MONDAY night football comes from League Two this week as promotion-chasing Burton take on Stevenage. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) highlights the best bets.
Burton Albion v Stevenage | Monday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Burton will hope to continue their charge towards League One with another victory in front of the TV cameras on Monday night. The Brewers are hoping to set a new club record by recording a fifth successive Football League success and re-establish their fifth-point advantage at the peak of the fourth tier.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s exceeded all expectations since taking over from Gary Rowett in the Burton dugout and the W14-D5-L3 return from his 22 league fixtures equates to a 2.14 points-per-game average. Over a full season, Burton would be hitting 98 points; it’s title winning form.
Last weekend Burton ran out 4-1 winners on the road at struggling Tranmere. It was a performance that came in fits and starts for JFH’s men and the former Chelsea hitman wasn’t satisfied with his team’s display. The Dutchman has set the standards high and we should expect a more polished showing from the Brewers on Monday night.
Burton do their best work at the Pirelli. They’ve bagged nine wins in their last 11 starts in front of their home supporters as well as 14/19 since the start of the season in League Two. What’s more, the Brewers have posted W6-D2-L1 figures at home to top-half teams, including five clean sheets.
Albion’s solid defence has certainly been a key part to their success this term. Of the 15 shutouts they’ve kept, 12 have been achieved at the Pirelli with no opposition side scoring more than one goal when visiting Staffordshire. It’s not the news a Stevenage side that’s failed to score in 253 minutes will be keen to hear.
Graham Westley’s men suffered a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Dagenham last Saturday and following the weekend’s results, Stevenage are now three points adrift of the top-seven. Although results have been relatively good in recent weeks, performance levels haven’t been quite to Westley’s liking and they’ll need to be on top of their game to stop a buoyant Burton side.
Just four defeats in 18 suggests the visitors are well capable of putting a spanner in the works of the table-toppers but the Hertfordshire side have struggled when playing away to the leading lights in League Two this term; Stevenage have W2-D5-L4 at top-half teams but that record deteriorates to W1-D3-L3 away to top-third teams.
Westley’s charges will remain a threat from set-plays, will be aggressive and prepared to do a job but whether they’re good enough to escape the Pirelli with a point is unlikely.
Burton are attractively priced at a pinch of odds-on. With 14/19 home wins already under their belts, that 74% win ratio suggests the hosts should be closer to 4/11 than Betfred’s 20/21 but I’m going to boost that price to 15/8 and take advantage of BetVictor’s Correct Score Groups and back Burton to win either 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1.
Twelve or Burton’s 14 home wins have arrived by either a 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 scoreline – that’s a 63% strike rate. In odds terms, that implies about a 4/7 chance of a repeat. At 15/8 we’re getting huge value with the three most popular correct scores onside. The visitors have suffered 8/19 (42%) away defeats; admittedly only five of those have followed similar results but it’s not every week they come up against a defence as good as Burton’s.
Burton Albion v Stevenage – Burton Albion to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 (15/8 BetVictor)