FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) pinpoints the value ahead of Saturday’s televised encounter from League One at London Road.
Peterborough v Bury | Saturday 12.00 | Sky Sports 1
It’s 10 years since Darragh MacAnthony bought Peterborough and the Posh owner is overseeing his 10th permanent manager this season, having appointed club legend Grant McCann to replace Graham Westley at the tail end of last term.
United concluded their campaign in 13th having challenged around the upper echelons during mid-season. After 11 matches of the 2016/17 season, McCann’s troops remain in the same position (W3-D5-L3) and questions are already being asked of the Northern Irishman in his first full-time management role.
McCann insists he and his side will fight their way out of their current run of poor form – no win in eight outings and just a sole success in 12 – whilst centre-half Ryan Tafazolli reckons the club are a ‘gnat’s whisker’ away from picking up a deserved three points.
Posh’s boss has bemoaned the lack of ruthlessness of his team and held a heart-to-heart with his players in the dressing room after the 1-0 beating by MK Dons in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday morning, in the hunt for answers to his side’s disappointing run of results.
A late equaliser was required to salvage a 1-1 draw at Southend last weekend and it’s hard to really get your head around why Peterborough’s pre-match price is as short as 23/20 (Betfred) here.
United have recorded one home league triumph at London Road all season (W1-D3-L1) and since the start of last season, Posh have lost (15) more games than they’ve won (14) as hosts.
Tafazolli and Michael Bostwick are expected to form the centre-back partnership and Hayden White will continue to cover for Michael Smith at right-back as McCann’s searches for that elusive winning formula. Elsewhere, star attacker Marcus Maddison has recovered from severe cramp to play.
The mood in and around Peterborough is a little deflated but the Posh do stand a decent chance of ending that winning streak despite playing one of League One’s leading lights this season on Saturday.
Visitors Bury have posted an impressive 57.93% shot ratio figure from their first 11 fixtures – only Bradford and MK Dons are dominating matches more on the shot front – but David Flitcroft’s side could be struggling for bodies this weekend.
The Shakers have central midfield pair Tom Soares and Jacob Mellis suspended – Neil Danns, Kelvin Etuhu and Andrew Tutte are all vying for a starting spot – whilst right-back Craig Jones and centre-half Nathan Cameron are long-term absentees.
Elsewhere, centre-back Leon Barnett is still struggling for full fitness but most alarmingly, Bury are sweating on the fitness of wing wizard Danny Mayor and leading striker James Vaughan. It’s unclear if either will pass late fitness tests.
With up to seven players missing and the Shakers wobbling in their last two encounters – undeservedly seeing off MK Dons before losing at home to Scunthorpe last weekend – it wouldn’t be the worse time to oppose the third-placed guests.
However, instead of taking sides here it may pay to back a goal-heavy game. Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score stands out at 17/20 with Coral considering only table-topping Scunthorpe have scored more goals than Bury (20) and Peterborough (18) at this stage.
The pair have both been involved in eight (72%) successful BTTS bets already this term, as well as 4/5 (80%) winners in the same market when viewing their respective home/away games.
Bury have seen four of their five road trips feature at least three goals, as have eight (72%) of their 11 encounters in total, whilst 11 of the past 14 London Road fixtures have seen the Over 2.5 Goals barrier cleared.
Collectively these two have kept their sheets clean in just 9/56 (16%) of home/away League One games since the start of last season with 35/56 (63%) of that sample saw the Over 2.5 Goals selection bank.
Finally, both Bury (168) and Posh (155) top the shot’s attempted standings and the duo also feature prominently when viewing the shots on-target table with Bury third (63) and Posh top of the tree with 73.
Peterborough v Bury – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (17/20 Coral)