With an 18-5 (78%) record on the season, EFL tipping supremo Adrian Clarke is upping the ante this weekend with three selections from League 1
I hope you jumped on last week’s selections! Great to keep this run going and seeing as we are on a roll I’ve decided to throw out three picks for the EFL weekend ahead. While the FA Cup 4th round should be a lot of fun, League 1 is where we’re heading….
A Tight Top Of The Table Clash In Prospect At Fratton Park
Pitting third against first, Portsmouth versus Hull City is a peach of a match in League 1 on Saturday afternoon but will it be a classic? I’m not convinced.
They each boast excellent forward lines and men in form at the top end of the pitch but with the promotion stakes starting to ramp up (and both well aware of the others’ firepower), this feels like a contest where defensive focus might be the priority
In the build-up, to this one, Kenny Jackett and Grant McCann are sure to drill home the message, ‘don’t get beat’.
When they last met on December 18 it was a dog of a match.
The Tigers mustered just the one shot on target – albeit from 15 efforts – while Pompey somehow emerged with a 2-0 win without having a single shot on target! Two set-piece own goals were the difference in a fixture where defences were on top.
The form book tells us Portsmouth give very little away.
Jackett’s well-drilled outfit have collected six clean sheets on the spin, meaning it’s now 566 minutes since they last conceded a League 1 goal.
It’s so far back that we were only opening the first door on our Advent calendars when Portsmouth last let in a goal in this division.
Hull City travel south in good nick too.
They managed to swot Accrington Stanley aside 3-0 in midweek and have been buoyed by wonder kid Keane Lewis-Potter’s decision to sign a new deal. The leaders have had injuries to deal with at the back but still boast the third-best defensive record, so even if they concede first here, they are unlikely to roll over.
Only 45% of Hull’s matches have seen over two goals this season and for Pompey, it’s 43%, so all things considered I am happy enough to go low.
My selection is under 2.5 goals (1.81) for Portsmouth v Hull City.
Crewe’s Quality Should See Off The Dons
It’s been a rough spell for Glynn Hodges’ AFC Wimbledon. They have lost seven of their last eight League 1 games and arrive at in-form Crewe on the back of heavy defeats to Sunderland and Portsmouth.
As a team, they never lack for effort or energy but quality-wise they are a bit short this season, especially at the back.
A huge improvement will be required to stay with the Railwaymen this weekend.
David Artell’s hosts are a lovely side to watch, with multiple goal threats across midfield and attack.
Oli Finney, Charlie Kirk, Owen Dale, Mikael Mandron, Tom Lowery and Chris Porter are all danger men inside the final third and have been enjoying themselves of late.
Crewe have won seven of 12 home matches, and interestingly they scored 12 goals in their four outings at Gresty Road against teams nearest the foot of the table.
Flat track bullies? Perhaps.
While Crewe do concede plenty, they usually have enough to see off those in the bottom half of the table, losing just one of 11 against teams currently sat 13th or lower.
The Dons are 21st ahead of kick off.
I believe in Artell’s fast-developing young side and will be backing Crewe Alexandra to see off Wimbledon in this one…
Tipping Up The Overs In East Anglian Match Up
It took until late November for an away team to score a goal at Portman Road but since that duck was broken Ipswich Town have looked vulnerable on home turf.
The next six sides to visit the Tractor Boys have all scored, with 12 away goals snared in total.
Paul Lambert’s men will need to raise their off the ball game to get out of that rut against on-song Peterborough United.
The Posh are playing well.
I watched them destroy Portsmouth’s ‘B team’ 5-1 in the Papa Johns Trophy last week and since then they have backed that up with fine victories over MK Dons and Charlton Athletic.
Striker Jonson Clarke-Harris is in a nice groove, the gifted Siriki Dembele has been running amok and attacking midfield Sammie Ssmodics has slammed home four goals in his last two outings.
They will travel across East Anglia believing they can take all three points.
At the back, I do have reservations about Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough.
They take risks and don’t have the greatest mobility in the world either, so I wouldn’t be overconfident of a clean sheet. Their only three shutouts on the road did come against opponents sat in the bottom six.
Ipswich boss Lambert has been getting pelters from Town fans for his uninspiring tactics and obsession with passing for passing’s sake.
That said his moves in the loan market this week may indicate a response. He’s snapped up forwards Luke Thomas and Josh Harrop from Barnsley and Preston respectively, and they will complement a strong array of strikers already at the club.
To get Ipswich’s faltering promotion bid back on track I suspect the Scot is shifting his focus to goals and a more attack-minded style of play.
That suits me here as I’m looking towards the over 2.5 goals market in this encounter.
Right now it’s available at 2.05 and in my view, it’s worth a small punt.
- Portsmouth v Hull City Under 2.5 goals (1.81)
- Crewe Alexandra to beat AFC Wimbledon (1.77)
- Ipswich Town v Peterborough United Over 2.5 goals (2.05)