There are no Premiership matches on this weekend due to the FA Cup Round Fifth Round but don’t despair. In the Championship, League One and League Two there are matches a-plenty and where there are games being played there is money to be won. So, to the lower leagues we look!
I am starting to feel for Posh fans, almost every week I find myself tipping them to lose and I’m going to do it again this weekend. At the Riverside Stadium, Middlesborough play Peterborough and you have to fancy the home side. Boro boss Gordon Strachan added some real quality in January, bringing in Barry Robson and Scott McDonald amongst others and the Wearsiders should now start picking up points on a much more consistent basis. New Peterborough boss Jim Gannon saw his side earn a much-needed three points last Saturday at home to nine-man QPR but this honeymoon period will end this weekend; on their travels Posh have only picked up four points from a possible forty-five. Boro to win 2-0. (HOME WIN)
After last weekend’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Derby and Tuesday’s 2-1 loss away at Preston, manager Kevin Blackwell will want to see a much better performance from his Sheffield United team when they face Bristol City on Saturday. Thankfully for Blackwell, his men will be coming up against a team who have only won twice away from home all season. Bristol City are finding goals hard to come by of late, Nicky Maynard especially needs to start contributing more goals. The loan signing of Patrick Agyemang could prove to be a nice piece of business but he has looked a little off-colour in his first matches in a City shirt. I don’t see Sheffield United losing this match and whilst a draw is a definite possibility, I think the Blades will have just enough to see off the Robins. (HOME WIN)
At the Liberty Stadium, Swansea City host Newcastle United in what should be a tight, hard-fought affair. The Swans have only scored twenty six goals from twenty nine matches this season and I believe they will struggle to find the net against the Toon’s talented back-line. With Danny Simpson and Jose Enrique at full back and Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini at centre back, Newcastle are strong in defence. The Magpies aren’t all that bad going forward either; they have scored forty eight goals so far this term. Despite Swansea’s 0-1 victory over Crystal Palace in midweek I think Chris Hughton will be looking for a massive reaction from his players following their 3-0 thrashing at Pride Park. Newcastle to win to nil. (AWAY WIN)
Be warned of potential dodgy-results if you are thinking of betting on matches at Barnsley and Preston this weekend. Those two teams face Plymouth and Blackpool respectively and I will not be touching them with my barge pole.
Last weekend I tipped the Bees to perform strongly and I am going to do the same this week. Brentford play 23rd placed Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday in a match which has home win written all over it. The visiting side have struggled all season both home and away and have lost eighteen of their thirty matches. Brentford put four past Gillingham seven days ago with Myles Weston picking up two of those. The talented winger signed a contract this week which will see him stay at Griffin Park until 2012 and I think Bees fans will see another dominant performance from the youngster this weekend. (HOME WIN)
Similar to Peterborough in the Championship, in League One I seem to tip against the Gills on an almost weekly basis. This is no witch-hunt though; it is because they still have not won away this season. On Saturday Yeovil Town welcome Gillingham to Huish Park. The Glovers have been impressive at home all season and I see no reason why this should end at the weekend. Last Saturday Yeovil crushed Wycombe 1-4 and Dean Bowditch looked a different class to those around him. If Gillingham are to win away this season then they need to start scoring on a more regular basis; they are not even an averaging a goal a game and this needs to change quickly, if they are to avoid relegation to League Two. (HOME WIN)
Brighton v Norwich could be a high scoring encounter. The home side have conceded twenty-two goals in a season in which only two teams have leaked more goals on home turf. The away side are the League’s top scorers on their travels. Norwich to win 1-4 or 2-4 is the call – how about that for being specific (/foolhardy)! (AWAY WIN)
At the New Den Millwall host Exeter City. Millwall seem to be going from strength to strength this season and their home form is fantastic. Last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Norwich has shown every team in League One that the Lions are the real deal this year. Exeter City have tended to struggle away from St James Park and they will not fancy a trip to Millwall as they seek to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone. I have Millwall to win, not by much though. (HOME WIN)
Find the table of League Two and look at the top half of it. Then look specifically, at the away records of all of those top-half teams…trust me, they are awful. Well, most of those teams are playing away from home this weekend which, of course, means it could all be a bit of a lottery. With any multiple bet, the advantage is always with the bookmaker and you have to be as confident and as sure as you possibly can be about each of your selections being successful. It is so difficult to predict the result of this weekend’s League Two matches that I would just stay well clear.
The one and only League Two match which will be on my betting slip will be Morecambe v Darlington and it will be going down as a home win.
So that is it for football league matches this weekend.
‘But what about the FA Cup?’ I hear you ask.
Well, quickly, here goes:
Chelsea v Cardiff (HOME WIN)
Derby v Birmingham (AWAY WIN)
Southampton v Portsmouth (DRAW)
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa (AWAY)
This weekend’s recommended tip is:
NEWCASTLE + MIDDLESBOROUGH + MILLWALL + NORWICH + BRENTFORD +MORECAMB E + CHELSEA + ASTON VILLA + BIRMINGHAM. NINE TEAMS – ODDS OF AROUND 134/1. IT’S GOT TO BE WORTH A QUID RIGHT?
CHEERS FOR READING,
By Ross A. Fox