Every Thursday, this feature will bring you the best selections from the anytime goalscorer markets around England and Europe. Last week, none of our picks found the target, but we'll put that down to experience - and Clint Dempsey's goal-line poaching...
It can often prove wise to back a striker finding the target when facing his former side, and that’s the logic we're using for the first of this weekend’s goalscoring double. Saturday’s early kick-off in the Premier League sees Arsenal travel to Manchester United, and come face-to-face with Robin van Persie (6/5, William Hill) for the first time since he left the Emirates in the summer.
The Dutchman has begun life at Old Trafford in fine form, netting nine times in ten starts in all competitions, and sits as the joint-highest scorer in the top flight with seven goals. Van Persie scored in this fixture last season, but the Gunners were on the wrong end of an 8-2 hammering, and he could come back to haunt his old club as the Red Devils search for another comprehensive result against the out-of-sorts Londoners.
Over in Spain, one man is making almost as many headlines as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Atletico Madrid’s Falcao (6/5, William Hill) is in scintillating form having netted 13 times in just nine club appearances this term.
Atletico are on an eight-match winning streak in La Liga, much of which is down to the Columbian who has scored in his last seven league outings.
He was rested during the midweek Copa Del Rey clash against Jaen, so will be fully prepared by the time Saturday’s meeting at Valencia comes round. The hosts have won three and lost three of their last six in the league and lie in mid-table, and they could be susceptible to a Los Colchoneros side that has scored twice as many as Los Che in La Liga.
For our lengthier accumulator, we’ll add Matthew Barnes-Homer (11/4, Bet365) into the mix, after the Macclesfield frontman’s recent hot streak. The 26-year old has scored in each of his last five league and cup outings, and will be in confident mood as the Silkmen travel to face Swindon in the FA Cup first round.
One aspect to look out for in goalscorer markets is a penalty taker, and Barnes-Homer falls into that category for Steve King’s side, having bagged five from the spot so far this season. Robins boss Paolo Di Canio could be tempted to rest a few key players this weekend after their midweek exertions against Aston Villa in the League Cup, and if Macclesfield are to capitalise, it could come down to their man in form up front.
Despite failing to register when we backed him last weekend, the final name on our slip is Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe (Evens, Boylesports). Spurs have a home game against Wigan this Saturday, and the England international enjoys meetings with the Latics.
He has netted ten in 11 career appearances against Athletic, including five in a 9-1 thrashing in 2009, and we fancy the hosts to create plenty of opportunities this weekend, with Defoe likely to rediscover the scoring touch that alluded him last weekend.
Check out Rich Greatorex's anytime goalscorer selections in his Hotshots column every Thursday at Best of the Bets.
Follow @Rich_Greatorex on Twitter.
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