BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Friday Jan 27, 2012
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE
Blue Square Bet Premier - Weekend Betting Preview - by Alan Alger from Blue Square
Fleetwood Town and Forest Green Rovers were the only two sides from the top half of the Blue Square Bet Premier to win in midweek. Both results had a huge impact on the title betting, with Rovers beating Fleetwood's key rivals Wrexham in an exciting game at The New Lawn.
The Cod Army overcame an early setback at home to Braintree to eventually win 3-1 in their game. Boss Micky Mellon would have been delighted with results elsewhere and that's reflected in our new quote of 4/7 for his side to go on and become champions.
Forest Green Rovers get another chance to cause a shake-up in the title betting as they host Fleetwood on Saturday. An away win is quoted at 3/4 and I expect the squad strength of the current leaders to count.
They'll certainly arrive fresher than Wrexham did in midweek due to the Red Dragons list of injuries and heavy schedule. It's a huge credit to Andy Morrell's team that they were just a missed penalty from extending their unbeaten league run to 17 matches. They have the chance to start another run with a home game over bottom club Bath City.
The Romans will arrive at The Racecourse Ground with a bigger list of absentees after a midweek game in which they were outfought by Alfreton at Twerton Park. A game which caused injuries and frustration at a couple of red-cards to blight Bath's survival plans. With two heavy defeats on the spin it's hard to recommend anything other than a home win at a season record for a short price of 2/9.
Luton Town's resurrected title challenge has been stalled by two recent draws. They looked short on ideas at home to Mansfield Town in midweek, in a game that finished goalless. The Hatters are 4/11 favourites to overcome Alfreton Town this weekend and it would be an incredibly brave punter who takes such a short price. Whilst this is a game that Luton could win comfortably the value has to be with an improved Alfreton getting something from this game. Nicky Law's team can be backed with a goal start on our ‘match handicap' at 7/4.
Due to the nature of the midweek results lots of teams will feel that they missed a chance to make inroads in the promotion battle. Nonemoreso than York City who conceded an 85th minute equaliser at Kidderminster Harriers.
The Minstermen could have moved closer to third place Luton and at the same time put a small gap back to their opponents on the night back in fifth. Gary Mills' side are performing admirably without the injured Jason Walker and they will be strong favourites to win at Darlington.
Kidderminster themselves are 11/10 favourites to win at Stockport County, who registered an incredible 13th draw at home to AFC Telford United on Tuesday. A 14th stalemate for Jim Gannon's side is quoted at 23/10.
Gateshead were on the end of a shock defeat to Kettering Town in midweek. Ian Bogie's men are as short as 4/6 to bounce back at home to Newport County on Saturday though.
triker Jon Shaw continues to find the net on a regular basis for Bogie's side, he is 7/2 to open the scoring against the Welsh visitors. Newport have only one point from a possible 15 in recent weeks and are 15/4 to register an all important victory. Cambridge United haven't won back-to-back league games since early November, but they are 8/13 favourites to follow up their win at Telford with a home success over Tamworth. Southport are another side just out of the play-off zone who are struggling for a degree of consistency.
The Sandgrounders are Evens favourites to win at Hayes & Yeading United. Grimsby Town are the in-form side that will capitalise on any slips ahead of them. An away draw at Barrow is no disgrace in this division and that extended The Mariners' unbeaten run to 12 games. In Liam Hearn, the new favourite to finish as the division's top scorer, they have a prolific striker who is 11/4 to open the scoring at home to Telford. Grimsby are strong odds-on favourites at 1/2 to keep their run going with a win.
I was at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday night and in the 75th minute something surprised me - in a largely forgettable game. Mansfield forward Adam Smith decided to eat up some time with the game entering its closing stages by coming off the pitch slowly when substituted. In a game that Mansfield needed to win in order to get back into the play-off race I found that odd. Of course a point at Luton is something most sides would settle for in the course of a season, but The Stags need to close that gap to fifth place. I think they are a good bet to gain all three points at Ebbsfleet United at a price of 8/5 this weekend although that play-off spot may now be out of reach.
Braintree Town host Barrow in a mid-table battle in which home advantage decides favouritism. The Essex side are quoted at 5/4, with an away win offered at 7/4. Lincoln will be wary of a trip to Kettering after The Poppies ended their winless run in midweek, although an away win will still be favourite.
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
FLEETWOOD TOWN to win at Forest Green Rovers
GRIMSBY TOWN to beat AFC Telford United
MANSFIELD TOWN to win at Ebbsfleet United
You can follow me on Twitter - @AlanBlueSquare