THE Mercer Mix returns for a special midweek edition this week as Danny (@OneDannyMercer) gets his teeth into five matches.
First Half Performance
Manchester City looked awesome at the weekend didn't they? I've no doubt confidence will be high as they approach this huge Champions League match with Barcelona.
The attacking threat they possess excites me. Sergio Aguero is regaining fitness, Eden Dzeko looked so sharp on Saturday and new boy Wilfried Bony will be desperate to impress. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned David Silva and Yaya Toure behind them.
City have been quick starters at home in the Champions League this season scoring in the first half in all their group games and I'm hoping for a repeat here at Coral's tasty odds of 11/8. Dig deeper and Manuel Pellegrini's side have scored in the first half in eight of their last 12 home Champion League ties, while Barcelona struggled against PSG in the group stages conceding four against them, with three of the goals coming in the first 45 minutes.
I worry about Swindon at the moment, They've lost four of their last five league games and are losing ground on the League One Top 2 of Bristol City and MK Dons. That defeat against Crawley at the weekend was brutal and they don't look solid at the back. That's not ideal when you're squaring up to a good attacking side protecting an unbeaten run of five in the league like Bradford.
Town have leaked two or more in four of their last five league games, and for me Bradford look value at 11/4 to hand out more punishment to them on Tuesday. Bradford have scored two or more in eight of their last 13 away league games, and have achieved that against the likes of Bristol City, MK Dons and Preston.
Hopefully James Hanson is back in the Bantams starting line-up after missing the weekend game. With four goals in his last four league games he'll be the main threat to Swindon.
How many times do we see players face their old club and come back to haunt them by scoring a goal? I'm hoping Matt Done of Sheffield United does just that to Rochdale on Tuesday.
Done was a major part of Rochdale's great form in the opening half of the season. He hit 10 league goals for them, before his move to Sheffield United just a few weeks ago.
He's kicked off well at Bramhall Lane with four goals in his first four games and it's worth noting that 10 of his 14 league goals this season have come away from home. This lad works his socks off, never gives up and I'm hoping he obliges here against his old club.
I really fancy Guiseley to be too strong at home to Bradford PA in the Conference North on Tuesday and I'll be backing them at 4/5 with BetVictor. They're currently in fifth place in the table, just 12 points off leaders Barrow but have a few games in hand so must keep winning.
Five home wins in their last seven tells you all you need to know, and in Adam Boyes, Wayne Brooksby and Oli Johnson they have players hungry for goals. With over 30 goals between them this season they really do pose a threat.
Bradford PA sit in the relegation zone and have lost nine of their last 13 away league games. They shipped five against Boston recently and opponents Guiseley beat them comfortably at the weekend.
FC United were well fancied before the season started for Northern Premier League glory, but after they only won two of their opening nine league fixtures people were quick to write them off. How wrong they were! Since Christmas it's all turned round for the club and they've now won nine league games on the spin. They sit just two points behind leaders Skelmersdale, but have six games in hand on them down to their amazing run in the FA Trophy where they reached the quarter finals.
This side score goals for fun, with 35 notched in their last 12 league games and I can see them burying a few more against Halesowen on Tuesday. They're blessed with real attacking prowess. Firstly there's Tom Greaves who's scored seven in his last five matches, there's Craig Lindfield who was on Liverpool's books and has played for a host of league and non-league clubs and finally Matthew Wolfenden who has been prolific for FC United after spells at Wrexham and Oldham.
Opponents Halesowen are a decent side, but have failed to score in six of their last 11 league games and I'm all over the 11/8 on FC United to be winning at half time and full time. Both sides have the best defensive records in the league, but the way FC United demolished an in from Ashton United side last time gives me confidence in this bet landing.
Man City v Barcelona – Man City to score Over 0.5 First Half Goals (11/8 Coral)
Swindon v Bradford City – Bradford City to score Over 1.5 Goals (11/4 Coral)
Rochdale v Sheffield Unted – Matt Done to score anytime (5/2 BetVictor)
Guiseley v Bradford PA – Guiseley to win (4/5 BetVictor)
FC United Of Manchester v Halesown – FC United/FC United Double Result (11/8 Bet365)