Adrian Clarke is avoiding the FA Cup this weekend, instead focussing on his bread and butter with two EFL tips this weekend.
The FA Cup 4th round will provide lots of interest this weekend but I’m sticking to the EFL for my latest pair of Insights selections, starting with a clash at the home of one of League 1’s sleeping giants…
CHARLTON TO KEEP MOMENTUM WITH A HOME WIN IN SOUTH LONDON DERBY
Charlton Athletic fans have come out in force to support ‘one of their own’ since club legend Johnnie Jackson took over as manager – and it’s made The Valley much more of a fortress for visiting sides.
Across their last five home games in League 1 the average crowd has been 23,611, which is both remarkable and potentially intimidating for their opponents.
Four wins and one defeat from that stretch of matches suggest the Addicks players are more than comfortable performing in front of such fervent support.
And taking it back a little bit further, Jackson’s men have picked up 16 points from a possible 21 in their last seven outings at The Valley.
Relishing the big atmospheres shouldn’t really come as a surprise because Charlton boast a squad packed with experience at higher levels. They have been boosted by the arrival of stellar January signings Scott Fraser and Chuks Aneke too.
On the back of an uplifting 2-1 success at Portsmouth last Monday you’re starting to feel like they have built up plenty of positive impetus.
So with all this in mind, I am drawn towards the 1.92 on offer for a home win against strugglers AFC Wimbledon this weekend.
The Dons are young and brave, but they haven’t picked up a league win since December 7; a run that features nine games without a victory.
As a team they also have a weak record against the division’s better outfits.
From 18 contests against sides currently 15th or above (Charlton are 15th) AFC Wimbledon have racked up just two wins, seven draws and nine losses.
This will be a serious test for them against an Addicks unit that should really be sat around the playoff picture.
Ayoub Assal’s return to form up front, coupled with the loan signing of Sam Cosgrave gives The Dons a little more cutting edge in attack but four goals scored in their last eight fixtures tells its own story.
I’m not going to try and be too clever here. I fancy a home win, so my selection is Charlton Athletic at 1.81.
IN FORM SUTTON & BRISTOL ROVERS SHOULD PRODUCE GOALS
It’s been a slow burner for Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers this term but win, lose or draw they almost always pose a goal threat.
In fact, The Gas have only failed to score in 3 of 25 League 2 matches (12%) which is the best record in the entire division.
When you consider they have sat in 12th place ahead of this weekend’s fixtures it does raise question marks around their security at the back.
Their opponents on Saturday are promotion chasers Sutton United, who aren’t too shabby on the goals front either. Big and strong, full of heart, they are awkward with a capital ‘A’!
Last season’s National League champions have only failed to score in 15% of their matches, which equates to 4 from 27.
That’s a tremendous record so it’s little wonder the minnows are sat just outside the automatic places on goal difference alone.
A BTTS gamble immediately springs to mind, and current form backs up the season statistics.
Sutton and Bristol Rovers have both seen BTTS land in five of their last eight league matches.
Taking a deeper dive It’s very much the norm for Barton’s Rovers to be involved in goal-laden games on the road.
Nine of 12 (75%) away matches for the Bristolians have witnessed each team finding the back of the net.
An FA Cup second-round clash in the west country saw Bristol Rovers beat Sutton United 2-1, and since that encounter goals have continued to flow.
Aaron Collins is in superb nick for Rovers, scoring six from his last seven starts.
For the hosts, right-winger David Ajiboye and striker Isaac Olaofe look a threat every time they play too, and are a big reason why the former non-leaguers have registered 14 goals in their last eight outings.
Ranked second and third in the form table this has potential to be an exciting clash and I am quietly confident there will be goals.
My second pick is BTTS at 1.74 with Matchbook.
RECOMMENDED EFL BETS
Charlton Athletic to beat AFC Wimbledon (1.92)
Sutton United vs Bristol Rovers Both Teams To Score (1.74)
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