Looking at putting a few pounds on the Wolves game this weekend? Dan Butler gives his thoughts on what to bet on.
I’m going to preface this piece by saying I am by no means a betting expert.
My weekends are quite frequently spent watching the cash out option on my accumulators whittle down to 5p before I eventually give up even opening the Skybet app.
That being said, here are a couple of tips worth considering for the visit of Preston.
(Bets taken from SkyBet at the time of writing).
Wolves win and over 2.5 goals
The win over Villa last weekend confirmed what most of us have been thinking since we announced our major signings in the summer.i
If and when this group of players buy into Nuno’s ideas and execute them, we’re going to beat anyone in the division.
The Villa performance felt like a lot like that, a group of players committed to playing a certain way and a manager who was setting the team up to maximise its potential.
Basically, we’re the best team in the league and it doesn’t really matter who comes to Molineux because if we play to even 75% of what we can then we’ll win comfortably.
I think Preston will offer a tougher test than Villa did, expected goals (xG) tells us that Preston are creating a lot of good quality chances and taking high percentage shots.
xG is a useful metric in that it shows whether a team’s results are truly reflecting their performances and it suggests Preston are going to be up there with us this season.
There are a number of useful Twitter accounts that track statistics such as xG and use other metrics to determine how a team is performing.
Those accounts are showing Preston are right up there with Wolves as one of the best attacking and defensive outfits in the Championship.
They’re going to create chances and they may well score, but I fancy us to create and ultimately finish more of ours.
Wolves to win and over 2.5 goals is 7/4 on SkyBet.
Over 40 Preston booking points
This week Preston’s Ben Pearson stated that their side is the best pressing side in the league, so it gave them an edge against teams that like to pass it around.
This is true enough against most teams in this league, but most teams in this league don’t have Ruben Neves and Romain Saiss in the middle of the park.
So yes, some passing teams may struggle with an intense press higher up the pitch but we shouldn’t.
If Preston press Neves and Saiss then we respond by moving the ball through the phases quicker, if we beat that press then our front 3 is on the wrong side of the Preston midfield and running at their back 4.
Those kinds of situations where Jota/Cavaleiro/Bonatini are running at Preston’s back 4 are going to throw up a lot of petty fouls to stop attacks and mistimed challenges from their midfielders attempting to make amends for letting the ball past them in the first place.
Not to mention the fact that pressing intensely already comes with the risk that you arrive late and flatten your opponent.
If Saturday’s referee doesn’t swallow his whistle like so many who have come before him then we should see Preston rack up quite a few cards.
Over 40 Preston booking points is 4/1 with Skybet but if you fancy something a bit safer then over 30 is 7/4.
I’ve had a look through the Preston squad and can’t see any ex-Wolves players in there, so that eliminates the obvious threat of which opposition player will score against us.
However we were linked with Jordan Hugill over the summer which makes me think he’s good value to score anytime at 5/2.
On a serious note, Hugill appears to be Preston’s main threat and although I discounted the use of Preston’s press on our midfield, if they decide to target someone like Danny Batth then I don’t like the idea of him having to make a split second decision on the ball.
If they press Batth into a mistake that high up the pitch and win the ball then it exposes us massively, it can also disrupt us going forward if Batth reverts to type and starts pinging balls into the stand instead of building from the back.
For Wolves, Jota is the obvious choice and if we start the same fluid front 3 as against Villa then he could see himself in a central position at times as Cavaleiro drifts wide.
But I’m going for Leo Bonatini as first goalscorer at 9/2.
He grabbed one and should have had another in only 45 minutes of play against Villa and will directly benefit from the attention that Jota/Cavaleiro/Costa will get, space should open up in the middle for him and as we’ve seen he’s a much better finisher than what people are giving him credit for.
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