Erling Braut Håland Favored to Be First Player to Score When League Soccer Returns

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When European soccer eventually resumes after its shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, books have opened odds on the first goalscorer and have installed BvB's Erling Braut Håland as favorite. Photo By @BlackYellow (Twitter)
  • World soccer in shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • BvB’s Erling Braut Håland is favorite to open the scoring when it resumes
  • Odds, analysis and a pick are shown below

With world soccer in virtual shutdown, the big question for those who love a soccer bet is where and when will it all start again. And when it starts again, who will be first to get on the scoresheet.

Boks have opened up odds on who will score the first goal when the major European leagues resume, with the early favorite being Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Håland.

We’ll take a look to see if there is value to be had among those players listed.

Player to Score First When League Soccer Returns – Odds

Player Odds at Bovada
Erling Braut Håland (BvB, Germany) +175
Neymar (Paris St-Germain, France) +500
Phillippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich, Germany) +500
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Spain) +600
Mo Salah (Liverpool, England) +600
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, Spain) +900
Edison Cavani (PSG, France) +1200
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Italy) +1600
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, Spain) +2500

Odds taken on Mar 26.

Soccer in Shutdown

Clearly, with Italy and Spain both being badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the UK also on a similar curve, albeit roughly two weeks behind, there is no prospect of a ball being kicked in anger anytime soon, Most players have been ordered to self-isolate or are in a country that is in lockdown, and so will be keeping themselves fit at home, working on individually designed fitness programs.

There is, of course, loads of uncertainty around how the leagues are going to be completed but what seems clear is that when the green light is given, most clubs will look to play some in-house, full-scale friendly matches to hone their players’ match fitness. UEFA’s decision to slide the 2020 European Championships to June 2021 has at least given the continent’s domestic leagues a slightly bigger window in which to complete their fixtures.

When it all kicks off again, the players will be ready to hit the ground running – no question.

Germany First to Kick Off?

Key to who scores the first goal will obviously be which league resumes first but also important will be the respective opponents of each team listed.

If the German Bundesliga is the first to resume, then it will do so with the big one – BvB vs Bayern Munich. On that basis, Håland may have his work cut out to get on the scoresheet but don’t rule it out. His form has been simply sensational in the limited number of games he has played for BvB, after having signed from RB Salzburg in January. In his eight games – of which he has only started in five – he has scored nine times, averaging a goal every 57 minutes.

UEFA’s decision to slide the 2020 European Championships to June 2021 has at least given the continent’s domestic leagues a slightly bigger window in which to complete their fixtures

As things stand, Italy and Spain, while both showing signs of slowing the spread of the virus, are not having the same level of success as Germany, and so the Bundesliga looks well placed to get underway first. That, for me, rules out the Spanish players listed, and with the UK also heading for Italy/Spain levels of infection, that also makes Salah’s chances of being the first scorer appear remote.

This leaves the Ligue 1 players listed – Neymar and Cavani (both PSG) – and Bayern Munich’s Coutinho as potential challengers to Håland.

PSG v Nice, While BvB Entertain Bayern Munich

When they do eventually return to action, if the French league stays true to the current fixture list, PSG will resume with a home game against sixth-placed Nice – a team they comfortably beat 4-1 in the reverse fixture. So, if they restart in line with the Bundesliga, there’s every chance the two players mentioned, both of whom have been prolific this season, could beat Håland to the first goal.

But, on the basis of Germany appearing most likely to get the all-clear – even if it is with empty stadiums – I think the value is with Coutinho ay +500  who also has an impressive goal per game ratio this season, with eight goals from 15 starts.

Pick: Phillippe Coutinho to score the first goal when soccer resumes from the players listed (+500)

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