James Cantrill previews the Nations League game between Belgium and Wales, picking out a shots bet from an unlikely source.
1pt Axel Witsel 1+ total shots on target at 2/1 (Sky Bet)
Axel Witsel's attacking exploits for club and country differ greatly.
This campaign for Atletico Madrid, he has played every minute in La Liga, yet has only mustered one effort, translating to a measly shots per 90 average of 0.17.
For his nation, he has had 12 shots in 16 appearances in Euro qualifiers, the Euros, World Cup qualifiers and the Nations League since the start of 2021.
There are a couple of reasons why there is such an offensive variation. For Belgium, Roberto Martinez plays him in a role with more attacking freedom.
It is also worth pointing out that the dynamic of international games are different than domestically.
The Red Devils are, according to FIFA, the second highest ranked team in the world, meaning Witsel will often find his side dominating proceedings in terms of possession, trying to break down a low block - circumstances that yield high shot counts.
Since the start of 2021, AXEL WITSEL has registered 1+ TOTAL SHOTS ON TARGET in 43% of his 14 appearances. If you look at what games these efforts occurred in, a pretty clear pattern emerges.
He hit the target six of his nine appearances against sides ranked 19th or lower - against the likes of Kazakhstan, Scotland, Russia, Finland, Estonia and Wales.
In his five appearances against sides ranked within the top 10, Witsel failed to register a single shot, facing Denmark, France, Portugal and Italy twice in that period.
Score prediction: Belgium 2-0 Wales (Sky Bet odds: 5/1)
Odds correct 1430 BST (20/09/22)
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