BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER LIVE MATCH BETTING PREVIEW
Tuesday Apr 24, 2012
GATESHEAD v LUTON TOWN by ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
Football tipster and analyst Kevin Pullein from the Racing Post is one of the most respected writers in the industry.
Amongst a number of fascinating points he makes on the subject of betting on football the following gem is one of my favourites. ‘Human nature often forces people to fit a likely (and often incorrect) explanation into something that has already happened'. In football terms think of the following scenario.
‘Team A' sack their manager and their next game is away at an in-form side ‘Team B'.
‘Team A' are trailing 2-0 at half-time but come out for the second half and battle heroically to earn a point in a 2-2 draw.
The next day the papers are full of ‘inspired team-talk from new boss produces fight back'..... In fact this actually happened and ‘Team A' in this instance are Wolves, ‘Team B' are Newcastle and the manager in question is Terry Connor - yes that Terry Connor who was so far out of his depth that he appeared to be crying as he administered the last rites to his Wolves side at the weekend.
Of course all of this was followed by an about-turn from the very same journalists who had to fit an inspired half-time rant into their reports from Newcastle at the end of February.
In case you missed it Wolves then went on to take one point from the next available 27 until relegation was confirmed at the weekend.
So what has this got to do with Gateshead v Luton Town, the live Blue Square Bet Premier match on Premier Sports tonight?
Luton Town have a relatively new boss in place and the man in the Kenilworth Road hot seat Paul Buckle has enjoyed a very good start at the club.
Three home wins and a goalless draw away at Alfreton Town has put The Hatters just one win away from the end of season play-offs.
A run of results like that and the appointment is being described as inspired, but as is always the case in football we never get to see the alternative reality played out. Nobody is waiting in a modified DeLorean with Mick McCarthy to see if he really could have kept Wolves up and in the same respect we do not know whether Luton would be in this position if Gary Brabin had stayed in charge.
Some would certainly speculate that they wouldn't. What we can do is look at the facts behind Buckle's short time at the club. He correctly highlighted flaws in the defeat at Braintree Town and his first match in charge at home to Hayes & Yeading United. It's encouraging for Luton fans that since then he got the team on the training pitch to eliminate defensive mistakes and they've kept three clean-sheets since.
Four unbeaten games is not enough to hail him as the new messiah but we can certainly say that Luton are back on track. They are the well backed 4/5 favourites to win at Gateshead tonight, the draw is 5/2 and a win for the injury depleted home side is 3/1.
Those Gateshead injuries include star striker Jon Shaw who picked up a thigh strain in their shock 4-2 defeat at Bath City on Saturday. Shaw has been missing from just two of Gateshead's league games this season and both resulted in defeats.
Gateshead have a decent home record this season and although they've just missed out on the play-offs they have beaten Mansfield Town, York City, Kidderminster Harriers and Grimsby Town at the International Stadium. They also recorded a 1-1 draw with league champions Fleetwood Town.
In contrast Luton's away record has been poor, just six wins, which is the joint-lowest total of road victories in the top half of the table. 10 draws away from home is the joint-highest in the division, with six of those coming with a 1-1 scoreline. The reverse of this fixture back in October produced a 5-1 win for Luton and although the verdict might not be as comprehensive tonight, I'd expect them to complete the double. A correct-score bet of 2-0 to Luton at 7/1 looks like good value. Robbie Willmott got the only goal of the game in Luton's vital 1-0 win over Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday and he is 8/1 to get the first goal on Tuesday night.
Alan's Best Bets for Gateshead v Luton Town:
LUTON TOWN to win at Gateshead
LUTON TOWN TO WIN 2-0 - correct score
ROBBIE WILLMOTT TO SCORE FIRST - first goalscorer
Gateshead v Luton Town is live on Premier Sports TV - Tuesday 24th April 7.15pm (7.45pm kick-off) - visit http://www.premiersports.tv/ for subscription details.
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