BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER EASTER WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Wednesday Apr 4, 2012
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
TITLES can be won, play-off places can be gained and relegation can be avoided - every club will have their own targets over the busy Easter weekend in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
It's already been an exciting season and it's no surprise that we will be witnessing the ONE MILLIONTH fan through the turnstiles this weekend - the earliest on record that we've reached that figure.
We start with four matches on Good Friday. Starting with Wrexham who cannot afford any more dropped points in the title race and are 4/11 favourites to see off a resurgent Alfreton Town.
Nicky Law's team would be as high as sixth place on league games played in this calendar year, which has all but guaranteed them a second season at this level after a poor start.
They could make some appeal to snatch a draw at the Racecourse Ground at 10/3 which could as good as send the title to Highbury.
Newport County host AFC Telford United in an important clash which could have the loser looking nervously over their shoulders at the relegation zone. It's another one of those matches in which a draw does not suit either team. The clubs have identical six-match form but I'd fancy Newport to sneak this with home advantage at 4/5.
Forest Green Rovers may still harbour slim play-off hopes and they can overcome mid-table Ebbsfleet United also at a price of 4/5. Tamworth need one more win to be safe from relegation and they can achieve that at home to already relegated Bath City at 8/11.
On Saturday Luton Town start life without Gary Brabin with a short trip to Braintree Town.
That era got off to a false start in midweek with a wasted journey to Gateshead. With a number of big names in the frame for the job the new boss could be in place, or at least watching from the stands.
Coupled with their battle for a play-off place that should be enough to motivate The Hatters at a price of 5/6.
Fleetwood Town's trip to York City is the game of the day. The Minstermen frustrated their fans and backers with a poor display at Newport County in midweek - a defeat which came off the back of an excellent win at Luton Town last week.
That smacks of inconsistency but there is a pattern developing with their matches. If you'd have followed the simple system of backing the outcome that happened in York's first fixture against the team they are playing in the second half of the season you'd have landed an incredible 11 winners from 18 bets.
They have six more fixtures left and it would be wise to back the outcome that happened in the first game. That makes the draw a good bet here at 23/10 after the teams stalemate at Highbury earlier in the season.
Southport's home game with Kidderminster Harriers is another huge match in the play-off race. Harriers can climb above their opponents with a win at Haig Avenue and I fancy them to do so at a price of 17/10.
Mansfield Town will be heavily odds-on to land three points at Kettering which will consolidate third spot in the table.
Grimsby's promotion hopes will be reliant on those above them dropping points but they will be odds-on to win at Darlington and keep that thread of hope intact.
Barrow's goal-drought is now becoming serious and since Richie Baker's 24th minute goal at Kidderminster Harriers on March 3rd they haven't scored a single goal in their next 606 minutes of football.
They are 5/4 to draw another blank at Gateshead. The home side are the 8/11 favourites for the game. Hayes & Yeading are trying for another late escape from relegation and are slight outsiders at 17/10 as they welcome Cambridge United to Kingfield.
I fancy the away side to get all three points though at 7/5. Last season's relegated teams Stockport County and Lincoln City meet at Edgeley Park with neither safe from relegation. The Imps failed to make it four straight wins with a midweek defeat at home to Cambridge, and Stockport have won their last two games. This looks like a draw at 23/10.
Clubs have a quick turnaround for Monday's fixtures and I've highlighted before how difficult it is to find that consistency over a short period to land back-to-back wins.
It doesn't happen often so we'll have to pay close attention to Friday and Saturday's results.
Writing this ahead of those fixtures the following teams and prices appeal. Alfreton will be around 9/4 to complete a double over York City and that has to be considered because of the earlier statistic regarding York's repeated results this season.
Barrow might drift to a very backable 2/1 to win at home to Southport.
Forest Green Rovers look like very worthy Evens favourites away at Bath City on their short trip to Twerton Park.
Braintree Town should be backed at anything around 13/8 to win at Ebbsfleet United. Grimsby will be just a shade of odds-on at home to Gateshead but cannot be trusted of late as their form has tailed off.
Elsewhere Kidderminster will be odds-on to win at home to Newport County, Luton will be one of the shortest prices on the coupon with Hayes & Yeading the visitors to Kenilworth Road.
Mansfield Town can keep up their good form as they try to secure a play-off place at home to Stockport at an odds-on price. AFC Telford United may need to win at home to Tamworth after the first batch of weekend fixtures and could be nervy home favourites at a price of 5/4.
Lincoln City will be odds-on to beat Darlington, a result which could relegate the Quakers. Kettering could also be relegated with a defeat at Cambridge United, who will be odds-on at home.
Tuesday's potential title decider will see Fleetwood Town as slight odds-on favourites to win at home to Wrexham. A full preview of that game will be available on Monday.
Alan's Best Good Friday/Saturday Treble:
DRAW - Wrexham v Alfreton Town
KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS to win at Southport
DRAW - York City v Fleetwood Town
Alan's Best Easter Monday/Tuesday Treble:
BRAINTREE TOWN to win at Ebbsfleet United
FOREST GREEN ROVERS to win at Bath City
DRAW - AFC Telford United v Tamworth
Fleetwood Town v Wrexham is live on Premier Sports TV - Tuesday 10th April 7pm (7.30pm kick-off) - visit www.premiersports.tv for subscription details.
A full preview of the game will be available on www.bluesqfootball.com from Monday morning.
You can play your part in the commentary for this game! Contact commentators Steve Bower and Ian Snodin during the action to give your thoughts - email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR Twitter: @steveandsnods.
You can follow me on Twitter - @AlanBlueSquare