Ben’s Saturday’s Specials – The Pirelli faithful can expect a feast


FOOTBALL analyst Ben Levene (@benlevene96) delivers his best bets from Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in his new specials feature.

Longshot – Tranmere to beat Swindon (12/5 Sportingbet)

Swindon came from behind to beat Macclesfield on the opening day but were drubbed 4-1 by Lincoln last weekend and have looked less than convincing since the golden gaffer took charge.

Brown was appointed back in March and since then Swindon have won just three of 14 matches. The win versus Macclesfield was just their second in eight attempts on home turf.

The Robins have conceded six goals in their opening two games and have allowed the division's second-most Expected Goals against.

The Wiltshire club have scored four times, all of which came via midfielder Michael Doughty, but three of those were from the penalty spot.

The hosts were also beaten 1-0 at home to Forest Green in the EFL Cup during the week, having made just four changes in search of a victory.

Newly-promoted Tranmere travel to the County Ground, having made eight changes during the week for their cup tie. That speaks volumes of where Micky Mellon’s priorities lie.

The Birkenhead-based charges are undefeated from their opening two League Two matches and have quickly found their feet after a slow start on the opening day away at Stevenage.

Striker James Norwood has notched three times from two matches and could be the difference for Tranmere in attack.

Swindon are opposable at 5/4. They have a torrid home record and part of that can be attributed to the strained dynamic between the club and the fans. Tranmere can be backed as this weekend’s longshot at 12/5 (Sportingbet).

Goal-based bet – Burton v Doncaster: Over 2.5 Goals (13/10 Marathon)

Doncaster were outscored by 17 of 23 other League One sides last season, so their early season transformation under Grant McCann has taken all by surprise.

Donny have six points on the board after two matches and have scored three goals in each of those. In the EFL Cup during the week, they put two past Scunthorpe away from home.

Relegated Burton are adjusting to life down a tier but there’s been no such issues for striker Liam Boyce who has notched twice in two matches.

The Brewers have scored in 31 of their last 47 (66%) games at the Pirelli and all bar one of those games were played up a tier.

Over 2.5 Goals has landed in all four League One matches featuring these sides this season. It also landed in both sides’ EFL Cup ties in midweek.

The idea of Burton and Doncaster goalfests is reinforced by the xG data. Burton’s two league games have seen an average of 3.05 Expected Goals per-match, while Doncaster’s have yielded an average of 2.95.

Over 2.5 Goals is available at 13/10 (Marathon) and that’s a huge price. Seeing unders as short as 13/20 given the evidence is quite baffling.

Card-based bet – Wilfred Ndidi to be shown a card (5/1 Bet365)

Leicester played some good stuff against Man Utd last Friday, so when they face a talented Wolves side this weekend, we could have quite a game on our hands.

Referee Mike Dean takes charge, and he’s not shy in playing his part either. Dean has shown 95 yellow cards in the last 25 Premier League games he’s officiated – an average of 3.8 per-match.

More generally, Dean's shown 116 cards in 31 matches, which shows a similar average, of 3.7 per-match. He’s shown at least three cards in the last eight matches where he’s been centre-stage, doing so in 23 of 31 matches since last August.

Midfielder Wilfred Ndidi saw yellow six times in 33 Premier League appearances last season, and sent off twice in that time.

No player attempted more tackles than the 21-year-old in the last Premier League campaign, with Ndidi also ranking fourth for fouls committed.

Wolves players were fouled six times against Everton last Saturday and four of those came from challenges on midfielders. Everton anchors Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin each attempted four tackles in a position similar to where the Nigerian features.

Alongside ball-players Adrien Silva and James Maddison, Ndidi is very much the ball-winner. The 5/1 (Bet365) quoted about the Leicester man picking up a booking is too big to ignore.

Best Bets

Swindon v Tranmere – Tranmere to win (12/5 Marathon)

Burton v Doncaster – Over 2.5 Goals (13/10 Marathon)

Leicester v Wolves – Wilfred Ndidi to be carded (5/1 Bet365)

About Author

I’ve been passionate about sports betting since the moment I could do it. I’ve always strived to do more than anyone else and have gained a wealth of experience in the field. A degree in Politics and International Relations (the University of Nottingham) just confirmed the need to pursue a career in the industry! I pride myself on my football knowledge and follow football on all fronts, as well as my beloved Spurs. I’m also a keen Darts follower.

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