THERE’S live football from League Two on Tuesday night. We asked Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to share his view on Wycombe’s trip to Luton.
Luton Town v Wycombe Wanderers | Tuesday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Derby County are getting pelters for their loss of form in recent weeks but those who watched Friday night’s defeat to Wolves would know, the Rams just aren’t getting the rub of the green at the moment. The results will turn in their favour, Steve McClaren’s side just need to keep plugging away; it’s how it goes sometimes.
Mark, you know this isn’t a Derby preview, right? I do. But the parallels between Derby and Luton in League Two are quite significant. The Hatters find themselves 10 points adrift of the automatic promotion positions and only one point inside the top-seven after a rotten run of six defeats in seven.
A long injury list has certainly played its part in Luton’s downturn (ala Derby), as has a big dollop of bad luck (yes, mirroring Derby again). John Still’s side are now fighting to cement their place in the play-offs in their bid to record back-to-back promotions with a top-three finish seemingly beyond the Hatters.
However, performances haven’t been anywhere near as bad as the results have suggested. Last time out at Newport, Town fluffed their lines in good positions and gave away a soft goal. And the Hatters would say they were as good as, if not better, than the opposition in defeats to Portsmouth, Morecambe, Mansfield and Wimbledon during recent weeks.
Striker Paul Benson returns on Tuesday night and should bulk up a forward line that’s misfired in four of those aforementioned six defeats. Luke Rooney could also be back in contention for Still and having W11-D4-L3 at Kenilworth Road this term, I wouldn’t be rushing to oppose the hosts.
Wycombe could find themselves in second with an eight-goal win and although that won’t happen, Gareth Ainsworth’s team are a stubborn bunch. Driven by the motivation of last season’s great escape, the Chairboys have proved a revelation in the third tier to defy their pre-season price of 80/1 to compete for promotion.
The Buckinghamshire boys have lost just five of their 37 outings and are comfortably the best travellers in the fourth tier, suffering just one reverse in 18 away days. Ainsworth’s charges have bagged 10 wins on the road and picked up 10 points from the previous 12 on offer when playing away.
Wycombe have held a top-three place since mid-September, a marvellous record for a club with a modest budget and a squad not big enough to fill the substitutes bench on regular occasions, including last Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at home to Accrington.
They’re a hardy bunch but like Luton, defensive errors have crept into their game a little too often of late, putting me off a punt on the visitors. So instead, I’m going to try and profit from the goals markets. Over 2.5 Goals just looks too big at 6/4 (BetVictor).
Wanderers have leaked at least twice in six of their last seven games but also managed to net two or more goals in five of their last six matches – that’s resulted in 6/7 Over 2.5 Goals winners, including their last three on their travels.
The Chairboys are the top-scoring away side in League Two and come up against a Luton team that have netted two or more goals in exactly half of their home 18 league fixtures. The Hatters have scored in 14/15 at Kenilworth Road but also allowed their visitors to score two or more goals in three of their previous five as hosts with Still quick to bemoan the defensive mishaps in his post-match assessments.
Over 2.5 Goals looks a little overpriced and so I won’t ignore the 6/4 in the League Two tussle from Tuesday night.
Luton Town v Wycombe Wanderers – Over 2.5 Goals (6/4 BetVictor)
What’s your best bet from Tuesday night’s game? Is Mark right to expect goals? Let us know your views in the comments box below.