Rickie Lambert, Scott Sinclair and Grant Holt may all be household names now but they made their reputations tearing up the Championship goalscoring charts. Another thing all those players have in common is that their sides secured promotion on the back of their hot streaks, so if there’s a lesson to be learned by new Burnley boss Sean Dyche, Crystal Palace caretaker Curtis Fleming and Cardiff City gaffer Malky Mackay, it’s to back their current free-scoring stars.
Charlie Austin, Glenn Murray and Peter Whittingham have 30 goals between them this season and with their respective opponents this weekend – last year’s relegated trio of Wolves, Blackburn and Bolton – hardly slouches in the scoring stakes either, all three games should promise goals galore.
Over 2.5 goals in Burnley v Wolves @ 13/20
|Betis Sevilla win||£51.00||(31/20)|
Charlie Austin has become a walking advert for goals galore, recently equalling a club record by scoring for the eighth game in a row to maintain his better-than-a-goal-a-game average for the season.
Next in his sights are a Wolves side who’ve been incredibly inconsistent on their travels but given they are currently winless in three, Stale Solbakken’s men seem ripe for the Championship’s leading marksman to pick them off.
However, Austin alone has not been enough for Burnley this term and surely the Championship’s leakiest defence will offer Wolves the chance to arrest their slide with goals of their own.
Over 2.5 goals in Crystal Palace v Blackburn @ 4/5
It’s not just Burnley turning over a new leaf this weekend. Palace are getting used to life after Dougie Freedman, while Blackburn’s owners hope the Henning Berg era proves more popular and successful than Steve Kean’s reign.
With both bosses unfamiliar with their positions, you might expect the game to be cagey but that’s hardly the style either has been adopting so far this season, with Palace’s home matches and Blackburn’s away trips averaging over 3.8 goals per game.
And with the likes of eight-goal Glenn Murray and seven-goal Jordan Rhodes in the line-ups, the best route for both teams would seem to be to go for it.
Over 2.5 goals in Bolton v Cardiff @ 13/20
A third game, and another side making a fresh start as the Freedman era begins at Bolton, but this isn’t the game he would have picked to kick off with because if there’s one side hoping things can stay the same, it’s league leaders Cardiff.
Having shipped 22 goals already, the first job for Freedman will be to patch up the Trotters’ defence but he might struggle to achieve that goal against the free-scoring Bluebirds.
However, he can call on former England striker Kevin Davies and Arsenal loanee Benik Afobe to offer a big counter-threat at the other end in a game which should deliver over 2.5 goals and complete the treble.