BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Thursday Nov 3, 2011
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
IT'S a ‘Super Saturday' in the Blue Square Bet Premier where the fixture list has thrown up four matches in which teams in the top nine face off against each other.
Leaders Wrexham travel to Bootham Crescent to take on York City for the third time in just under two months. Honours are even after Wrexham gained revenge for a 3-0 league defeat with a 2-1 FA Cup win at The Racecourse last weekend.
There's no doubting that both clubs would have gladly taken a cup exit to secure three points in this fixture and we're likely to see very different line-ups from the ones used a few days ago.
York are the highest scorers in the division including those three goals which beat Wrexham with ease in the reverse of this fixture. That makes them the 5/4 favourites for this game, even though it could be said that playing at home could be deemed a disadvantage. The Minstermen have an identical record from their home and away matches, but their nine fixtures on the road could be judged as harder on paper. Just two clean sheets at home this season puts them way off the pace of last year's achievement of 12 shut-outs on their own patch. Wrexham are 15/8 to win this game, but with a five point cushion over their hosts at kick-off time a draw wouldn't be a disaster for newly crowned ‘manager of the month' Andy Morrell and his team. In what will be his first game since being confirmed as the Red Dragons' full-time boss.
The injury crisis which has blighted Luton Town's start to the season shows no sign of letting up as they welcome second-placed Fleetwood Town to Kenilworth Road.
The two market leaders for the title have struggled to get into any rhythm this season as both have been hindered by unsettled line-ups. That's not to say they haven't made their mark on the title race and it goes to show how much strength in depth each team have as they both reside in the top four.
Luton are the favourites for this game despite having nine players out. The worrying figure on the absentee list is overshadowed by their poor record against the better teams this season. Gary Brabin's side have played three matches against opposition in the top five and have lost all three games without scoring a single goal. Fleetwood's record in two matches against top five opposition is only marginally better - with a point from a goalless home draw with York but a 2-0 loss away at Wrexham.
This could mean that both teams are struggling to score against the better defences, but that would not put me off backing plenty of goals in this game. ‘Over 2.5 goals' can be backed at 4/6 and that looks a wise investment.
This is a game that Luton cannot afford to lose, but they make absolutely no appeal at a price of 5/4. The draw is available at 23/10 but I fancy Fleetwood to nick this at odds of 2/1.
Mansfield and Cambridge were due to meet in front of the TV cameras on Thursday but The Stags' cup replay at Fleetwood took midweek priority.
Their manager Paul Cox didn't make the trip to Lancashire as he was struck with the same virus that's been running through the team. A heavy defeat at Highbury suggest we need to be very wary of them this weekend and it's no surprise to see the price of 15/8 for a Cambridge United victory under threat.
Gateshead and Braintree Town meet at the International Stadium with both clubs slipping recently after superb starts to the season. A home win is odds-on at 10/11 but that price has to be treated with a degree of caution after only 4 wins in 10 for Ian Bogie's team. Braintree Town have conceded 23 goals in their last seven matches and only have one win in that period.
They are 13/5 to turn their recent form around with a second successive league win after that victory at Darlington two weeks ago.
Elsewhere high-flying Southport aim to extend their phenomenal winning sequence away from Haig Avenue with victory at odds of 6/5 at Kettering Town.
Sandgrounders boss Liam Watson narrowly missed out on the October 'manager of the month' award and his side's progress is illustrated by the fact they are favourites for this fixture. Kidderminster Harriers have seen their own injury crisis get the better of them in recent weeks and the midweek capitulation at Corby Town in the FA Cup will have done very little for their already fragile confidence.
We're swerving weekend opponents Tamworth with a quote of 7/4. Steve Burr's Harriers can be backed at a best price of 5/4. Darlington also need to bounce back from a midweek FA Cup exit and they are weak looking Evens favourites for a home clash with AFC Telford United.
Grimsby Town got back to winning ways with a 5-0 crushing of minnows Ashington last Saturday. It's back to league action this weekend and they kick-off at Bath City on the back of three league defeats. A home win is 7/4, the draw is 23/10 and Grimsby are 13/10.
Alfreton Town were midweek winners in the FA Cup and they can make it back-to-back wins for the first time this season with success at Forest Green Rovers. The home side are the 4/5 favourites.
Alfreton's midweek victims Lincoln City are chasing their first win under new boss David Holdsworth and are slight outsiders at 7/4 for their home match with free scoring Barrow. The Bluebirds have kept up their record of scoring in every league match and can be backed at 11/8.
Didi Hamann's Stockport County side have only won one in their last nine league matches. The pressure is on the ex-Liverpool star and that's reflected in their quote of 10/11 to beat poor travelers Hayes & Yeading United.
The away side are 5/2 to inflict more pressure on the German boss with a victory at Edgeley Park.
Justin Edinburgh has seen a gradual improvement since taken the reins at Newport County. The Exiles are the 4/5 favourites at home to Ebbsfleet United who were victims of a cup shock at Redbridge last week.
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
CAMBRIDGE UNITED to win at Mansfield Town
BARROW to win at Lincoln City
TAMWORTH to win at Kidderminster Harriers