Who were the heroes at the weekend, and which team let down everybody's accumulators?
Liverpool - we're looking at you...
Punt of the weekend: Sergio Aguero to score first and Manchester City to beat Stoke 4-1 (60/1)
34 punters cashed in on the early game on Saturday, as Manchester City sweeped past Stoke to click a beauty of a 60/1 scorecast.
Sergio Aguero had five goals in six games versus Stoke heading into the match, so it was no surprise to see him open the scoring after 27 minutes. The striker missed two spot-kicks in the Champions League Qualifier in midweek, but he made no mistakes converting a penalty at the Britannia. The Argentinian doubled City’s lead 10 minutes later glancing home Kevin De Bruyne’s set piece.
Mike Dean evened the odds after half-time, awarding Stoke a penalty, and Bojan Krkic hauled Stoke back into it. There was still 40 minutes left on the clock, giving this scorecast plenty of legs, but as the game wore on it looked less and less likely. That was until Nolito had two goals handed to him on a silver platter with four minutes remaining. Kelechi Iheanacho and Raheem Sterling both served up delightful dishes for the substitute who had the easiest of braces. Two late goals gave this 60/1 punt plenty of drama, and for that reason it’s our punt of the weekend.
Banker: Manchester United (8/15)
Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly were all making their Old Trafford bow on Friday night, and Jose Mourinho was well equipped to quickly end the myth that Southampton were becoming a bit of a bogey team at the Theatre of Dreams. The Saints had taken seven points off the Red Devils in their three previous league meetings to OT, but Mourinho’s men always looked in control under the Friday night lights.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic rose highest to firmly nod Wayne Rooney’s cross into the back of the net after 36 minutes to give United a deserved lead. And that lead was doubled just seven minutes after the oranges as Luke Shaw was brought down by Jordy Clasie and Zlatan finished from the resulting spot-kick.
United had just 44 per cent possession and had just one more shot in total than Saints, but they were never in doubt at 8/15. Southampton managed just one shot on target in the match as the home side cruised to another three points.
Blow-out: Liverpool (11/20)
After Jurgen Klopp’s men thumped Arsenal 4-3 at the Emirates in a thrilling start to their season last week, it was no surprise to see Liverpool being touted as the banker of the 3.00pm kick-offs away to newly promoted Burnley. The Clarets lost their opening game at home to Swansea 1-0, and the odds suggested it was little more than a formality that Liverpool would go on to win.
Yet despite having 81 per cent of the ball and winning the total shot count 18-3, Liverpool were the blow-out of the weekend losing 2-0 at Turf Moor.
It took less than 120 seconds for Sam Vokes to give Burnley the lead, and that was doubled before half-time by Andre Gray. As much as Liverpool huffed and puffed, Burnley defended well and the Reds were restricted to pot-shots from range which were mostly comfortable for keeper Tom Heaton.
It made for a frustrating afternoon for punters on at 11/20, as they watched Liverpool try and fail to break down a side well fancied for relegation.
The value bet that looks painfully obvious: Sergio Aguero to score first (3/1)
Always captain Sergio Aguero. Always captain Sergio Aguero. That Fantasy Football motto should be tattooed on to my face. It’s always worth backing him to score first as well.
The striker is red-hot, and after opening the scoring against Sunderland last week, and bagging a hat-trick in Romania in the Champions League on Tuesday (as well as missing two penalties), it was no surprise to see him step up and slot home the opener against Stoke from the penalty spot at odds of 3/1.
Aguero’s eye for goal in those three games in the last week is truly remarkable. He’s scored six times from 20 shots – giving him a conversion rate of 30 per cent – and if he’d slotted home his two penalties in midweek that would rise to a staggering 40 per cent.
The City striker can hardly miss at the moment, and it’ll be no secret as to who we’re backing to find the onion bag first when City are at home to West Ham next week.
The longshot that nobody saw coming: Etienne Capoue to score first and Chelsea to beat Watford 2-1 (150/1)
This was a scorecast that nobody saw coming – mainly down to the fact that Capoue was a massive 33/1 shot to open the scoring at home to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. Despite opening the scoring in Watford’s opening game with Southampton last week, punters weren’t keen to back the Frenchman to break the deadlock again, as Chelsea were expected to brush aside the challenge of the Hornets.
However that wasn’t the case as Capoue lashed home a well-deserved opener as Chelsea struggled to get a foot-hold in the game. However Conte was brave enough to make three substitutions and was duly rewarded in the final 10 minutes. Firstly Michy Batshuayi equalised with 80 minutes on the clock after Heurelho Gomes spilt Eden Hazard’s long-distance drive. Diego Costa then bagged the winner for the Blues after a delightful pass from Cesc Fabregas – although for the second week running their were question marks over whetehr or not Chelsea’s favourite bastard should have been on the pitch.
Either way it secured a 2-1 win for Chelsea, and clicked a 150/1 shot that nobody saw coming.