FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) runs the rule over Saturday's live League Two fixture between promotion-chasing Luton and relegation-haunted Barnet.
Luton v Barnet | Saturday 24th March 2018, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Earlier in the season this one wouldn't have needed too much analysing at all as rampant Luton raced away in League Two and Barnet limped to loss after loss missing the goals and heavy presence of John Akinde.
However, coming into this one Luton are seemingly having a wobble about promotion with the Hatters on a current run of five wins in 15. They are not losing games however, with just one loss recorded in their last eight.
Drawing games they should be winning is costing them of late and Notts County in fourth are now just five points behind with eight games remaining. Will they lose their automatic promotion spot?
Barnet sacked their previous manager Graham Westley and appointed ‘Mad Dog' Martin Allen for the fifth time in his place on a eight-week contract as he looks to guide them to safety against the odds.
They are seven points shy of safety at time of writing behind Grimsby who are lucky to be sat in 22nd place after their horrendous run of late. Allen has said “I don't think anyone believes we can stay up, apart from me. We're so many points behind that it looks like mission impossible, but people have always called me a little bit mad so let's see what happens.”
His whacky disposition and positive thinking will likely have an impact and you usually get a reation the first game a new manager is in charge, so now it doesn't seem so simple to just back a Luton win!
Barnet have picked up just two wins in 16 so that is the reason they are a best price 51/10 with Marathonbet – but with Mad Dog in charge some punters may be taking hold of that – especially with Luton looking shaky of late.
The betting angle
I understand people who will be steering clear of Luton in this one, but I can't see beyond a home win. Only Accrington have recorded more home victories in League Two this season than Luton and no one can equal their crazy total of 52 home goals scored at Kenilworth Road.
With Barnet on a goal difference of minus 22 and conceding 32 on the road, I will take my chances here on Luton in the handicap market. Barnet have hit the net just 15 times on the road this season, that is the second worst attacking away record in League Two and whilst I see Allen's tactics getting the most out of John Akinde, theri defence still looks susceptible.
Luton may be struggling to pick up wins of late, but playing bottom of the league Barnet at home represents a great chance to put pressure on Notts County who won't play their game this weekend until Sunday.
The Hatters have covered a -1 handicap 11 times at home this season already and can make it 12 this Saturday evening live on Sky Sports.
Luton v Barnet – Luton -1 handicap (13/8 Betfair)