THERE’S a scattering of Football League games on Wednesday night and Mark O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) found two bets he’s keen to share.
Wolves v QPR | Wednesday 19.45
Many pre-season predictions placed Wolves at the top of the Championship and it’s hard to argue the Black Country boys won’t be in the promotion shake-up come May. However, I do have a few nagging doubts over whether Kenny Jackett’s men have the steel and resolve to finish in the top-two.
Jackett’s troops would have been frustrated to only take a point off Hull on Sunday having gone a goal down against the run of play and missing a string of chances throughout the lively contest. David Edwards and Nouha Dicko were most guilty of wayward finishing but the signs were reasonably positive.
Conor Coady’s settled superbly into life at Molineux alongside James Henry, Kevin McDonald and Edwards – it might not sound like the most glamorous of midfields but they’ll prove a match for most in the second tier. And I’m expecting Wolves to continue their unbeaten streak in 2015/16 with a win on Wednesday.
Bet365 have chalked up the hosts at 11/10 to beat QPR and you can’t turn a blind eye to those quotes. Rangers early promise against Charlton petered out before half-time as the undercooked squad surrendered meekly in an Addicks-dominated second period in their opener. And on Saturday the Hoops squandered a 2-0 lead when entertaining Cardiff.
The two-goal advantage flattered the R’s with the Welsh side enjoying the lion’s share of possession and openings. Both QPR goals came from set-plays and although Matt Phillips and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had opportunities to kill the game late on, the late leveller was more than what Cardiff deserved.
Chris Ramsey fielded five home debutants from the off on Saturday and it’s clear the team are still adjusting to life in the second tier as well as a new formation. Charlie Austin’s leading the line on his own but there’s been a lack of support from Phillips and Ben Gladwin/Jamie Mackie in the openers, leaving the £15m-rated striker starved of service.
Throw in the same defensive problems that have dogged Rangers since Harry Redknapp took charge and that horrifying away record – W15-D13-L53 since 2011/12 – and you can see why confidence in collecting a point on Wednesday night quickly evaporates.
Doncaster v Southend | Wednesday 19.45
It’s never a good idea to base your betting opinions on the immediate or very short-term but Wednesday night’s League One tussle between Doncaster and Southend throws up an interesting proposition. They arrive at the Keepmoat in deeply different frame of minds.
Doncaster probably got away with one against Bury in their opener. The Shakers clattered the crossbar and post and were denied by a Man of the Match performance from Rovers stopper Thorsten Stuckmann as Donny made an underwhelming start. But a penalty shoot-out victory over Leeds in the Capital One Cup last week raised morale.
And on Sunday, boss Paul Dickov was baffled as to how Doncaster failed to pick up three points from a trip to promotion favourites Wigan. The fixture ended goalless but the visitors were much the better side, left to rue a number of missed opportunities – their dominant corner count 14-3 was the perfect summation of the balance of play.
On Wednesday night Southend travel north looking for their first points of the campaign since winning the League Two play-offs and although Donny were often below-par at their Keepmoat home last season, they’re a tasty 5/4 prospect with BetVictor to come out on top.
If Dickov was glowing on Sunday, Shrimpers manager Phil Brown was left scratching his head having seen his Southend side lose 2-0 at home to Walsall. Brown admitted he got his tactics, formation and selection wrong, so much so he chose to alter his team after half an hour.
Brown conceded post-match, “we have to wake up to League One now.” And the former Hull boss suggested he’d be looking for a much more solid display in midweek. They endured particular problems down their right-hand side and that should encourage Harry Forrester who’s enjoyed a decent start to the season for Rovers.
During their promotion campaign last term the Shrimpers often failed on the road to the league’s leading lights. Southend W2-D2-L9 at top-half clubs, conceding at least twice in six of those 11 outings. They may well shut-up shop and attempt to close the game down for a point but at 5/4, I’m happy to my faith in Doncaster.
Wolves v QPR – Wolves to win (11/10 Bet365)
Doncaster v Southend – Doncaster to win (5/4 BetVictor)
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