HAVING delivered five Easter Monday winners from the Football League, we asked Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to find the value from Tuesday’s card.
Charlton Athletic v Fulham | Tuesday 19.45
When tipping up Leeds to get a result at Fulham a fortnight ago, I remarked that Cottagers boss Kit Symons seemed a little oblivious to the situation his side found themselves in. Well the tide appears to have turned and now the former Welsh defender appears bemused and I’m afraid to say it, a little clueless.
Fulham were handed a 4-1 hammering by neighbours Brentford in Good Friday’s West London derby and although the scoreline didn’t quite reflect how the match panned out, the Cottagers were quite rightly booed off by their own supporters. The hosts had failed to take any of their chances created before making the same old defensive mistakes that’s dogged their dismal season.
The Londoners were as short as 9/1 for the title back in August but following Easter weekend wins for Millwall and Rotherham are just seven points above the dreaded drop zone and 12/1 to suffer consecutive relegations. With matches against Wigan, Rotherham, Middlesbrough and Norwich still to play, it’s not inconceivable to see Symons’ charges in the third tier next season.
It’s now 13 goals conceded in Fulham’s last five games and that run includes a clean sheet at Huddersfield where Nakhi Wells missed two penalties and the Terriers ripped Fulham to shreds but just couldn’t find a breakthrough. The visitors have W2-D3-L8 of their previous 13 and managed just five goals in their last 10 away days.
As you can see, the picture makes ugly viewing. Away form has been wretched for years and the Cottagers’ return of D1-L10 at teams in 13th and above is downright embarrassing. Twelve teams have scored at least twice when entertaining the West Londoners and yet somehow a bunch of bookies believe they warrant a price of 9/5 for a trip to one of the Championship’s form teams.
I shan’t complain, however. With BetVictor allowing us to support Charlton at 13/16 off a 0 start on the Asian Handicap, I’m going in and going balls deep into this bet. Effectively the same punt as a Draw No Bet selection, we’ll get our cash back should the fixture end all square.
Guy Luzon comes across as a bit of a loon but he seems to have stumbled across a formula that works for the Addicks. They’ve bagged seven wins from their last 10 outings and were unlucky to be down to 10 men after 28 minutes of their London derby with Millwall on Friday. Had Charlton had 11 on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, I’ve no doubt they could have collected at least a point.
There’s a cutting edge to the Addicks these days too. In five of those 10 fixtures, Luzon’s men have scored three goals; in eight of their previous 11 they’ve netted at least twice. With Fulham haemorrhaging goals and the talented Igor Vetokele, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Tony Watt all looking potent in attacking areas, it’s hard not to fancy a punt on Charlton this midweek; just remember to thank the bookies for being so generous with their prices.
Sheffield United v Doncaster Rovers | Tuesday 19.45
I gave Nigel Clough a bit of grief in my weekend Football League column and fair play, his Sheffield United side delivered the goods at Barnsley to cement their place in the League One top-six. It’s three wins in four for the Blades now including clean sheets in each victory but I still need convincing.
Clough’s team were dominant on Saturday; clinical and dynamic but too often this season the excessively defensive instincts to sit back on a 1-0 lead has caught up with United. The Blades have rarely cut loose and tended to eke out results rather than cutting loose. I
t’s three defeats in five as hosts – relegation-haunted Crewe took all three points at Bramall Lane last time out – and it’s now just two wins in five for United in front of their own supporters. Both those victories came against bottom-half dwellers Port Vale and Scunthorpe.
Paul Dickov appears to be doing everything in his powers to thwart any progress being made at Doncaster but his Rovers side remain one of the most potent away teams in the division.
Three convincing defeats in four disguise a superb road run that has seen Donny suffered just one reverse in 13 on their travels. All three of those losses came at their Keepmoat Stadium home and Dickov should know it’s now or never if Rovers are going to steal a place in the top-six.
Doncaster are 10 points adrift with this the first of two games in-hand and with just one visit to top-10 opponents (Bristol City) ending in defeat, the visitors have a knack for getting results on the road. In all competitions this season, Donny have racked up 13 away wins and seven draws and despite their poor recent results, look decent value to avoid defeat.
BetVictor are giving us the opportunity to back the visitors at 13/15 with a +0.50 Asian Handicap start, meaning we’ll pocket profit should Rovers win or draw at Bramall Lane.
Charlton Athletic v Fulham – Charlton Athletic 0 Asian Handicap (13/16 BetVictor)
Sheffield United v Doncaster Rovers – Doncaster Rovers +0.50 (13/15 BetVictor)
What’s your best bet from the Football League on Tuesday night? Is Mark right to oppose Fulham and Sheffield United?
We’d love to hear your thoughts so let us know in the comments box below.