Premier League Gameweek 26: The best player prop bets for Sterling, Fernandes, and Matip
We are two-thirds of the way through the Premier League season and into the business end of proceedings. This weekend, Manchester City will attempt to extend their advantage over Liverpool in the race for the title, While Manchester United and Arsenal scrap it out for a top four spot, and Tottenham pray they don’t fall any further behind.
With a full slate of games coming our way, here are the three best player prop bets for Gameweek 26.
Sat, February 19 2022, 5:30 PM
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham team are in a world of trouble after losing three league games on the spin, and consequently losing pace on the top four contenders. In their last four games, Tottenham have conceded nine goals, and now have to travel to a Manchester City side who can’t stop scoring.
City are 12-0-1 in their last 13 games in all competitions and are averaging 2.8 goals a game at home this season. Pep Guardiola’s side really are in unstoppable form.
Raheem Sterling is one of their stars, but he went strangely quiet in January. The English striker scored eight goals in 10 games for City between November and December, but bettors were burnt at the turn of the year as Sterling failed to find the net at all in January.
He's quickly put that right with a hat-trick against Norwich last week, and a goal in City’s 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday. Sterling averages 2.3 shots per game at home in the EPL so he will no doubt test Hugo Lloris this weekend, and Sterling’s conversion rate at home this year is an impressive 20%.
Sterling loves playing against Spurs and has eight career goals against them – with Bournemouth and Watford the only teams he’s scored against more times than Tottenham.
Sun, February 20 2022, 2:00 PM
Manchester United are in a battle to nick a top four place and are 20 points behind neighbors Man City, while Leeds are just six points above the relegation zone.
The last time these two met was the opening day of the season, and the Red Devils ran out 5-1 winners. A year earlier they’d beaten Leeds 6-2, so hammering their cross-Pennine rivals twice in short succession was reason for celebration.
That upbeat feeling may have evaporated as the season has gone on, but United will still be confident of finding the back of the net against a Leeds side who have the second worst defensive record in the league.
Of the 11 goals in those two hammerings, Bruno Fernandes scored five of them and he’s a great value play to find the net against the Yorkshire side again. When comparing the United players in terms of shots per game and conversion rate, Bruno stands out for all the right reasons.
While Ronaldo might have more shots per game on average, he doesn’t convert as many chances, and while Rashford’s conversion rate is high, he doesn’t find the opportunity to shoot as much. Fernandes hits both a high conversion rate and high shot count, making him a god bet to inflict more damage on a struggling Leeds team.
Manchester United Attackers in the 2021/22 Premier League
|Player||Shots per Game||Conversion Rate|
Sat, February 19 2022, 3:00 PM
Sometimes a game on a slate is too good to be true. Liverpool are the league’s highest scorers, averaging 2.5 goals scored a game this season. That number rises to 3.0 goals a game when you look at the 11 games played against bottom half teams this season.
Meanwhile, Norwich concede a league high 2.1 goals a game this season – a figure that rises to 3.5 goals a game when you consider their eight matches against the top six sides.
It’s got all the makings of a thrashing, so which player is best to back to find the net for the Reds? Neither Mo Salah (-215) or Diogo Jota (-141) offer much appeal at the price, while it’s hard to know how much the African Cup of Nations victory has taken out of Sadio Mane (+100).
Going down the list Joel Matip sticks out at +700. Only four Liverpool players (Salah, Mane, Jota, and Trent Alexander-Arnold) have had more shots on goal than Matip, with the defender averaging 1.2 shots every game. While he’s yet to find the net this year, he has scored in five of his six Premier League campaigns with Liverpool, and the Reds have scored 23% of their goals from set pieces this season.
Liverpool are one of the most dangerous sides in the league when they get a set piece and it’s worth considering Matip to get on the scoresheet against a Norwich side who struggle to defend.