FOOTBALL League fanatic Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) returns with three more of his favourite bets this Saturday.
Millwall v Ipswich | Saturday 15.00
Mick McCarthy was left seething as his Ipswich team slipped to only their second league defeat since August, in front of the live TV cameras last weekend. The Tractor Boys boss was adamant his team deserved a penalty and also thought Rams midfielder John Eustace should have been sent-off towards the end of the first-half.
But McCarthy will have been crestfallen at the manner of the Derby defeat. Tommy Smith’s misjudged headed back pass allowed Chris Martin to steal in and score the only goal of the game. A draw probably would have been a fair result and I’ve a feeling Ipswich will be licking their wounds and keen to make amends this weekend.
The Suffolk side have only suffered one road defeat since early August and having won all seven of their meetings with bottom-seven clubs this season, appear to relish taking on the Championship’s lesser lights. They’re 13/10 to come away from Millwall with maximum points and it’s a price worth taking.
The Lions look like they’ve booked a ticket for League One. Last Saturday’s 1-0 reverse at rock bottom Blackpool was their fourth successive defeat in the league and they’ve now lost 12/25 (48%) games in the second tier. It’s scary stuff and Ian Holloway is beginning to feel the heat from vociferous home support. EDIT: by the time you're reading this, he may even have gone after their abysmal showing against Bradford in the FA Cup.
And the Lions have struggled to cope with playing in front of an expectant crowd at The Den. Their last nine home league games have resulted in W1-D3-L5 with high-flying Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Brentford all leaving with three-point hauls. In fact, six of the seven top-half clubs to visit Millwall have scored at least twice at The Den. Expect Ipswich to add to that record.
Port Vale v Peterborough United| Saturday 15.00
Were you on Twitter on Saturday night? Then I hope you tuned in for what’s becoming a regular Saturday night feature, the Darragh MacAnthony meltdown. Peterborough’s chairman took to the social network to destroy his side after their meek 2-0 loss at home to Colchester.
Five points off the play-off places and with eight defeats in their last 11, Posh are in all sorts of bother. MacAnthony continues to support under-fire boss Darren Ferguson but results and performances continue to infuriate Posh fans as they tumble down the table.
Next up is a trip to Port Vale and it’s probably no surprise to hear I’ll be backing the home side. But Vale look criminally overpriced by the bookmakers with BetVictor ready to hand us 7/4on the hosts. Phwoar. I’m in!
Port Vale have W6-D1-L4 in their last 11 League One matches but their record at Vale Park is very impressive. Since mid-September, Vale have W6-D1-L1 when hosting league fixtures as Robert Page continues to take the club on following the sacking of Micky Adams.
This was quite an easy bet to select – 7/4 on a side with a very solid home record and taking on a team in turmoil. That’ll do.
Tranmere Rovers v Accrington Stanley | Saturday 15.00
Talking of Micky Adams, the experienced manager is now down in League Two with Tranmere in a bid to revive their ailing fortunes. And there’s no doubt results have improved at Prenton Park. Rovers have W3-D2-L1 in their last six and now sit just a point off safety.
On Saturday they welcome perennial overachievers Accrington and I’ve got a feeling we could see a few goals. I think the bookmakers are wrong to opposing goals and that means we’re likely to get a few tasty prices. One of which is, Both Teams To Score at 19/20 with BetVictor.
Tranmere have scored in their last five League Two games at Prenton Park and seen a total of nine of their 12 home league games feature winners in the Both Teams To Score market. It’s a very healthy figure that also tallies nicely with Accrington’s trends for goals.
The visitors have seen BTTS backers collect in eight of their 12 away games with John Coleman’s side seeing an average of 3.25 goals-per-game in those matches. It’s also worth point out that Accy’s matches have also featured Both Teams To Score winners in all bar two of their last 12 league outings anywhere. More goals on Saturday please, chaps!