Pep Guardiola’s FC Bayern Munchen have begun the defence of their Bundesliga title by going unbeaten in three matches, which is somewhat-less striking than their scoring spread in home wins against Wolfsburg and Stuttgart, alongside an away draw at Schalke.
FC Bayern have scored five goals in those matches and all of them have come from different sources, with Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze and Franck Ribery all registering in Germany’s top flight already this term.
We’re banking on this trend continuing into a fourth fixture, and with former Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro unlikely to start when Guardiola’s boys host Manchester City in the Champions League for the third time in four seasons, there’s really only one man to side with at the Allianz Arena.
Diminutive Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri has been thrown in from the off by the Spanish coach for three of FCB’s five all-competition matches this term and is 7/1 to bag the opener in Bavaria, while an anytime goal from the 22-year-old is available at 2/1.
With doubts surrounding the fitness of Robben and Ribery ahead of the clash with Manuel Pellegrini’s side, which FC Bayern are 7/10 to win, Shaqiri may well be tasked with supporting front pairing Muller and Lewandowski, alongside Gotze, in an attacking-midfield role.
The former Basel man did so with great effect recently at Schalke, completing three dribbles, rattling off three shots and finding a teammate with 81 per cent of his passes, compared to 61 per cent from highly-rated opposite number Julian Draxler.
Shaqiri’s European goal record for the 2012/13 Champions League winners isn’t up to much, although he has only started once in the continent’s pre-eminent competition since moving to Germany two years ago, and got off the mark in that fixture against Bate Borisov 21 months ago.
What really makes this bet worth having is the fact that Shaqiri’s goals-per-minute ratio (0.69) in the Bundesliga last term was better than each of the quintet of superstars already mentioned – to recap, that’s Muller, Robben, Lewandowski, Gotze and Ribery.
At 2/1 to notch for Guardiola’s injury-ravaged outfit, you’ll struggle to find a scorer bet to top Shaqiri this week.