MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) has delivered five profitable weekends from six to kick-off the Football League season and nailed four from four on Tuesday. Can he continue his hot-streak here?
Rotherham v Nottingham Forest | Wednesday 19.45
A late equaliser from skipper Henri Lansbury handed Nottingham Forest an unlikely point at Villa Park on Sunday with the Tricky Trees losing the shot count 26-3 at recently relegated Aston Villa.
It was a result that left the hosts bemused but the 2-2 draw should galvanise Philippe Montanier’s men ahead of their Wednesday night trip to defensively fragile Rotherham at the New York Stadium.
Forest have been at their attacking best at the City Ground, plundering 11 of their 13 goals in front of their home supporters. Only five clubs have fired in more efforts on goal across the opening three home matches but the new swashbuckling style employed by Montanier has resulted in a few high-scoring encounters.
Burton and Wigan were dispatched by the same 4-3 scoreline whilst Leeds were seen off 3-1. In contrast, the Tricky Trees have already been to Brighton, Brentford and Villa, returning only Sunday’s point and firing blanks at the former two clubs.
Nevertheless, the forward-thinking Reds look a decent shout to pick up top honours in a high-scoring midweek match with the Millers. The 15/4 from Bet365 on a Forest win and Both Teams To Score certainly stands out.
Rotherham have already shipped 14 goals this season and the move from a defensively-capable group under Neil Warnock to a more expressive style under Alan Stubbs hasn’t come close to clicking just yet.
Sure, United have made an unbeaten (W1-D2-L0) start as hosts but the Millers have been second-best in all three outings against Bristol City (2-2), Brentford (1-0) and Wolves (2-2).
Bristol City won the shout count 35-10 and enjoyed 77% possession in the last New York Stadium match – an own goal and defensive mix-up gifting Rotherham two goals, whilst Danny Ward scored the winner against the Bees from an offside position with the Millers again losing the shot count 18-6 with a share of just 33% of the ball.
Rotherham have claimed just 31.52% of the total shots in their six games thus far – comfortably the worst return in the Championship – with their shots-on-target ratio figure standing at an abysmal 24.53%. Those two figures are just as bad when counting those three home outings…
In fairness, Forest’s figures are far from formidable but buoyed by Sunday’s result and presenting a more clinical attacking edge, I want the Tricky Trees onside. However, I’ll also back the 13/15 (188BET on Over 2.5 Goals considering the division’s two leakiest defences’ are on show.
The pair have produced 10 winning Over 2.5 Goals bets from 12 collective Championship fixtures in 2016/17 with both sides scoring in six of those encounters.