Original article published 20 September 2022
After Leyton Orient and Ipswich continued their excellent starts to the season, and Aleksandar Mitrovic scored once again, we’re looking at some of the week’s biggest Market Movers.
I think we can now put to bed the notion that Aleksandar Mitrovic might not be able to hack it in the Premier League, with his finish against Tottenham at the weekend that of a player looking very comfortable in the top flight, which wasn’t expected by many in pre-season.
After his brace against Liverpool, as well as goals against Arsenal and Tottenham, Mitrovic isn’t just doing it against the league’s whipping boys. He’s been a superb focal point for the Cottagers and has been behind their strong start to the season with six goals in six games.
His only blank came at Molineux where he had a penalty saved against Wolves, but has been in tremendous form so far this season, with 27 attempts, eight big chances and six goals, and his xG of 4.8 suggests that he’s not even significantly over-performing.
He was 100/1 to score 25 or more Premier League goals this season, and though some may have scoffed at the idea of a forward for a newly-promoted team bagging so many, it’s not looking so unrealistic right now.
The Serb was cut to 50/1 after his brace against Liverpool, and after scoring his fifth goal of the season in Fulham’s 2-1 win against Brighton, Mitrovic was cut further to 12/1.
He’s now 10/1 after scoring against Tottenham at the weekend, and has been shortened from his pre-season prices of 11/8 and 8/1 to score 15 or more and 20 or more, to 1/2 and 4/1 respectively.
Richie Wellens’ arrival eased Leyton Orient’s relegation fears back in March when taking them from 20th without a win in 13 games to the safety of mid-table, and the O’s are looking very much on the up under the 42-year-old.
His record of 1.78 points per game after taking over would’ve been enough to nick third place if replicated over the course of the season, and Orient were installed at 16/1 for the title in the summer, but with pre-season favourites Stockport and Bradford not getting off to the best starts, that price has steadily been cut in recent weeks.
Orient shortened to 8/1 after picking up 13 points from their first five games, then 13/2 after the win over Hartlepool, and are now 11/2 favourites for the title after a third straight win, beating Tranmere 2-0.
Wellens was often linked with a number of jobs while impressing at Swindon, but in his defence, he’s not the only manager to regret going to Salford.
A further disappointing stint at Doncaster saw him arrive at Brisbane Road a lot wiser, with Orient now clear at the top with six wins and a draw from their opening seven games.
After several years of bitterly disappointing seasons, Ipswich may finally be on the up. After earning his stripes as part of the coaching staff with Tottenham and Manchester United, the revolution is underway with Kieran McKenna at the helm.
Their high-pressing, possession-based system has been picked up quickly by his squad and they’re putting sides to the sword.
Some were put off by Ipswich’s pre-season price, but you could argue that we should’ve put them in shorter than 9/2 before a ball was kicked.
In what is a fiercely-competitive League One, the Tractor Boys were out to 5/1 after the opening day draw with Bolton, but back into 4/1 with a win at Forest Green.
Town then strung together three wins in a week without conceding a goal, going top of the league and shortened to 9/4 for the title.
More dropped points at Portman Road, this time against Barnsley, saw a slight drift out to 5/2, but another impressive road trip, this time at Accrington, had Ipswich shortening to clear 7/4 favouritism.
McKenna has a talented squad to choose from and they currently look a class above their rivals.