Doncaster vs Charlton | Friday 2nd April 2021, 12:30 | Sky Sports
It’s all change recently for both sides as Doncaster saw Darren Moore left to take up the reins at Sheffield Wednesday and Lee Bowyer departed Charlton for the Birmingham hot-seat.
Both managers leave their old employers in with a shout of securing a play off place with Doncaster one point outside the top-six and Charlton a further point back. But it’s the hosts that are suffering the most with their change with no win in their last five games.
The visitors have turned to former Southampton and Reading boss Nigel Adkins as their new manager. His first game was a 2-2 draw at Wimbledon where they played OK but gave away poor goals, something that has become been an issue more recently.
Charlton didn’t play last week so they have had time to get onto the training game and Adkins has been able to get over to his players how he wants them to play. It’s clear he sees this season a bit of a free hit and knows his new side have to win games. “We have to go and get points on the board and we have to win game” he said after the last game.
I am expecting the Addicks to go for it against a side devoid of confidence. There are so many sides in with a shout of the play-off places in League One, any side that puts together a run of wins should see them end up with a chance of promotion.
Doncaster slumped to a 1-0 defeat at MK Dons which saw them drop out of the top-six for the first time in two months. Maybe it’s a mixture of Moore leaving, and Andy Butler being appointed until the end of the season, or the pressure of maintaining their top-six push, but the wheels are starting to come off for Rovers.
Rovers have won just twice in their last 12 matches and a once strong position inside the play-off places has eroded away as a result. Butler rejected suggestions the pressure of holding onto a top-six spot was getting to his side.
“I don’t think it’s down to the position we’re in because we’re still in a great position,” he said. But their dramatic downturn is laid bare in one League One form table – measuring performance over the last 12 games. Rovers are joint bottom of the 12-game form table having taken just nine points from the last 36. Rochdale have an identical record (W2-D3-L7) but are bottom on goal difference.
Over the last four games I have Doncaster as 23rd on expected points and 20th for xG ratio. In comparison I have Charlton in 4th for expected points and 5th for xG ratio. It doesn’t get any better for Rovers if we look at the expected points over eight or 12 games with them sat in 19th and 16th spot respectively.
Rovers have kept four clean sheets at home this season from their 18 games, but three of these have come at home to Rochdale, Wimbledon and Northampton and its now two clean sheets in their last 13 games. Over the last eight Doncaster have conceded an average xGA of 1.5 and only two sides have a higher xGA over this period.
On top of this Rovers are conceding 8.0 shots in the box over this period with Accrington, who are in awful form, Plymouth, Wigan and Gillingham have conceding more.
In contrast Charlton have scored in 16 of 19 away games, failing to score at league leaders Hull, Lincoln and Oxford. Over the last eight games they have the 7th best xG ratio and defensively the 5th lowest xGA with 0.95 and the 4th lowest shots in the box conceded.
The betting angles
Conor Washington will miss the game, but I am still keen on Charlton to find the net. Rovers have conceded two or more goals recently to Gillingham, Oxford and low scorers Ipswich. The Addicks are scoring freely with them failing to score in just two of the last 17 games. We can take the visitors to score twice or more at 13/8 with Betfred.
The second bet I like is cards. No side has collected more cards in their away games than Charlton with 43 yellows and three reds so far from their 19 games, that’s 2.26 yellow cards per-game. The Addicks commit 15.5 fouls per away-game, which is the second-highest in League One.
The hosts are the 7th most fouled home side and when we chuck in referee Marc Edwards as well, taking Charlton 20+ booking points at 8/11 looks a decent bet, if many a little short for some. This would have banked in 13 of 19 Charlton away games this season.
Edwards averages 4.1 cards in League One this season with nine of his 10 games seeing the away side collecting at least 2 cards. Comparing the referees that have taken charge of 10 or more League One games this season, he has given the fourth-most fouls per-game and only two referees have a higher yellow card average, one of who is the now almost famous Charles Breakspear.
Given the referee and Charlton’s booking history, I would expect this to be around 4/9 so the 8/11 with Skybet looks a good bet to me.