BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Thursday Jan 5, 2012
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
Luton moved into third spot on New Year's Day with their second 5-0 win over Kettering inside a week. Those six points added to the win at Tamworth in the preceding fixture means that Gary Brabin's team are on a roll.
On Saturday The Hatters host Newport County in a reduced set of Blue Square Bet Premier fixtures due to the FA Cup and Thursday's live game.
Newport lost at Bath City on Tuesday to heighten their relegation fears but they do have a win at Fleetwood and a draw at Wrexham under their belts to make this a tough game for Luton. A home win can be backed at 4/9 but that looks a restrictive price for a Luton side that have failed when odds-on five times already in the league this season.
York City dropped off the title pace with two hard fought draws with Mansfield last week. The Minstermen still look on course for a top five finish though and I expect them to get back to winning ways with a victory at Lincoln City at a price of 5/4.
The Imps were one of only a few teams to lose both games over Boxing Day and New Year and until they can find some consistency the threat of relegation will loom large.
Gateshead's late winner at Darlington last weekend put them right back into the play-off picture and they'll be looking to follow up that derby win with a home success over Stockport County at a price of 4/6. Stockport did achieve their first win since mid-October at home to Barrow a few days ago - but remain a side to take on away from home.
Kidderminster Harriers extended their unbeaten league run to eight matches with a four point haul against Forest Green Rovers in their last two matches.
Steve Burr's team host Hayes & Yeading United - who only have Kettering Town below them in the form table. A Harriers home win is offered at a very short 4/9, but that looks about right for the in-form promotion hopefuls.
A glance at recent results for Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers would suggest that the favoured outcome for their game on Saturday would be a draw. Forest Green have three in their last seven matches and 11 from 27 matches overall.
Mansfield Town have six draws in their last eight league games and 12 from 26 matches overall. The sides sit one point and one place apart in the table and everything points to a stalemate at 23/10.
Two of the most improved sides in the division meet at the Impact Arena.
Play-off chasing Grimsby Town visit Alfreton Town who are improving their chances of beating the drop. An away win heads the market at 7/5 as the Mariners have remained unbeaten in the league for over two months.
Alfreton are offered at 8/5 off the back of a four game unbeaten run.
The draw is priced at 12/5. Bath City begin the weekend four points adrift at the bottom of the table despite their midweek win over Newport.
There seems to be plenty of belief at the club that they will overturn the stats and survive relegation. They are 7/5 favourites at home to Braintree.
The away side from Essex are 8/5. Elsewhere both Barrow and AFC Telford United are strong odds-on home favourites to beat Kettering and Darlington respectively.
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
GRIMSBY TOWN to beat Alfreton Town
DRAW in Mansfield Town v Forest Green Rovers
YORK CITY to win at Lincoln City