FOOTBALL LEAGUE boff Gabriel Sutton (@_FootbalLab) takes a look at Sunday's televised League One tussle between Portsmouth and Oxford.
Portsmouth v Oxford | Sunday 25th March 2018, 16:00 | Sky Sports
Oxford have been in existence for 125 years, but it feels like they’ve spent most of that period looking for a replacement for Pep Clotet.
Karl Robinson is the latest favourite ahead of Jaap Stam, but Derek Fazackerley is expected to stay in “temporary” charge this weekend.
The former defender galvanized the troops for last week’s 2-1 win over Peterborough. Goalscorers Rob Dickie and James Henry impressed at centre-back and out wide respectively, while Ryan Ledson showed a range of qualities in midfield.
That victory will boost confidence for the Yellows, who sit five points clear of the drop zone prior to Saturday’s games, so we won’t be taking the Portsmouth win at narrow odds-on quotes.
The Hampshire outfit are among the more fashionable clubs at this level and therefore, they are normally available at prices that perhaps slightly exaggerate their on-field credentials.
Kenny Jackett’s side are five points off the play-off places and while a top half finish will not represent a bad first season at this level for half a decade, performances offer room for improvement.
They will want to avoid the defensive mishaps seen in defeats to Blackpool and Gillingham in their last two home games, even if last week’s 2-0 win at Oldham was an improvement.
Goals recommended at Fratton Park
Backing Brett Pitman, who bagged a first half brace at Boundary Park, is the best pro-Pompey bet available. The veteran has already scored 16 League One goals and is 13/10 with Coral to score anytime here, while for the visitors, Henry can be found at 13/2 with bet365 to bag one against Jackett, his former Millwall boss.
We see value in backing a high-scoring game. 61% of Oxford’s matches have seen three or more goals, as have 49% of Portsmouth’s encounters, which suggests a 55% chance of a repeat.
Marathon offer 53/50 on Over 2.5 Goals, odds that imply a 49% probability, 6% lower than the trends dictate.
For our recommended bet, we’re sticking to the goals theme whilst getting Oxford onside.
Three of their last four wins have seen both teams score and the same outcome here is 15/2 with Betfair, which we see to be great value for a potentially entertaining Fratton Park clash, even while uncertainty off the field at Oxford rumbles on.
Portsmouth v Oxford – Oxford to win and Both Teams To Score (15/2 Betfair)