THE Football League action comes thick and fast during the festive period. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) shares his favourite bets from Sunday’s card.
Millwall v Bournemouth | Sunday 15.00
Millwall boss Ian Holloway said his side were lucky to get away with losing just 6-1 at Norwich on Boxing Day. The Canaries took the Londoners to the cleaners and extended their worrying run to just one win in nine.
Holloway’s future at The Den is up for discussion and a visit from table-topping Bournemouth will hardly fill the Lions boss with too much confidence. Millwall have lost three on the spin in front of their home fans there’s every chance that horrid streak could be extended on Sunday.
Eddie Howe’s team arrive in the capital on the back of a sensational streak of 10 wins in an unbeaten 13 fixtures and are without a league defeat since September. The Cherries have scored at least twice in 10 of their last 11 Championship outings and taken 16 points from the past 18 available on the road.
I’m not one for taking short prices on away sides but it’s hard not to like Bournemouth at the prices on offer. They’ve already scored 28 goals in 11 away games and will be aware this Millwall side has leaked 14 in their last five. The Lions look devoid of confidence and shorn on quality whilst Holloway seems to have reached the end of his stint with the club. Away win.
Peterborough United v Doncaster Rovers | Sunday 15.00
Another manager who could be handed his P45 in the coming days is Darren Ferguson. The Peterborough boss has overseen his side to just four points from a possible 21 to slide out of the play-off picture in League One and facing fierce criticism from fuming Posh supporters and local media.
With seven defeats from nine and four successive home losses it’s almost impossible to consider Posh as a viable bet at anything around even-money on Sunday with away-day specialists Doncaster heading south to London Road.
I’m certainly no Paul Dickov fan but from the extended highlights I’ve seen from Rovers’ away games this season, Doncaster look a real threat when they’re playing on the road. Rovers have been electric on the counter attack with Theo Robinson, Curtis Main and Nathan Tyson proving a real handful for opposition defences.
On Boxing Day Donny grabbed just their second home win of the season and they’ve now suffered just two defeats in nine and bagged six wins (and just three defeats) in their 11 League One matches on the road in 2014/15.
With that in mind, I’m going to take the huge 4/5 on Doncaster in the Double Chance market with Bet365. Backing this selection sees us win if the away side avoid defeat. It’s far too big to ignore.
Plymouth Argyle v Oxford United | Sunday 15.00
Plymouth fell to a 2-0 loss at Newport on Boxing Day but back at Home Park on Sunday, we can rely on the Pilgrims to pull out a performance and result for the visit of Oxford. Argyle are 13/10 with Bet365 and it’s a price worth taking.
John Sheridan’s team boast the second best home record in the fourth tier (W8-D2-L1) and have taken 19 points from their last 21 on offer in front of their home fans. And yes, they’re available at 13/10!
What’s proved most impressive from Plymouth is their defensive record, especially at Home Park. Argyle have leaked just three goals in those 11 games, keeping a huge eight clean sheets!
Oxford were unbeaten in five before the visit of Shrewsbury on Boxing Day. Micky Mellon’s high-flyers were comfortable 2-0 winners against the Us and a large swathe of Yellows upporters remain far from convinced with boss Michael Appleton.
The visitors have proved fairly poor on the travels under Appleton – winning just twice and losing five of their 11 fixtures – eight of those 10 points have been picked up against team’s currently below the Us in the table so a visit to one of League Two’s most dangerous opponents could even fruitless again.