The Midweek Mercer Mix | 24th February 2015

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THE Mercer Mix returns for a special midweek edition this week as Danny (@OneDannyMercer) gets his teeth into five matches.

First Half Performance

Manchester City looked awesome at the weekend didn’t they? I’ve no doubt confidence will be high as they approach this huge Champions League match with Barcelona.

The attacking threat they possess excites me. Sergio Aguero is regaining fitness, Eden Dzeko looked so sharp on Saturday and new boy Wilfried Bony will be desperate to impress. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned David Silva and Yaya Toure behind them.

City have been quick starters at home in the Champions League this season scoring in the first half in all their group games and I’m hoping for a repeat here at Coral‘s tasty odds of 11/8. Dig deeper and Manuel Pellegrini’s side  have scored in the first half in eight of their last 12 home Champion League ties, while Barcelona struggled against PSG in the group stages conceding four against them, with three of the goals coming in the first 45 minutes.

Team Goals

I worry about Swindon at the moment, They’ve lost four of their last five league games and are losing ground on the League One Top 2 of Bristol City and MK Dons. That defeat against Crawley at the weekend was brutal and they don’t look solid at the back. That’s not ideal when you’re squaring up to a good attacking side protecting an unbeaten run of five in the league like Bradford.

Town have leaked two or more in four of their last five league games, and for me Bradford look value at 11/4 to hand out more punishment to them on Tuesday. Bradford have scored two or more in eight of their last 13 away league games, and have achieved that against the likes of Bristol City, MK Dons and Preston.

Hopefully James Hanson is back in the Bantams starting line-up after missing the weekend game. With four goals in his last four league games he’ll be the main threat to Swindon.

Anytime Goalscorer

How many times do we see players face their old club and come back to haunt them by scoring a goal? I’m hoping Matt Done of Sheffield United does just that to Rochdale on Tuesday.

Done was a major part of Rochdale’s great form in the opening half of the season. He hit 10 league goals for them, before his move to Sheffield United just a few weeks ago.

He’s kicked off well at Bramhall Lane with four goals in his first four games and it’s worth noting that 10 of his 14 league goals this season have come away from home. This lad works his socks off, never gives up and I’m hoping he obliges here against his old club.

Vanarama Value

I really fancy Guiseley to be too strong at home to Bradford PA in the Conference North on Tuesday and I’ll be backing them at 4/5 with BetVictor. They’re currently  in fifth place in the table, just 12 points off leaders Barrow but have a few games in hand so must keep winning.

Five home wins in their last seven tells you all you need to know, and in Adam Boyes, Wayne Brooksby and Oli Johnson they have players hungry for goals. With over 30 goals between them this season they really do pose a threat.

Bradford PA sit in the relegation zone and have lost nine of their last 13 away league games. They shipped five against Boston recently and opponents Guiseley beat them comfortably at the weekend.

Double Result

FC United were well fancied before the season started for Northern Premier League glory, but after they only won two of their opening nine league fixtures people were quick to write them off. How wrong they were! Since Christmas it’s all turned round for the club and they’ve now won nine league games on the spin. They sit just two points behind leaders Skelmersdale, but have six games in hand on them down to their amazing run in the FA Trophy where they reached the quarter finals.

This side score goals for fun, with 35 notched in their last 12 league games and I can see them burying a few more against Halesowen on Tuesday. They’re blessed with real attacking prowess. Firstly there’s Tom Greaves who’s scored seven in his last five matches, there’s Craig Lindfield who was on Liverpool’s books and has played for a host of league and non-league clubs and finally Matthew Wolfenden who has been prolific for FC United after spells at Wrexham and Oldham.

Opponents Halesowen are a decent side, but have failed to score in six of their last 11 league games and I’m all over the 11/8 on FC United to be winning at half time and full time. Both sides have the best defensive records in the league, but the way FC United demolished an in from Ashton United side last time gives me confidence in this bet landing.

Best Bets

Man City v Barcelona – Man City to score Over 0.5 First Half Goals (11/8 Coral)

Swindon v Bradford City – Bradford City to score Over 1.5 Goals (11/4 Coral)

Rochdale v Sheffield Unted – Matt Done to score anytime (5/2 BetVictor)

Guiseley v Bradford PA – Guiseley to win (4/5 BetVictor)

FC United Of Manchester v Halesown – FC United/FC United Double Result (11/8 Bet365)

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I was brought into the betting world from a young age when my parents asked me to pick out a few horses. I’ve been hooked since but only seriously started punting in the past four years. I’ve used my wealth of knowledge from the English game along with my passion for stats and trends to try to find that winning angle. I work hard but enjoy nothing more than studying the form in the hope of getting that extra edge, whether it be from the non-leagues or the Premier League. And if I can help anyone pocket a few quid, it makes the hard work even more worthwhile.

2 Comments

  1. Danny
    I’d advise caution on backing FC to be winning at half time. I’ve been following them for several years and I think where they’re excelling this season as compared to previous seasons is fitness and professionalism. Remember this is a club looking at the bigger picture. They probably have the most professional set up at their level of English football which is reflected in their ability to play for the full 90 minutes and often blow teams away with quickfire goals in the second half. They were 0-0 with Ashton til around 70 mins I think. Might have been loosing to Belper at half time (maybe got the equaliser before half time). I think the difference this year is they don’t panic if they get behind or it’s 0-0 but just keep faith that if they keep doing what they do it will work over the 90 mins. Picking up cards and sending offs was also a blight for the club that was costing games and points, which they seem to have cut out this season too. The way they play they are always going to be prone to conceding early goals though. I was a bit worried about the Belper game at weekend because traditionally it is the sort of game that FC were capable of throwing away, having just beaten their closest rivals. I think them coming from behind to win this game shows how far they have come and I’m feeling confident of Promotion for them this year.

    • Oggy it played on my mind, with the amount of goals they score late on & gone behind in quite a few this season. The change to Curzon Ashton ground, has really got the side firing & think they can shoot this solid Halesowen back four apart. Greaves, Wolfenden & Lindfield, just pose too much threat & hoping one goal may be enough early on. Halesowen do not score many at all, so be happy with 1-0 HT/FT.

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