The Goalscorer Gamble: Giroud will be back amongst the goals against Blackburn

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Dan Fitch picks out some likely goalscorer bets, including Olivier Giroud, who today has the chance to push Arsenal close to FA Cup glory...

Last week we discussed how a player’s position can have more influence on the goalscorer markets than statistics, with goalscoring midfielders often providing much more value than shorter priced strikers.

It's about time Arsenal won something isn't it? If nothing else, just to give the person who cleans their trophy cabinet a bit of variety in their life.

Arsene Wenger has claimed that finishing in the top four is like winning a trophy. It isn't. Mainly because you don't receive a trophy.

He's also recently claimed that Arsenal can win the Champions League. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt by assuming that comment was intended as some sort of surreal joke. 

No, the only trophy that Arsenal have a chance of winning this season is the good old FA Cup. Which is why they should take their clash with Blackburn Rovers seriously, despite the fact that their Champions League clash with Bayern Munich takes place on Tuesday.

The player who should spearhead the Arsenal attack is Olivier Giroud. The French striker has taken his time to find his feet in English football, but is now in good form, having scored five goals from his last five games.

This included two goals in the last round against Brighton. Giroud has failed to score in Arsenal last two games and is due a goal, which is bad news for Blackburn. Back Giroud to score today at [1.98].

Last week I tipped Radamel Falcao to score first for Atletico Madrid, only for the Colombian to instead score the last goal, as his side slumped to a 2-1 defeat away at Rayo Vallecano.

This poor result was followed up by an even worse one, as Atletico lost their previously brilliant home record with a shock Europa League defeat to Rubin Kazan. There is a danger than Diego Simeone's side could throw their season away, unless they snap out of this sleepwalk.

Simeone doesn't seem to be the sort of person to tolerate results like this for too long, so I expect Atletico to come out all guns blazing. Let's show faith in Falcao and back him to score first at [4.3], with odds of [1.9] available that he will score at any time.

Next we go to the only Premier League game taking place this weekend. Sunday's game between Liverpool and Swansea will see the return of Daniel Sturridge, who was injured for last week's 2-0 home defeat by West Brom and then cup-tied, as Liverpool lost away at Zenit.

Sturridge already looks like a player who is missed by Liverpool when he is absent. He has scored in four of his six starts for Liverpool and we're going to back him at [1.95] to add to that tally against Swansea.

Last week we discussed how a player's position can have more influence on the goalscorer markets than statistics, with goalscoring midfielders often providing much more value than shorter priced strikers.

Sometimes reputation can play a part too, which might explain why Borussia Dortmund's Jakub Blaszczykowski is priced much higher in the goalscoring markets than the German internationals Marco Reus and Mario Gotze, despite having scored more goals than either of them.

The Poland midfielder has scored nine goals in 16 games this season, which makes the [9.6] available for him to score last in Dortmund's home game against Eintracht Frankfurt, look like pretty good value. Blaszczykowski is also priced at [3.5] to score at any time.

Finally we return to the FA Cup, for Monday's game between Manchester United and Reading. In the last round, I tipped Javier Hernandez to score first and then cursed my greed as the Mexican then scored the third and fourth goals of United's 4-1 win over Fulham.

I won't be making the same mistake and will instead simply bet on Hernandez to score at any time against Reading, at odds of [1.9].

Recommended Bets

Best Bet: Back Olivier Giroud to score at [1.98]
Back Radamel Falcao to score first at [4.3]
Back Daniel Sturridge to score at [1.95]
Back Jakub Blaszczykowski to score last at [9.6]
Back Javier Hernandez to score at [1.9]

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