BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Thursday Nov 24, 2011
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
Top of the Blue Square Bet Premier and progress to the second round of the FA Cup assured in midweek - Wrexham continue their fantastic form.
A well documented summer of uncertainty which is still not 100 per cent resolved has been coupled with the departure of Dean Saunders. But still the Red Dragons produce the goods on the pitch.
New boss Andy Morrell has carried on the team spirit and more importantly the flow of good results. He takes his side to Essex on Saturday to face Braintree Town.
On recent form the price of Evens for a Wrexham win looks very tempting. The hosts with only one win in their last eight league games have dropped to mid-table after a start which saw them firmly placed in the play-off zone.
lan Devonshire's first job since last week's 5-1 home defeat to Forest Green will be to sort out a defence which has conceded a worrying 3.25 goals per game since October 1st.
To put that into context Wrexham have conceded the same amount of goals in their last ten competitive games than Braintree have conceded in their last 90 competitive minutes.
An unlikely home win is priced at 12/5 with ‘Over 2.5 goals' - something that has occurred in the last 11 games Braintree have played in the division - offered at 8/11.
In a similar fixture Fleetwood Town, a side that have climbed to the top of the table, visit one of the early pacesetters, Gateshead, who have dropped away of late.
Similar prices are on offer for this game with an away win priced at 11/10 and a home win 2/1. Gateshead's early form featured key contributions from wide men feeding the prolific Jon Shaw in the area.
Ian Bogie's team are missing the distribution of the injured Yemi Odubade a player that could have caused Fleetwood plenty of problems in their weaker areas. One clean-sheet in their last 13 league games is an ominous record when you are welcoming a side with Fleetwood's firepower though and an away win is most likely.
Southport continue to grind out results and the way they beat Bath City last week - coming from one down to win 2-1 in the last five minutes - will have put confidence levels even higher in Liam Watson's squad.
Watson also has the luxury of hardly any absentees from his part-timers and for once has a welcome selection headache for the trip to Stockport.
It could be argued that Jim Gannon extracted an improved performance form County at Fleetwood last Saturday and they are 6/4 to end the Sandgrounders' phenomenal away record which currently stands at seven consecutive victories.
They are also priced at 6/4 to extend that to eight.
Fourth-placed Cambridge United travel to Kidderminster Harriers in a fixture that's been played out during the last six Conference seasons.
Four times Harriers have prevailed by virtue of a single goal and that 1-0 scoreline is priced at 7/1.
In fact Cambridge have only scored at Aggborough three times in those six visits and they all came on the same day in the 08/09 season when they won 3-1.
The U's are the 7/4 outsiders to win this game with Kidderminster the 5/4 favourites.
York City have signed Moses Ashikodi to cover for the suspended Jason Walker. They visit Forest Green Rovers as the 5/4 favourites. The home side fresh from their big win at Braintree are priced at 7/4.
The long-term statistics say that pre-season title favourites Luton Town will have to settle for the play-offs at best after their shaky start. Their game at Newport County is a must win and they are a shade of odds-on at 20/21.
Newport are looking to lift themselves out of the relegation zone but are struggling for consistency and punters tempted by a home win at 5/2 will have to trust the home side to play as well as they can - something which hasn't been happening regularly this season.
Bath City played 120 minutes of FA Cup football on Wednesday night to no avail. That extra-time defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge coming off the back of their heartache at Southport last weekend.
For those reasons Mansfield Town look the best bet to get three points from Twerton Park. The Stags are priced at 4/5. Tamworth finally saw off Hinckley in the cup in midweek and visit Darlington as the 5/2 outsiders.
Darlo were very good value for their win at Ebbsfleet United last week - managing nearly 20 shots during the game. That improved form, and more importantly spirit, makes them the 11/10 favourites for this home game.
Barrow's run of scoring in every league match came to an end at home to York City last week. The Bluebirds now travel to AFC Telford as the 13/8 slight outsiders.
A home win is offered at 11/8, with the Bucks having only achieved that feat against the bottom three sides in the table up till now. It's hard to get the measure of the improvement that David Holdsworth has coerced out of Lincoln City as the Imps have had some hard fixtures since his arrival. Performances look to have improved though and they are the rightful 6/5 favourites at home to Ebbsfleet.
Grimsby Town have been very popular in midweek with news of squad departures at Kettering Town. The Mariners are down to 8/15 - and shortening all the time - to win at the depleted Poppies.
Alfreton Town have a must win home game against survival rivals Hayes & Yeading United. Nicky Law's team are 6/5 to win at home to the side that beat them easily on the opening day of the season. Hayes & Yeading are 15/8 to pull off the double.
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
WREXHAM to win at Braintree Town
MANSFIELD TOWN to win at Bath City
CAMBRIDGE UNITED to win at Kidderminster Harriers