BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW
Thursday Aug 30, 2012
BY ALAN ALGER FROM BLUE SQUARE BET
Saturday's action in the Blue Square Bet Premier gets underway at 1pm with the game of the day.
Leaders Newport County travel from south Wales to north Wales to take on last season's runners-up Wrexham.
County scooped two awards in midweek as boss Justin Edinburgh was named manager of the month and forward Aaron O'Connor took the gong in the player category.
Their start has seen them win all five matches, including an impressive 2-0 home win over Hereford United in midweek. Hosts Wrexham sit tenth in the early table with a mixed bag of results.
The Red Dragons are unbeaten in two home games though and have a good recent record against their fellow countrymen. In the last two season's Newport have managed just one goal in four league fixtures between the sides and have just two points, compared to Wrexham's eight. Last season's table saw Andy Morrell's side finish an incredible 51 points ahead of The Exiles. A win for Newport in this fixture would take the margin to 10 points in their favour even at this early stage. They are the 9/4 outsiders to win at the Racecourse, a home win is offered at Evens and a draw can be backed at 12/5.
Macclesfield Town travel to Luton Town off the back of four straight wins. Steve King's side sit second in the table and will be hoping to extend Luton's winless home run. The Hatters have taken just one point from two home games so far this season and owe their position in fifth to three wins away from Bedfordshire. Macclesfield have conceded two goals in each of their away games which suggests an open style of play, in contrast to clubs who visit Kenilworth Road to escape with at least a point. This game could have plenty of goals and ‘Over 2.5' at 7/10 looks a better bet than any of the match prices. We make Luton the 4/5 favourites with an away win as big as 3/1.
Forest Green Rovers remain unbeaten in their opening matches and are the shortest price on this weekend's coupon to see off Hyde at the New Lawn. Dave Hockaday's side are 1/2 to beat their visitors, with Hyde priced at 9/2 to get their first win of the season.
Hereford United stayed in fourth spot in the table despite their defeat at Newport on Tuesday night. Martin Foyle's team are Evens favourites at home to Grimsby Town on Saturday afternoon. The Mariners overcame firing blanks in their previous two matches to put four past Mansfield Town on Monday and look good value at 9/4 to build again on their relatively slow start.
Braintree Town's impressive win at Woking in midweek has highlighted their prospects now that they have replaced Ben Wright with new-signing Dan Holman in their forward line. Holman impressed for Histon in the Blue Square Bet North last year and hit two goals in his debut for the Iron on Tuesday. We make Alan Devonshire's team the narrow 7/5 favourites as they welcome surprise package Tamworth to Cressing Road. Marcus Law's team have won both of their away games so far - scoring six goals in the process.
Gateshead are the lowest placed of the three unbeaten teams, sitting seventh on 9 points. The Heed travel to Nuneaton Town as the 5/4 favourites to extend their run with a win. Nuneaton claimed their first win on Bank Holiday Monday - 3-0 away at Alfreton - and are 7/4 to make it back-to-back victories.
AFC Telford United's 1-0 win at Luton last Saturday could well be the biggest priced success we see in the division all season. Andy Sinton's team backed that up with a thrilling 2-2 home draw with Stockport two days later and look to be confounding early season predictions of a relegation fight. It's early days yet though and most teams that end up in the bottom half of the table will live or die by the results against the teams around them.
Their away game with Southport certainly comes into that category. We price the Sandgrounders as the 5/4 favourites to get their first home win of the campaign. Telford are offered at 7/4 to win away from home again, where they are also yet to concede a goal.
Elsewhere we cannot split Stockport County and Cambridge United at Edgeley Park, where both are 6/4 to land the three points. Both sides failed to win over last weekend's double header and the draw at 23/10 looks the safest play.
Dartford were one of four teams to take maximum points from the Bank Holiday weekend and are 5/4 favourites at home to Alfreton Town on Saturday. Alfreton sit in the relegation zone following their 3-0 defeat at home to Nuneaton and are 7/4 to win at Princes Park.
Mansfield Town are 8/11 favourites to win at home against Woking. The Stags will be under pressure to do so after their extremely poor start, but their odds-on quote may put off punters despite Woking's injury woes up front. The Cards are the 7/2 outsiders.
Lincoln are another team that punters will be reluctant to trust at an odds-on quote of 4/5. They welcome Ebbsfleet United to Sincil Bank. The Kent side haven't won since the opening day and are 3/1 to halt that slide.
Kidderminster Harriers reached a low of 12/1 to win the title in the pre-season markets. Yet to register a single point that price has drifted out to 80/1. Steve Burr's team are still the favourites to win the clash of the ‘bottom two' as they head to Barrow priced at 7/5 to get off the mark. The Bluebirds - with just two goals in 450 minutes of league football - look set to struggle and are offered as the 8/5 outsiders despite having home advantage. Backing the draw at 12/5 could make plenty of sense and a goalless game at 8/1 won't be the silliest bet on a difficult looking weekend in the division.
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
DRAW - Barrow v Kidderminster Harriers
DRAW - Luton Town v Macclesfield Town
DRAW - Wrexham v Newport County
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