win in their last five games but Rodrigo Palacio has nevertheless scored in each of his last four outings.

For a player who has only scored nine goals in 29 games this season this represents a significant shift in form. This weekend Inter face a Sampdoria side that have kept clean sheets in their past two games but had conceded in each of their previous seven, including a 2-0 loss to Inter. The odds of 3.55/2 for Palacio to score are too big to ignore.

Sometimes slim odds can be too big to ignore too, especially when they feature a certain Lionel Messi. This weekend the magical Argentine features in the biggest game in European football. Yes, it’s El Clasico and Messi is the all-time top scorer in the fixture with 21 goals.

Whenever Barcelona and Real Madrid meet, the prices of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo skyrocket, despite the fact that both score with regularity when the two sides meet. This weekend it’s Messi we’re backing and the price of 4.57/2 for Messi to score the first goal against a struggling Madrid side screams value.

Finally we finish with a game that should guarantee goals. Bayern Munich have scored 25 goals in their last five games and the fact that their opponents Borussia Monchengladbach are third in the Bundesliga, shouldn’t prevent them adding more to their tally.

Bayern are a class apart from all but Wolfsburg in Germany right now and chief among their class acts is Thomas Muller. The goalscoring midfielder has scored five goals in his last three games and is on course to not only break the 20 goal barrier for the third successive season, but also beat last season’s best ever effort of 26.

Back him to edge towards that total at likely odds of 2.01/1.

Recommended Bets
Best Bet: Back Giroud to score at 2.26/5
Back Benteke to score first 6.611/2
Back Palacio to score at 3.55/2
Back Messi to score first at 4.57/2
Back Muller to score at 2.01/1