Striker! Hot-shot Billy can give United a short, Sharp shock

Date published: Friday 8th January 2016 11:06

Billy Sharp, Sheffield United

Dave Tindall looks to some of the lower-league strikers in the FA Cup for his best goalscorer bets this weekend, with Billy Sharp netting at Manchester United tipped as part of a 108/1 four-timer.

Premier League Top Scorers

15 Jamie Vardy (Leicester) Last 6 in all comps: 0-0-0-0-1-0 = 1

15 Romelu Lukaku (Everton) Last 6 games: 1-0-2-0-1-1 = 5

14 Odion Ighalo (Watford) Last 6 games: 0-1-1-2-1-1 = 6

13 Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) Last 6 games: 0-0-0-2-1-3 = 6

11 Harry Kane (Tottenham) Last 6 games: 0-0-2-1-0-0 = 3

10 Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) Last 6 games: 0-0-0-1-1-3 = 5

Analysis: With it being FA Cup third round weekend and so many managers keen to rotate their squads after a hectic Festive period, there’s a very decent chance that none of the Premier League’s leading scorers will start.

Therefore, I’m going to leave this bunch alone. Perhaps it’s not the worst time to skip them as most of the top marksmen failed to score on their latest starts.

The only one who did add to his tally last time out was Romelu Lukaka but, having played in a full-blooded encounter against Man City in midweek, surely he’ll be rested for the home game against Dagenham & Redbridge. If he starts, feel free to add him although his best price is just 4/7.

Best bets:

No bet

Championship Top Scorers

15 Andre Gray (Burnley) Last 6 games: 0-3-0-1-0-0 = 4

13 Ross McCormack (Fulham) Last 6 games: 0-1-0-1-1-0 = 3

11 Nick Blackman (Derby) Last 6 games: 1-0-0-0-1-0 = 2

10 Charlie Austin (QPR) Last 6 games: 2-0-0-1-0-0 = 3

10  Fernando Forestieri (Sheff Weds) Last 6 games: 0-0-2-2-0-1 = 5

10 Abel Hernandez (Hull City) Last 6 games: 1-0-1-0-1-0 = 3

10 Alan Judge (Brentford) Last 6 games: 0-0-0-2-0-1 = 3

Analysis: There’s a chance that Championship managers will also leave out some of their big guns so beware of that.

New Derby signing Nick Blackman scored on his farewell appearance for Reading but it remains to be seen whether Paul Clement will throw him straight in for the FA Cup clash at Hartlepool.

Charlie Austin hasn’t played since mid-December so that leaves us with Abel Hernandez, who moved up to tied third in the Championship scoring charts by bagging his 11th of the campaign for Hull in last week’s win at QPR.

One of those 11 also came in the Capital One Cup success over Leicester so it suggests he’ll be used in cup games and will be a starter at home to Brighton.

This is a good time to be playing the Seagulls (no wins in six) so take Hernandez to score for 2014 FA Cup finalists Hull at 9/5.

Best bets:

Abel Hernandez to score anytime v Hull at 9/5 (Bet Victor)


League One Top Scorers

16 Adam Armstrong (Coventry) Last 6 games: 3-0-0-0-0-1 = 4

11 Bradley Dack (Gillingham) Last 6 games: 0-1-0-1-1-0 = 3

11 Paddy Madden (Scunthorpe) Last 6 games: 0-0-1-0-0-0 = 1

11 Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) Last 6 games: 1-1-1-1-0-0 = 4

10 Leon Clarke (Bury) Last 6 games: 0-0-1-0-0-1 = 2

10 Conor Washington (Peterborough) Last 6 games: 1-0-2-0-1-1 = 5

Analysis: Coventry don’t play until Tuesday night so Adam Armstrong will have it wait a few days to add to the hat-trick he netted in the 5-0 romp at Crewe.

That leaves two options, both in the FA Cup – Billy Sharp at Manchester United and Conor Washington at home to Preston.

Washington has banged in a Lukaku-esque 12 goals in his last 13 games and three of those have come in the FA Cup. He registered twice in the 3-0 win at Burton and added another in the 1-0 victory over Luton.

Posh host Championship side Preston (lost their last two away) so take Washington to add to his impressive haul at 7/4.

Sharp scored in six games out of seven earlier in the season and, after a drought, is on another hot-streak after netting in each of Sheffield United’s last four games.

It’s asking a lot for him to extend that sequence when the Blades travel to Manchester United but in-form strikers are always worth following anywhere. Think Jermaine Beckford getting the winner at Old Trafford for then League One Leeds in 2010. Beckford went into that game on the back of four goals in his previous two games so there are several parallels with Sharp.

As it’s a big ask, Sharp backers can get 4/1 so give it a whirl.

Washington looks the safer bet for our treble, however.

Best bet:

Conor Washington to score v Preston at 7/4 (General)
Billy Sharp to score v Man Utd at 4/1 (General)


League Two Top Scorers

20 Jay Simpson (Leyton Orient) Last 6 games: 2-1-1-0-0-1 = 5

13 Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) Last 6 games: 0-0-0-0-1-3 = 4

12 Jabo Ibehre (Carlisle) Last 6 games: 2-0-0-1-1-0 = 4

12 Barry Corr (Cambridge) Last 6 games: 0-1-1-0-0-0 = 2

12 Marc Richards (Northampton) Last 6 games: 1-1-0-1-0-1 = 4

Analysis: Jay Simpson hit the magic 20-goal mark with a brace at Stevenage last weekend and now has seven more than his nearest rival Matty Taylor, who has slightly gone off the boil.

Next up for Simpson is the home game with Exeter but that’s next Saturday as, due to their FA Cup exit, Leyton Orient have no match this weekend.

The selection, therefore, is Northampton’s Marc Richards and it’s a strong one given that he’s netted in three of his last four games.

Richards has scored three goals in cup competitions this season, including the winner at League One Coventry in the first round.

This time he has Championship side MK Dons in opposition but the visitors are struggling in 20th spot so Richards can help inspire the high-flying Cobblers (2nd in League Two) to victory.

Back the Northampton No.9 to score anytime at 15/8.

Best bet: 

Marc Richards to score anytime v MK Dons at 15/8 (totesport, Betfred)

Best-priced goalscorer treble:

Hernandez, Washington & Richards at 21/1 (totesport, Betfred)

(For the record, if you add Sharp, the four-timer would pay 108/1!)

Dave Tindall

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