MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has his sights back on domestic action as he hunts three Football League winners this weekend. Chris Graham (@ChrisGraham79) poses the questions.
Bournemouth v Charlton | 15.00
We all like Bournemouth, right? They’re a good, progressive club with a very astute boss in Eddie Howe. They try to play ‘the right way’ and have made an excellent impact to the Championship since winning promotion in 2012/13.
But recently, I’ve noticed they’re getting consistently overrated in the betting markets. I had to have a double take when I saw the best price available on Howe’s men to beat Charlton. Various firms have chalked up the Cherries as 4/6 shots!
That’s 4/6 on a side that’s only won four of their first 11 fixtures and just two from five in front of their home supporters. It makes no sense to me. Yes, we can manipulate the stats to say Bournemouth have bagged two wins from three but they came against an out-of-form Wigan team and a diabolical Bolton outfit before Neil Lennon’s appointment. If you do want to play with the trends, how about two league wins from nine for the south coast club?
What makes the 4/6 even more disturbing is the fact that Charlton visit Dean Court (yes, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to stadium names) and the Addicks are unbeaten from their 11 Championship matches this season.
Charlton are 13/10 in the Double Chance market with Bet365 and backing this selection would have us in profit should Bob Peeters’ side avoid defeat. As well as coming into the clash undefeated, the Addicks have already won at Norwich, beaten Watford and Derby and also held Middlesborough and Wolves – not exactly an easy start, eh?
Go further back and since promotion, Bournemouth have won 13/28 at Dean Court, meaning they’ve failed to record three points in 54% of their home games. Meanwhile, Charlton have only been beaten in 11/28 on the road over the same timeframe, meaning they’ve avoided defeat in 60% away. We’re being given 13/10 in the double chance market with Bet365. Yes please.
Leyton Orient v MK Dons | 15.00
Leyton Orient grabbed a cracking point away to Sheffield United last weekend in an amazing finale but I get the feeling MK Dons won’t be quite so forgiving when they travel down to the capital for Saturday’s showdown.
Orient are back at Brisbane Road where they’ve picked up just one point from a possible 15 and the atmosphere around the club since the feel-good days of the summer has long dissipated.
Nobody really knows what’s going on since Russell Slade’s departure – caretaker Kevin Nugent said he was offered the job but the club dismissed it as a rumour – leaving many questions unanswered and new chairman Francesco Becchetti releasing bizarre statements to defend his position despite being in the role only a matter of months!
So looking deeper at that home record we can see the O’s have conceded at least two goals in four of their five outings. And that’s what I’m going to look to capitalise on this weekend with MK Dons a healthy 13/8 (Coral) to score Over 1.5 Goals.
Karl Robinson’s men have hit two or more in four of their five road games as well as in five of their last six league fixtures, rattling in 18 goals over that six-game spell. Away from home they’ve scored Over 1.5 Goals in brave 3-2 losses at Bristol City and Peterborough and should hold no fear about a visit to the capital.
Dele Ali’s grabbing the headlines but Benik Afobe’s been doing most the damage alongside Will Grigg who’s recapturing the form that made him a name at Walsall a few years back. The ingredients are good for the joint-top League One scorers to come away with a couple of goals this weekend.
York v Shrewsbury | 15.00
I wrote in our Weekend Debrief about the staggering change of fortunes for Football League clubs in the game after a manager left his post. Of the 12 bosses who had left their role before Monday (excluding Watford), their accumulative record this season read: Won 12 Drew 19 Lost 54. In the 12 matches following their departures, the same clubs Won 5 Drew 3 Lost of their following fixtures.
So we can clearly see a turnaround. I wanted to find a bet involving a recent departed manager and club, especially since Scunthorpe and Hartlepool proved the theory right with big-priced wins last weekend. We had a few options – Bolton at Birmingham (which I’ll probably back), Tranmere at a big price at Oxford or York’s home meeting with Shrewsbury. I’ve chosen York.
I was sad to see Nigel Worthington leave his post but just one win all season conspired against him, despite the marvelous role he played in leading the Minsterman into the play-offs last season. Russ Wilcox managed to land himself the job and I fully expect a positive reaction on Saturday.
Firstly, York boast a mighty home record since their return to League football, suffering just five defeats in 28 games at Bootham Crescent. Their record of zero wins, five draws and one defeat at home this season isn’t attractive but they’ve been handed a tough fixture list – all six teams are sitting in the top-half and three of those are in the top-four.
However, with just 10 wins in those 28 games, I want to get the draw onside. Coral are offering 19/20 on York in the Draw No Bet market and that’s more than what I was hoping for. With this selection, we’ll win should the home side take all three points and have our stake returned should the game end all square, a nice slice of insurance. Only an away win would sink this bet.
Secondly, if you look at the stats, the Minsterman are top of the ‘Shots’ league table in League Two and sixth in the ‘Shots On Target’ table – to me this means they’re attacking, getting into positions but just not finding the right finishing touch or getting the rub of the green. I’m certain their lowly form will turn soon and see no better chance than this weekend.
Shrewsbury visit and despite spending big in the summer on a new-look squad, Micky Mellon’s been unable to arrest a worrying run of away form. The Shrews have collected just two points from a possible 18 away, failing to score in four of those games.
In fact, Salop had scored just one goal in six before beating Cheltenham 3-1 on home soil last week but it’s their wretched away record, which has to be taken into account. Going back three seasons, Shrewsbury have now lost 36/75 league games on their travels, a healthy 48%!
Coral are giving us 19/20 on York in the Draw No Bet market which has to be backed at those quotes.