08 December 2019 14:36
Get the biggest football stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email Bank on Jamie Vardy making his own luck this afternoon. So far this season punters have been able to rely on Aston Villa to lose pretty much every game they were confidently predicted to. I make it five out of six of these 'bankers' have landed. Today's visitors Leicester (2pm) look a lot like number seven, but there's a problem. The 'expected goals' analysts reckon the Foxes are running at least nine points 'lucky' this season.
They're not really a top-four side at all. It's some sort of maths accident. Worse, the data suggests Leicester's 'false' position in the league table is almost entirely down to the personal lucky streak of just one player. Vardy. But here's where even the most sceptical punter can get on board with the boffins. Because there's only really two types of striker at the elite level. And the list of the 'unlucky' ones is by far the longest. There'll be one or two more of that sort bought for big money next month, as desperate clubs hunt for a four-leaf clover like the one Leicester have. Villa have kept one clean sheet in their last 12 games. Vardy has scored in nine of his last 12. Even on his unluckiest day I'd take Vardy 'anytime scorer' at 5/6 (Paddy). Chris Wilder reckons VAR is sucking the life out of the game. Try watching it on telly, pal. It's mostly armpits and bollocks these days. Wilder's Sheffield United head to Norwich (2pm), while midweek's ill-gotten gainers Newcastle welcome Southampton (2pm). Hard to decide which is less appealing really. We need bright 'anytime scorer' sparks with optimism and courage, ones who never stop trying to change the game for the better. I'll vote for Norwich's Kenny McLean 'anytime' at 7/1 (Paddy) and Saints' James Ward-Prowse 'anytime' at 4/1 (888sport). Brighton boss Graham Potter must decide whether or not to hide behind the sofa today (4.30pm). Raul Jimenez is the big bad wolf at the door as Nuno Espirito Santo's counter-attack kings come knocking. Wolves 's Jimenez is a fair bet at 39/20 (Unibet) 'anytime scorer'. And in the hope that Potter does come out to play, Brighton's Adam Webster is your live 'anytime' worldie at 18/1 (Bet365). Last week: Winner at 7/2