Lincoln vs Ipswich | Saturday 18th September 2021, 15:00
Eat, sleep, repeat for Ipswich. The Tractor Boys have seen all of their league games go over 2.5 and seen both teams finding the net and I can’t see anything different on Saturday.
Not only have the Suffolk side conceded in every league game, but they have also conceded to West Ham in the Papa Johns, Newport in the EFL Cup and in pre-season friendlies against Colchester, Millwall and Palace. The only clean sheet they have kept in any type of game this season was at Dartford in their opening preseason game.
The pressure is now on manager Paul Cook who was arguing with supporters as they lost in midweek with rumours circulating that the manager believes it will take another two to three games for this side to settle. After they conceded five to Bolton last weekend Cook admitted that his side are a soft touch and lack playing together to form partnerships.
As I have said before Ipswich like to push his full backs on and with no sitting midfielder this exposes the two centre backs and coupled with the fact this is a new side trying to settle its not hard to see why no side has conceded more goals this season than the Tractor Boys.
Going forward they scored in every game and with the players that the club have brought in with Macauley Bonne, Joe Piggott, Kyle Edwards, Wes Burns, Tom Carroll, Louie Barry, Scott Fraser and Conor Chaplin they have the ability to pick a pass, create opportunities and score goals. I also expect Bersant Celina to start this week, who if fit has the ability to rip this division up
Lincoln have gone W2-D2-L3 so far this season and smashed Cambridge last weekend 5-1 before drawing with Rotherham midweek. They have now scored in five of their seven games this season. I like the front three of Chris Maguire, Tom Hopper and Anthony Scully. I think they will cause problems with Ipswich and expose the space behind the full backs.
No side has had more shots on target than Lincoln and they sit 2nd for most shots on target from inside the box, with Ipswich giving up 3.67 shots in the box on target, Lincoln will have chances to score. Cook won’t change the way Ipswich play and therefore Lincoln will be able to pick them off.
The fact we can get over 2.5 goals at even money with Mansion Bet looks a great angle.
Crewe vs Burton | Saturday 18th September 2021, 15:00
Crewe have struggled this season and have just two points with W0-D2-L4 scoring just two goals against Cheltenham and Shrewsbury. Without being disrespectful to either of their sides neither will be the best sides in the division and the fact they are only scoring against the poorer sides and only collecting two points the alarm bells should be ringing for the Alex fans.
I have them bottom on xPTS and with a xG of just 0.7, I also have them 2nd bottom on xG ratio, 4th bottom on shots on target ratio and with just 1.67 shots on target inside the box per game its not hard to see why they are struggling.
Its not a surprise to see why they looked destined for League Two as they have lost Charlie Kirt who scored six goals and contributed with eight assists, Ryan Whittle, Perry Ng, Owen Dale, 11 goals last season, Harry Pickering and Omar Beckles. This group made over 200 apps last season alone for Crewe.
They have brought in players but in my view, they lack the quality of the departing players and unfortunately I can only see one outcome. Burton on the other hand have continued where they left off last season with W3-D3-L1.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has now overseen 32 games since his return with a record of W16-D8-L8, but the on the road they have been very solid with W9-D4-L2. Their two defeats were against Oxford last season, when the Us were flying on their way to the play offs and then to Cambridge this season.
The defeat to Cambridge was bizarre. Burton won the xG 3.29 vs 0.41 with Cambridge scoring three goals with just two shots on target as Burton full back Tom Hamer put through his own net twice.
The Brewers have conceded just 15 goals under Hasselbaink on the road, but seven came against Cambridge and Oxford meaning they have conceded just four goals in 13 games.
Kane Hemming looks back in form and the arrival of Harrison Chapman to play alongside him looks great business by the club. Burton do have some issues at the back with suspension and injuries but in my view have enough quality to cover these gaps against a side that struggles to avoid defeat and score goals.
I am surprised that we can get Burton on the draw no bet market at even money with most bookies, this looks wrong to be given the form of both sides.
QPR vs Bristol City | Saturday 18th September 2021, 15:00
Rangers have started the season well with W3-D3-L1. However, this tells only part of the story. They have now seen results of 3-3, 3-2 and 2-2 and 2-1 and now have a total match goal record of 3.57 per game across their seven games.
The Hoops have now scored in all seven matches and conceded in five. Scored 1.5+ in 5 and conceded 1.5+ in four, over 2.5 had landed in five with both teams to score landing in five as well. They are fun to watch.
They are seeing an average of 1.2 xG per match whilst giving up 1.32 xGA. Manager Mark Warbuton has they playing open attack minded football. I like they are brave trying to play out from the back, but they are often naïve and get caught, but going forward they attack with pace which always causes issues for opposing sides at all levels.
Options are a plenty up top with Charlie Austin, Lydon Dykes and recent signing Andre Gray and between them they will cause sides issues. You have to fancy Rangers to score in every game this season with how they set up and the players they have available.
They welcome Bristol City this weekend who are currently on the worst run of home results in the EFL so are very much reliant on their away form. Away from Ashton Gate its W2-D0-L1 but their games have seen goals with 2-1, 2-3 and 2-1.
Manager Nigel Pearson has a process, system and game plan and very rarely moves from that, but midweek he did play two up top as they tried to end the awful home form as Chris Martin lined up alongside Andreas Weimann with Alex Scott and Cameron Pring supporting out wide with Matty James pushing forward. I am hoping we see a similar set up and attack minded line up on Saturday.
City need the three points given their poor home form and Rangers wont change how they play so we should see an open attacking game and therefore I am happy to get on board with over 2.5 match goals at 10/11 with Bet365