EFL fan Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) oversees Sunday's action from the third-tier, as Coventry host Tranmere in League One, picking out his best bets.
Coventry v Tranmere | Sunday 13th October 2019, 12:00 | Sky Sports
Coventry aim to return to winning ways after their first league defeat last weekend, while Tranmere head to St Andrew’s looking for their first away victory of the campaign.
It was a horror show for the Sky Blues, who slumped to a 4-0 drubbing at Rotherham last time out. The match saw a couple of calamitous goals conceded, plus Kyle McFadzean’s sending off.
Rovers also ended with 10 men last weekend in their 1-0 home defeat to Shrewsbury, as Connor Jennings was dismissed at the end of the first half for Micky Mellon’s men.
Those red cards will force both managers into changes for this League One clash.
No place like home
Although Coventry have been forced to play their home games at St Andrew’s this season, they’ve made a near perfect start. Mark Robins’ side have won five of their six matches here with their last outing ending in a 1-1 draw with Doncaster, even though Cov finished with 63% possession and 23 shots – just five hit the target.
The Sky Blues will look to dominate possession. If they get the ball moving well then they could pull this Rovers side around the pitch, creating space for their front three, led by Matt Godden.
The visitors will have to keep an eye on Jordan Shipley, who has created three goals, while full-back Brandon Mason has been earning plenty of praise from the Coventry faithful.
Four of Coventry’s five home wins have been by a single goal, while in their last three here at St Andrew’s, they’ve fallen behind, but still managed to claim at least a point.
Rovers road woes
After their promotion, it was a summer of change for the Prenton Park outfit. One big blow was seeing James Norwood head out on a free to Ipswich meaning they lost his goals.
Rovers have picked up just one point in five away games, and that came through a 95th minute equaliser at Rotherham. Other than that, it’s been difficult for Tranmere on their travels. Two defeats by two goals and two losses by three goals hint Coventry could expose a vulnerable defence.
Three of those defeats have come against top-10 sides, so travelling to fifth-placed Coventry means life doesn’t get any easier.
It has to worry Mellon that Rovers have conceded at least two goals in four of their five away games, so with them only scoring twice in those contests, the Coventry -1 Asian Handicap looks an appealing play at an odds-against price of 11/9 (BetVictor).
Times of concession
One pure stats-based play is highlighted by when Tranmere have conceded their goals. Twelve of their 21 conceded goals have come on the road and if we break it down it sees four shipped in the first-half and eight arriving after half-time.
So, back Coventry goals in the second half or Coventry to win the second half, I hear you say? Yes, potentially.
But for me, look towards the hosts netting in both halves at a tempting 9/5 (William Hill). It’s something the hosts have done in four of five Tranmere away games, plus 19th-placed Rochdale managed this feat at Prenton Park.
Coventry have scored in both halves against better sides in truth. They did it against Bristol Rovers and Blackpool, while doing the same against lowly AFC Wimbledon, so it’s three from six.
So, it’s 3/6 for Coventry and 4/5 for Tranmere making it a 7/11 combined, which is a 64% strike-rate. We’re getting odds with a probability at around 36%, so it’s definitely worth a nibble alongside your Sunday roast.
Coventry v Tranmere – Coventry -1 Asian Handicap (11/9 Bet Victor)
Coventry v Tranmere – Coventry to score in both halves (9/5 William Hill)