A mixed bag last week for the EFL King, but with a 17-5 (77%) record on the season Adrian Clarke is as bullish as ever with two more lower league selections for the weekend ahead!
Thankfully I managed to maintain this column’s profitable record this season with a win and a half-stake return last weekend, but on Saturday afternoon it’s double delight that we are chasing in the EFL!. Here are a couple of picks from League 1 and 2…
Robinson’s Oxford Can Keep On Rolling
If you scroll down the League One table it would be easy to discount 12th-placed Oxford United as nondescript mid-table fodder but that’s far from the case right now.
Claiming four handsome victories in a row they are one of English football’s form teams and I believe they should continue in their upward trajectory when they visit struggling Northampton Town.
Keith Curle’s Cobblers did fabulously well to gain promotion via the play-offs but as the weeks go by it increasingly feels as if this level is a step too far for them.
They aren’t in the relegation zone (beating their relegation rivals has helped) but against League One’s finest they really do struggle.
And I mean really struggle.
In 11 matches against the current Top 12 Northampton’s record reads; 1 win, 1 draw, 9 defeats.
Remarkably they have failed to score in nine of those 11 encounters!
On home turf versus the top 12, Curle’s boys boast an abysmal 1-13 goals record.
I told you it was bad.
Oxford United have recovered well from a sluggish start to the campaign and are currently unbeaten in seven games.
Since a poor home loss against bitter rivals Swindon Town they have swapped goalkeepers; full-backs Sam Long and Josh Ruffels have been on fire in an attacking sense; and veteran striker Matty Taylor has rediscovered his mojo.
All over the field, they are sharper and more cohesive than they were a couple of months back.
The U’s romped home 5-1 at Burton Albion in their first league match of 2021 and having had a nice breather since I would expect them to try and cut loose again at the PTS Academy Stadium.
Every season we see someone come from deep with a storming run towards the play-offs and it definitely feels as if Oxford have that plugged into their Sat-Nav.
I’m backing Oxford United to continue their impressive hot streak and at a price of 1.89, they are an attractive selection.
Not Expecting A Classic At Stevenage
It’s not nice to see one of my former clubs Stevenage embroiled in another battle to stay in the EFL but there is the spirit inside Alex Revell’s dressing room so don’t write them off just yet.
Back-to-back home wins against Cambridge United and Scunthorpe United have definitely lifted the mood, and next up for them are wildly inconsistent Tranmere Rovers.
One week Keith Hill’s men feast on goals, the next they look powder puff inside the final third.
They are a very difficult side to work out.
Over the course of this campaign, Tranmere Rovers have been involved in a lot of low-scoring affairs though, and that’s a fact.
A league-high 45% of matches have featured one goal or less involving the Wirrall outfit, and 60% have ducked under the 2.5 goals mark too.
Tranmere’s results against teams below them in the League 2 table also make interesting reading.
Six clean sheets have been picked up in eight meetings and they have let in just two goals in total against rivals that are placed 16th or below ahead of kick off this weekend.
Therefore backing them to keep it tight against a Stevenage side that has failed to score in nine of 20 fixtures makes plenty of sense.
Revell’s battlers have looked a mildly more dangerous attacking proposition of late but their data over the course of this campaign tells you they are never going to be gung-ho.
They have notched more than one goal in just 3 of 20 match-ups across 2020-21.
The big plus for them this weekend is that they will back themselves to keep Hill’s Tranmere at bay.
In spite of their precarious league position Stevenage rarely fold like a pack of cards. They have actually only let in more than one goal in a quarter of their matches!
That’s a remarkable stat for a team sat in 22nd place.
My selection here is to go Under 2.25 goals on the Asian Handicap at a price of around 1.83.
Whichever way you to try to analyse this affair it steers you away from goals.
If the net bulges on numerous occasions it will be a big surprise.
- Oxford United to beat Northampton Town 1.89
- Stevenage v Tranmere Rovers Under 2.25 goals Asian Handicap 1.83