After month-long global garner, which climaxed into a footballing fairy-tale that washed over us like a good Netflix series, the attention falls again to our week-in, week-out love affair for the English Premier League. Nearly a fifth of players in Qatar have since returned to the traditionally brutal, highly competitive, jam-packed schedule of England's top-flight. This includes 5 newly crowned World Cup winners across 5 different teams.
Player Motivation and Slow Returns
One of the major question marks for football fans of the premier league teams with the World Cup stars, but also the others, was whether players were going to be to resume stride for their clubs post their international highs or lows.
The goal-scoring machine in Erling Haaland has been the most wagered player at Kindred post-Qatar, with 48% of goal scorer prop actives including the striker in their bets as he closes in on an all-time record season for goals.
But this theme of backing players who weren't at the World Cup and had time to recharge the batteries stops there, with 8/10 of our player bets, including world cup participants. In fact, those in the top 10 include 3 England stars, Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka, who have well and truly shaken off the disappointment of a Quarter Final knock out, and all feature in our Top 5 worst ways for Player bets in the past 3 match weeks.
Although we have yet to have many premier league minutes that featured the 5 Argentinian World Cup winners, looking over the previous round, it was clear our punters would rather watch than involve them in bets.
It was almost forgotten in the noise of the World Cup that Arsenal was still top of the league, coming off the match week 15 international break. Since the return, Arsenal has picked up 7 points from a possible 9, which included seeing off in-form sides in Brighton and Newcastle.
Although Arsenals continued to form, they have drifted slightly in the outright winners market from 2.60 to 2.75 to win the league, despite no team in Premier League history losing the title after 17 matches with the 44 points they have now. The all-conquering Manchester City continues to be the most backed team with Kindred in the Outright Winner market, with 58% of the overall wagering and bets still coming even at the newly trimmed 1.60 being offered. It's a fascinating pricing proposition offered with Kindred, given both sides will play Man Utd and Tottenham in next week's fixtures. If Arsenal were to get maximum points against both, and the city was to drop points in either, then it would almost certainly see a side for the first time take the favoritism off Pep Guardiola's side.
Favorites & Favorable Prices
Since the return, results have been heavily swayed to the favorites, with only 33% finishing in an upset or draw.
One part of interest has been the swing to goal margins since the break. Before jetting to Qatar, 66% of the last 3 rounds finished within a goal, with players likely having one eye on the World Cup already. However, this trend has flipped, with the favorites starting to put on clinics. It would come as no surprise that both Manchester clubs and Arsenal have been the most profitable for our players since the resumption. However, the favorable 1x2 prices offered at Kindred for Brighton (odds of evens at one stage v Everton), Fulham (at one stage, the outsider at 3.50 v Leicester), and Newcastle (2.10 v Leicester) have also caught the eye of our punters. All 3 of these are in form sides. If their names had been traditional European place teams, you wouldn't dream of getting these prices against the lower league place sides. It will be interesting to see throughout the season how these 3 teams trend from a 1x2 pricing sense if they continue to sit as high as they are on the table.