Premier League Gameweek 21: The best player prop bets for Sterling, Alexander-Arnold, and more
Fireworks will light up the skies across the world as we welcome in the new year, and 2022 is set to get off to a bang in the Premier League with some massive fixtures impacting both ends of the table. The stakes are high and the pressure is mounting as we get into the business end of the season.
Ahead of this week's slate of games, here are the three best player prop bets in the Premier League.
Sat, January 1 2022, 12:30 PM
After a slow start to the season Raheem Sterling has hit top gear again, and he now has six goals in his last seven league matches, including two against Leicester on Boxing Day. In those seven games Sterling has had a total of 20 shots (2.9 per game on average), and he's posted a red-hot conversion rate of 30%.
Pep Guardiola rested Sterling in midweek for Manchester City’s clash with Brentford, so the English attacker should be raring to go in his first game of 2022. His record against Arsenal is electric, as he’s scored in each of the last four league games he’s started against Arsenal.
While Arsenal’s form looks good on paper, Manchester City own them in this fixture. Since 2015, City have won 10 and drawn two of the 12 league matches with Arsenal, scoring on average 2.5 goals per game.
At +143 Sterling looks a solid bet to find the net, and bettors may also be tempted by the odds of +480 on Sterling to score first. He’s opened the scoring in three of the last four league games with Arsenal, and in his last seven games for City he’s opened the scoring in three of them.
Sun, January 2 2022, 2:00 PM
Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse is receiving plenty of plaudits of late, and it’s no surprise why. Not only is he the heart of the Southampton team, but he is an excellent free-kick taker and now has three goals in his last three games for the Saints.
Goals away to Crystal Palace, West Ham, and at home to Tottenham helped Saints to an unbeaten run through the Christmas period and have helped make Ward-Prowse Southampton’s leading scorer this season. The 27-year-old has a 43% conversion rate in the last three matches, and although that is completely unsustainable for the season, he can keep it going at least one game longer with Newcastle the visitors this weekend.
The Magpies have the worst defensive record in the league, having conceded 42 goals (2.2 per game on average), and keeping just one clean sheet all season. They give up an average of 15.7 shots per game, and that should give JWP plenty of opportunity to try his luck.
Ward-Prowse has scored in Southampton’s last two league games with Newcastle and can heap more pressure on the world’s richest club this weekend.
Sun, January 2 2022, 4:30 PM
I’m taking a flyer on TAA in the Chelsea vs. Liverpool clash on Sunday in a huge game for both teams, but a fixture that traditionally doesn’t give up too many goals. In the last 15 matches there have been an average of 2.5 goals a game, but that is skewed massively by Liverpool’s bizarre 5-3 win over Chelsea in July 2020, when the season restarted after the COVID-19 interruption.
That game aside, the last 15 ties between these sides average just 2.2 goals a game, with eight of the last 10 having Under 2.5 goals.
That combined with Romelu Lukaku’s unrest this week and media outburst, Timo Werner’s injury, and Sadio Mane’s goal drought dating back to Nov. 20, and of the favorites only Mo Salah and Diogo Jota are left. Neither appeal too much in a game where the defenses are likely to come out on top, so there’s value in taking a chance on Alexander-Arnold.
He averages 1.6 shots per game, the second highest of any defensive player in the league with more than 10 appearances this season, and he has two goals in his last nine league games for the Reds. There’s no doubting his attacking quality and his threat from set pieces, and that gives us a chance of landing this prop at good odds.
He scored in both league fixtures in the 2019-20 season, so hopefully he can rediscover that magic touch at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.