BACK-TO-BACK weekend trebles for Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire). Can he complete another full house on Tuesday night?
Ipswich v Burton | Tuesday 19.45
It’s 15 years and counting for Ipswich in the Championship and fans of the Tractor Boys have started turning on manager Mick McCarthy after a far-from-inspiring start to 2016/17.
Since an opening day 4-2 win over Barnsley, Town have scored just four league goals in the following 900 minutes of action, failing to find the net in five successive matches and in 7/11 since 6th August. Only four of the Blues’ eight goals have arrived from open play.
They’re damming statistics that have been hauled in front of McCarthy but the stubborn Yorkshireman is refusing to relent in the face of adversity, promising to plough on regardless despite the growing mob baying for blood at Portman Road.
It’s a sad state of affairs for McCarthy, a personal favourite of mine. Town’s boss saw his stock rise to sky-high levels after two-and-a-half years in the job as a relegation-threatened outfit was transformed into play-off participants on a shoestring budget.
But a wholly uninspiring 2016 has led to many questioning whether he is the man to take the club forwards with the boring and binary nature of this season’s results really starting to grate.
Ipswich’s goals for column since that aforementioned Barnsley triumph reads 0-0-0-1-1-1-1-0-0-0-0-0 across all competitions with their expected goals rate in Championship action at just 0.76 goals-per-game.
The Tractor Boys’ goals against column across the same 12-match sample reads 1-2-0-1-0-2-0-0-1-0-1-0 – that’s an average of just 1.00 goal per-game – whilst their expected goals against rate in league football is just 1.05 goals per-game.
To be fair to Mick, the Suffolk side have now kept four clean sheets in six and never looked like conceding at Blackburn on Saturday, and it should be pointed out, did create plenty more chances than of late.
Rovers cat Jason Steele was given the Man of the Match award as Ipswich switched to a 4-4-2 formation to match up the hosts, starting Freddie Sears alongside Leon Best in attack but with a familiar final outcome.
Burton travel to Portman Road after collecting a second successive clean sheet of their own having been held to a goalless draw with Wigan. Boss Nigel Clough was disappointed not to see the Brewers’ first-half dominance pay but is eager to continue Albion’s improved recent defensive performances.
Clough’s charges have conceded just once in their last three games and have a fully fit back five available again following the return of John Brayford, Kyle McFadzean and Ben Turner to the fold.
Since 18 goals were scored in Burton’s first four games since promotion, their following eight have featured a total of just 14 with seven producing Under 2.5 Goals winners and an expected goals rate of 2.32 goals per-game.
On their travels the visitors have drawn four of six (W0-D4-L2) and been level at the interval on five occasions already – three of which were 0-0.
And considering Ipswich have failed to score a first-half goal in 30 of their 37 outings this calendar year, I’m inclined to believe another low-scoring contest is on the cards.
Town have seen the half-time draw bank in 13 of their past 16 at Portman Road, 10 of which were goalless and at 17/10 (BetStars) backing another 0-0 half-time score looks just the ticket on Tuesday.
But I’m also going to back ‘No’ in the Goal To Be Scored In Both Halves market at 8/11 with Betway. It’s proven profitable in 21/29 (72%) of encounters on Ipswich’s home territory and in six of Burton’s past eight.
Chesterfield v Fleetwood | Tuesday 19.45
Chesterfield’s winless away run stretched to 10 games on Saturday as Southend picked up maximum points in the Roots Hall contest thanks to Adam Thompson’s first-half strike.
Spireites boss Danny Wilson bemoaned his side’s lack of a cutting edge post-match and felt his players failed to deliver in the final third.
Southend were good value for their half-time lead after having much of the better chances before the break. But Chesterfield sprung into life after going behind with Gboly Ariyibi impressing on the right and Kristian Dennis forcing a top save from Shrimpers cat Mark Oxley.
But bar two goalmouth scrambles, the Spireites didn’t do enough to warrant a share of the spoils and find themselves in the bottom-four following a W1-D2-L6 run of results.
Ched Evans is still recovering from injury but in Dennis and Conor Wilkinson, the Derbyshire hosts have enough offensive threat to cause Fleetwood problems this midweek and I’m a fan of the 8/11 (Betfair) available on Both Teams To Score.
Chesterfield have scored in 14/18 (78%) Proact Stadium outings under Wilson with 12 (67%) rewarding BTTS backers. And since the start of last season, Both Teams To Score punters have seen their bet pay-out in 18/29 (62%) of the Spireites’ fixtures on home turf.
Visitors Fleetwood ended a five-match run without a victory by beating Peterborough convincingly 2-0 on Saturday. The result also keeps the Cod Army’s record of scoring in every League One match this season intact.
The weekend win also gave Uwe Rosler’s men their first clean sheet since the 3rd September with on-loan Huddersfield midfielder Kyle Dempsey playing a starring role. Before the Posh shutout, Fleetwood’s performances were dogged by individual errors, silly mistakes and a lack of concentration.
Although the three points will provide a much-needed confidence boost, I’m not at all sure the Cod Army’s backline blues are behind them.
Rosler sets his side out to play counter attacking football and has recently switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2, allowing Dempsey and Jimmy Ryan to get more of a foothold in the game, linking defence and attack. With plenty of pace in the side, Town are a menacing prospect on the break.
However, Fleetwood have recorded just four clean sheets on their travels since the beginning of 2015/16 with 17/28 (61%) seeing our chosen BTTS bet bank.
If we sew the two clubs’ collective home/away records since 2015/16, we can see that a huge 35/57 (61%) of games would have paid out in the Both Teams To Score market. That percentage success rate implies betting odds of around 8/13, making our 8/11 a decent value play.
Ipswich v Burton – Goal to be scored in both halves ‘No’ (8/11 Betway)
Ipswich v Burton – 0-0 half-time score (17/10 BetStars)
Chesterfield v Fleetwood – Both Teams To Score (8/11 Betfair)