Football League Tips | 20th September 2014


MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) returns with three bets from the Football League to enjoy this weekend, covering the Championship, League One and League Two.

Fulham v Blackburn | Saturday 15.00

It’s quite easy to look at Fulham and bet against them – just one point from 21 since relegation and yes, Felix Magath’s era looks to be coming to an end very soon. But they do deserve a touch more credit (stop laughing in the corner)…

They fought back well from an awful start at Nottingham Forest in midweek and although they lost, there were signs of life in that 5-3 defeat. And their last home fixture they deserved more than a point against Cardiff.

But rather than risk my money on the match odds, I want a bit of the 10/11 on Over 2.5 Goals with Boylesports this weekend. Fulham’s three home games have all gone Under 2.5 but they are yet to keep a clean sheet with Championship fixtures averaging 3.43 goals-per-game which is encouraging.

And this bet comes to life when you look at Blackburn, who’ve made a very inconsistent start. Rovers’ seven league games have seen both teams score in all seven with 6/7 featuring three goals or more. The average goals-per-game is at 3.86 and if we include the backend of last season, 9/10 Blackburn league games have seen Over 2.5 Goals bank, as have their last 10 away with two or more conceded in eight of those 10!

Swindon v Sheffield Utd | Saturday 15.00

Swindon have been collecting a lot of praise again this season for their style of play under boss Mark Cooper and they’ve made a solid start with just one defeat from their opening seven matches. This weekend Sheffield Utd travel to the County Ground with the Blades sitting just one place above their hosts and again, goals are on my agenda.

Both Teams To Score looks to be priced up on Sheffield Utd’s clean sheet record towards the tail end of last season. The Blades have kept just two shutouts in seven League One games this term (at home to Crawley and Rochdale) and although on the road Nigel Clough’s men have faced tough assignments at Peterborough, Preston, Coventry and then Colchester in midweek, they do look like they can be ‘got at’.

United themselves have scored in 6/7 meaning 4/7 League One games have seen both teams net which tallies well with their hosts. Only Crawley have managed to stop Swindon scoring but the Robins have just one clean sheet to their name – at home to Crewe – making it 5/7 league fixtures that have seen both teams score. Add the two teams’ records together and you’ve got 9/14 Both Teams To Score matches, a healthy 64%!

Mansfield v Carlisle | Saturday 15.00

Mansfield entertain rock-bottom Carlisle and the hosts are odds-against! Yes!

Since relegation, Carlisle have W0 D3 L5. They’ve failed to score in five and leaked 18 goals (averaging over 2-goals-per-game). Away from home, the visitors have taken one point from 12, scored once and leaked nine! It was the same story in their relegation season of 2013-14 – the Cumbrians lost 14 of their 23 fixtures on the road, failing to net in 11 and conceding 44!

Quite rightly, there’s big concerns at Brunton Park that this alarming start could lead to successive relegations and the loss of their Football League status. Graham Kavanagh was axed but caretaker boss Tony Caig can’t stop the rot and has said publicly he doesn’t have the answers.

So let’s have a look at Mansfield. The Stags beat high-flying Morecambe at home in midweek with a last-minute winner but Paul Cox was delighted with his team’s display as they dominated the game for large spells. In fact, Mansfield had 16 shots compared to Morecambe’s two!

They’ve now won three of their four home league games with only table-toppers Burton leaving Field Mill with anything so back the Stags to pile more misery on Carlisle.

Best Bets

Fulham v Blackburn – Over 2.5 Goals (10/11 Boylesports)

Swindon v Sheffield Utd – Both Teams To Score (17/20 Ladbrokes)

Mansfield v Carlisle – Mansfield to win (11/10 Coral)

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About Author

Profile photo of Mark O'Haire

After starting his career in newspaper journalism, Mark soon found his way into the online betting world, forging a career in content, social media and marketing production. With a huge passion for stats, the Football League and European football, Mark’s other interests include playing rugby, following his beloved QPR and travel.


  1. Hi all,

    I agree Mark, although Fulham have started the season in the opposite fashion of how they would have hoped, I think the Forest game could be a small turning point for The Lilywhites, and Ross McCormack looks like he will play a big part in this. (He is 19/10 with Ladbrokes to net anytime)

    Here are some of my picks:

    Norwich v Birmingham (NAP) (4/9 various)

    It’s hard to look past Norwich this weekend, they beat a Brentford side who had not lost at home this season 3-0 in midweek, and more importantly came back from 2-0 down to beat Cardiff 4-2 last Saturday.

    Critics who branded Neil Adam’s side too inexperienced are now eating their words as people like Nathan Redmond, Bradley Johnson, Wes Hoolahan and Alex Tettey making up a side that will be a force to be reckoned with in the Championship this season.

    The Blues on the other had have only scored 2 goals in the last 5 games loosing 3 of them, and Lee Clarke will be under more pressure here today.

    Barnet v Altrincham ( 4/9 Bet Victor)

    I will admit, Barnet have cost me a few quid in the last couple of games, and i’m giving Martin Allen’s men one more chance against a newly promoted Altrincham side who got a 4-0 hammering at Kidderminster in midweek.

    Barnet started the season so well with cook and McDonald netting 12 between them after 7 games, and will be hoping they can add to this impressive tally at the Hive this afternoon.

    Watford v Bournemouth ( 8/5 Betfair)

    Your stat pack has convinced me that Watford is the right choice in the early game today, winning 5/6 at home scoring 3+, and think that 8/5 is a very generous price.

    Bournemouth are yet to keep a clean sheet this season winning only one away and I think the loss to Leeds in midweek will still be echoing on the cherries coach as they take 109 mile trip to Vicarage road and a Watford side wanting premiership football next season for the first time since 2006/2007.

    Good luck for today everyone


  2. Profile photo of Mark O'Haire

    Thanks for your comments and contributions lads…

    I think the sending off of Hutchinson hampered the Fulham-Blackburn game but pretty pleased to bag 2/3 winners here.

    Kane – Big surprise what happened at Carrow Road – I certainly didn’t see that coming but was quite wary of Watford as Troy Deeney’s been ruled out for a month. For me, no Deeney no party!

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