Bill Edgar: Leicester leaving it late and worrying stats for Huddersfield
The Times stats guru Bill Edgar on how Leicester usually have the last laugh, Huddersfield's poor goal difference and the time most Premier League goals are scored...
"Interestingly for in-play punters, Leicester have scored the last goal of the match on all six occasions. They recovered to beat Huddersfield 3-1 and Southampton 2-1 and hit consolation goals against United, Liverpool (both 2-1) and Bournemouth (4-0 to 4-2), while also beating Wolves 2-0."
Foxes flying by the finish
Leicester City are dozy starters but wide awake when the final whistle blows. Five of their six Premier League opponents this season struck the first goal of the game: Manchester United, Southampton, Liverpool, Bournemouth and Huddersfield Town (even when Leicester did open the scoring, Wolverhampton Wanderers had to do it for them via a Matt Doherty own goal). Yet, interestingly for in-play punters, Leicester have scored the last goal of the match on all six occasions. They recovered to beat Huddersfield 3-1 and Southampton 2-1 and hit consolation goals against United, Liverpool (both 2-1) and Bournemouth (4-0 to 4-2), while also beating Wolves 2-0. The Betfair Sportsbook has Leicester at 6/1 to come from behind and draw, and 13/1 to come from behind and win against Newcastle this weekend. At shorter odds Rafa Benitez's side are 10/11 to score first.
Huddersfield face negative outcome
Will Huddersfield Town's poor goal difference finally catch up with them, after the past two campaigns of defying logic? Two seasons ago they became the first team in league history to gain promotion despite recording a negative goal difference. Then last season only Stoke City had a worse goal difference in the Premier League yet Huddersfield finished fifth from bottom and avoided the drop. But this term, with the joint worst goal difference so far (with Cardiff City), their position reflects that exactly - they are dead level at the bottom with the Welsh club on points, goal difference and goals scored. Little wonder that Huddersfield are the [1.36] Betfair favourites in the Betfair Exchange relegation betting. Spurs are 11/10 to beat Huddersfield on Saturday with the game going over 2.5 goals.
Goal glut before the interval
Premier League clubs seem to be throwing caution to the wind as half time approaches. There have been 44 goals scored in the 15 minutes before half time this season compared with only 38 in the entire opening half hour (in fact, this "15-minute" period is usually 16-17 minutes because of stoppage time, but that accounts for only a small proportion of the difference in scoring rates between these periods). Goals in this quarter hour before half time are even outstripping goals in the final 15 minutes of the match, when the figure is traditionally boosted by trailing teams going for broke (and also four minutes or so of stoppage time).
It's 4/1 that the first goal of the West Ham v Manchester United match is scored in the final 15 minutes of the first-half.