Box office blockbuster signings and already-ensconced favourites like Diego Costa, Angel Di Maria and Eden Hazard have been wowing more glitz-obsessed observers as the Premier League’s 2014/15 campaign begins to unfold.
Yet if would’ve been more of a shock if they hadn’t and with this in mind bwinbetting have chosen to honour some of the less anticipated stars of the nascent season:
Leonardo Ulloa – Leicester City
“A Championship striker?! How much!!” is a rough approximation of the words uttered by many a pair of Premier League loving lips when the Foxes brought in the Argentine by way of Brighton, who scored 14 times in the second tier last term.
Five games later and only £30m man Diego Costa has netted more often than the dead-eyed finisher, who has harvested his quintet despite being afforded a full shot per game less than the Chelsea man on average.
Ulloa is 19/10 to find the net when Nigel Pearson’s men travel to Crystal Palace.
Fraser Forster – Southampton
Being omitted from England’s final World Cup match against Costa Rica in favour of Ben Foster seems only to have spurred the Northumberland-born colossus on to greater heights as part of the division’s most miserly rearguard.
His saves per goal average shows him to have repelled nigh on two efforts for every concession more than Three Lions overstudy Joe Hart and 2.5 more than Chelsea new-kid Thibaut Courtois.
Meanwhile his 24 combined catches and punches show him to be taking a greater command of his area than Hart (20), Courtois (17) or Wojciech Szczesny (12).
His Saints are 19/20 to shut out visiting QPR.
The defence – Burnley
Much has been made of the Clarets’ inability to score, but a successful slipping of the relegation noose is far more often based on a resilient rearguard and, despite shipping three to Chelsea in their first game back in the top tier, Sean Dyche’s men have one.
Since that Turf Moor baptism of fire they’ve gone four games without concession, leaving only Southampton with a more miserly defence.
The 11/4 about the Ginger Mourinho’s well-drilled troops leaving the Hawthorns without having shipped again is a derisory 11/4 (George flipping Boyd is averaging seven tackles a game for love of Jah!).
Steven Naismith – Everton
Balding, red-faced, Scottish and playing for Toffees, it’s difficult to imagine a more unfashionable player, yet the titan of industry has been a thorn of lion-taming hinderance levels to their opposition all season, thriving at number ten in the absence of the injured Ross Barkley.
Three goals, two yellow cards and the undying admiration of Goodison Park have been his reward and he’s 5/2 to net against Liverpool at Anfield.
Phillipe Senderos – Aston Villa
If Ulloa’s signing raised a few eyebrows, then Villa’s acquisition of the bumbling Swiss caused an anticipatory rise in the world-wide Botox share price, such was the chronic wrinkle outbreak anticipated by stock-market sharks.
Yet somehow, against the odds, the former Arsenal man has discovered a raging fire in his belly (funnily enough after coming into contact with Roy Keane) that has seen him playing his part in propelling Villa into the Champions League places.
The Villans are 16/5 to avoid defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.