FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Gabriel Sutton (@FootballLab) takes a look at Saturday’s tussle between Doncaster and Rotherham.
Doncaster v Rotherham | Saturday 11th November 2017, 12:30 | Sky Sports
In most derby clashes, us punters would do well to back a tight, low-scoring game, but there is something about these two South Yorkshire clubs that suggests a different approach is in order.
For both, this season so far has been almost like the hectic, yo-yoing last five years rolled into one: extreme highs have quickly turned into extreme lows and vice-versa, with draws a rarity and uncertainty running under the surface.
Rotherham have hit a sticky patch. A return of one point from three games, which saw them drop out of the top six, preceded an unlucky FA Cup 1st Round exit at Crewe last week.
With 22 conceded in 16, the defence is their main Achilles heel, especially when it comes to defending crosses down their left side. They have conceded three goals in each of their last three League One games, two of which against AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham.
The Millers can pose a threat at the other end though, having found the net at least once in each of their last seven. Kieffer Moore has scored 12 goals this term, two more than anyone else in the EFL, while midfielder Joe Newell has two in his last four.
On the other hand, Doncaster have hit the woodwork nine times and shot data would suggest there is more to come from them. John Marquis has scored three in his last eight and is ably supported by a plethora of technically gifted midfielders, including Benjamin Whiteman, who recently came off the bench to net an impressive winner at Bury.
With 13 goals in their last six, including last week’s six-goal haul at Ebbsfleet in the FA Cup, confidence and luck may be returning. Although, some fans remain sceptical, which is understandable given that the team has still not secured back-to-back league victories in seven months.
Support the clinical hosts
The name of the game here then is to back the home side to excel going forward, without doubting the attacking credentials of their opponents.
Rovers are 21/5 with Coral to score three or more goals, having done so four times in League One: only Wigan and Oxford have hit threes more often.
For those who fancy a speculative punt, Marquis to score first in a 3-1 Donny win is 55/1 with BetVictor. That eventuality has occurred against Portsmouth and Blackburn this calender year while Rotherham have lost 3-1 in two of their last three league matches.
When Doncaster win, they rarely do so in modest circumstances, so I’m hurling away my derby day betting manual of safety and going head first for the big prices. None but the brave deserve the fair, as they say.
Doncaster v Rotherham – Doncaster to score three or more goals (21/5 Coral)