If not for Lionel Messi’s constant rewriting of the records, few football pundits (outside of Ballon D’Or journalists) would argue against Robin van Persie being the hottest striker in the world right now.
His record for 2011 reads a remarkable 28 goals in 27 Premier League games, with his brace against Bolton not only marking his 100th goal for Arsenal but also the start of a run where he’s scored two goals or more in four of his last five league games.
So betting on Van Persie to score against West Brom is clearly the way to go and while odds of 13/20 in bwin’s anytime goalscorer market don’t offer much value, backing him to get two or more at 9/4 or even three or more at 11/2 should appeal to punters.
New customers using the ₤25 free bet they receive when signing up to a bwin account would win ₤162.50 if Van Persie bags back-to-back league hat-tricks following his exploits against Chelsea.
Yet Roy Hodgson’s side might fancy their chances of stopping him, boasting one of the league’s best defences – conceding 1.3 goals per game – and a good record against Arsenal, including a 3-2 win last season.
Peter Odemwingie isn’t in the same form as when he opened the scoring in that game, but with Albion top scorers in the opening 15 minutes of games, he’s worth considering in the first goalscorer market at 9/1.
Former Gunner Jerome Thomas is another who thrived on his last trip to the Emirates and is a decent outsider at 11/2 to score anytime.
As Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Marseille showed, Arsenal struggle to score without Van Persie, who has half their league goals this season and Arsene Wenger will expect others to step up.
Theo Walcott has drawn criticism for his form but will be full of confidence after his goal against Chelsea and, with opening goals counting for half his strikes last season, he’s good value at 6/1 in bwin’s first goalscorer market.
Meanwhile, Chu-Young Park will hope his midweek efforts earn him another opportunity and is worth considering at 5/1 to score the last goal.
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