Football League: Rams to barge over abject Athletic


FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) has been in great form of late. Here he highlights his favourite three New Year's Eve selections.

Derby v Wigan | New Year’s Eve 15:00


  • Derby were 21st in late October but are now 1 point off the play-offs thanks to a W9-D2-L1 run of results under Steve McClaren – only Brighton have earned more points in the league since McClaren’s appointment.
  • Derby’s last loss was to a 94th-minute goal at Huddersfield on 22nd October and they’ve not conceded at home since September.
  • Derby have kept 9 clean sheets in 12 games under McClaren. Derby have W6-D1-L0 at the iPro Stadium, keeping 7/7 home clean sheets for the first time in their history.
  • Derby have W18-D10-L7 at home since the start of last season – a 51% win rate – and W10-D3-L5 when hosting bottom-half teams.
  • Derby have won by 2+ goals in 8/12 home games against bottom-six clubs.
  • Derby have seen only 4/12 (33%) games under McClaren feature Over 2.5 Goals – only 5/23 (22%) games overall this season have seen Over 2.5 Goals.
  • Derby’s home games have averaged 1.42 goals per-game – none of which have featured 4 or more goals.
  • Derby have seen only 2/35 (6%) home games feature more than 4 goals.
  • Derby have conceded an average of just 0.85 expected goals per-game at home this season, 2.75 shots on-target per-game and conceded only 4.83 shots from inside their own penalty area.


  • Wigan have lost 5 on the bounce, failing to score in 3 of those fixtures.
  • Wigan boss Warren Joyce selected a very attacking line-up against Rotherham but the Latics were abysmal.
  • Wigan have W2-D3-L7 away from home since promotion, scoring 1 or 0 goals in 9/12 away games.
  • Wigan are averaging 0.79 expected goals per-game under Warren Joyce (W1-D1-L6), failing to score in 5/8.
  • Wigan have seen Over 4.5 Goals in only 3/23 (13%) games since promotion.
  • Wigan have Wigan have posted the worst shot conversion rate in the Championship (9.85%).
  • Wigan are without Nick Powell as well as on-loan centre-back Reece Burke, central defender Craig Morgan, Reece James, Donervon Daniels, David Perkin, Shaun MacDonald, Alex Gilbey and Luke Garbutt.

Back Derby to win and Under 4.5 Goals at 3/4 (Betfair).

Newport v Exeter | New Year’s Eve 15:00


  • Newport have W4-D5-L11 this season and W1-D3-L5 at home.
  • Newport have lost 4/4, conceding 11 goals lately.
  • Newport have only kept 1/9 home clean sheet this season.
  • Newport have W5-D11-L17 at home since the start of last season, keeping only 7/33 clean sheets and failing to score in 11/33.
  • Only four clubs are conceding more shots on-target than Newport.
  • Combative midfielder and Graham Westley favourite Joss Labadie is absent for Newport.


  • Exeter have W5-D3-L3 in League Two since early October, keeping 6/11 clean sheets.
  • Exeter have W3-D2-L0 in their last 5 league games, keeping 4/5 clean sheets.
  • Exeter have W7-D1-L4 away from this season – only Plymouth have picked up more points away.
  • Exeter have W7-D1-L1 away to teams in 9th and below.
  • Exeter have scored 20 goals in 12 away games – only Doncaster have scored more.
  • Exeter have won 46/104 (44%) of away League Two games since 2012/13.
  • Only six League Two clubs are facing fewer shots than Exeter whilst Exeter’s 55.62% shots on-target ratio is the fifth best in the division.
  • Only Portsmouth and Mansfield have faced fewer shots on-target than Exeter.
  • League Two has seen 100/263 (38%) of away wins this season.

Back Exeter 0 Asian Handicap (9/13 BetVictor).

Notts County v Carlisle | New Year’s Eve 15:00

Notts County

  • Notts County have lost 7/7 games and failed to score in 6/8.
  • Notts County have W1-D4-L6 at home this season, failing to score in 6/11.
  • Notts County have W0-D2-L4 at home since September, scoring once.
  • Notts County have lost 5/7 home games against top-six teams.
  • Notts County have lost 17/35 (49%) home games since the start of last season, keeping only 7 (20%) clean sheets and failing to score in 14/35 (40%).
  • Only Crawley are averaging fewer on-target attempts and only 3 sides are firing in fewer shots.
  • Notts County boast the third-worst shot ratio and the second-worst shots on-target ratio return.
  • Manager John Sheridan remains suspended from touchline duties.


  • Carlisle have W11-D10-L1 this season and W3-D7-L1 away.
  • Carlisle have W3-D3-L1 since their only defeat at Newport.
  • Carlisle have scored in 10/11 away games and in 21/22 this season – only Doncaster have scored more goals.
  • Carlisle have W10-D17-L7 away since the start of last season, scoring in 25/34 (74%), notching 2+ goals in 14/34 (41%) and keeping 9/34 (26%) clean sheets.
  • Only 5 clubs have fired in more shots than Carlisle this season with only 3 sides averaging more on-target efforts.
  • League Two has seen 100/263 (38%) of away wins this season.

Back Carlisle 0 Asian Handicap (7/10 BetVictor).

Best Bets

Derby v Wigan – Derby to win and Under 4.5 Goals (3/4 Betfair)

Newport v Exeter – Exeter 0 Asian Handicap (9/13 BetVictor)

Notts County v Carlisle – Carlisle 0 Asian Handicap (7/10 BetVictor)


About Author

After starting his career in newspaper journalism, Mark soon found his way into the online betting world, forging a career in content, social media and marketing production. With a huge passion for stats, the Football League and European football, Mark’s other interests include playing rugby, following his beloved QPR and travel.

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