Fresh from a successful League 2 ‘Unders’ double on last week’s Matchbook Football podcast I’m chancing my arm with another twin fancy in my Insight’s column. Let’s keep that ball rolling! We will also venture into League 1 for another Saturday selection….
Keeping It Tight At Bolton & Barrow
6 of the 7-midweek contests across League 2 ended with two goals or less, which continued a running theme.
In recent weeks, with players practically out on their feet, we seem to be seeing less and less of the net bulging in English football’s fourth tier.
This weekend in-form Bolton Wanderers host Walsall and it’s a fixture that’s winking at me when it comes to backing the unders.
Ian Evatt’s ambitious promotion chasers are unbeaten in 11 games and their upturn has been built around a remarkably robust clean sheet mentality. Seven of those outings have ended with a Trotters shut out, and nine of the 11 (81.8%) have featured two goals or less.
It’s a run that’s been ultra-satisfying for Bolton fans but in truth, it’s not been especially thrilling.
Walsall are not anywhere near as successful but they do keep things tight.
Led by acting head coach Brian Ditton at the moment they have won just one of their last 15 League 2 matches. Interestingly 11 of them (73.3%) have seen Under 2.5 goals land.
So Bolton v Walsall going Under 2.5 seems more than plausible but at 1.7 you don’t get the biggest of prices, so I am going to double up.
Barrow v Crawley Town is the other part of this equation.
The Cumbrian minnows have won their last three, all with a clean sheet kept intact, and this has given them belief that they will stay in the EFL. Across the last 14 Barrow games there have been two goals or less on 12 occasions. Again, it’s all about solidity with Rob Kelly’s men.
Crawley Town, led by the irrepressible John Yems, are by nature a more attacking outfit, but since selling star striker Max Watters in January the goals have dried up a bit for them.
Eight of their last 11 fixtures (featuring a mixed bag of results) have also had 0, 1 or 2 goals only.
You will be offered around 1.73 by Matchbook for Under 2.5 goals at Holker Street, which may well be worth a nibble but the double is a different proposition price-wise.
If you’re up for following me in there is currently 2.85 on the table for both matches going Under 2.5.
Fleetwood Have The Form To See Off Sheridan’s Struggling Swindon
Simon Grayson and John Sheridan briefly crossed paths as Leeds United players back in the late ’80s and they reunite this weekend as managers with completely contrasting emotions.
Fleetwood Town’s new gaffer is 51-year-old Grayson, a wily coach that has quickly transformed the Cod Army into a 3-5-2 side that’s an incredibly tough nut to crack.
Losing just two of his first 11 games in charge at Highbury (winning four of the last five) life feels pretty good for Grayson and his players right now. Last month it looked like they’d be heading early to the nearby Fylde Coast beach with a nondescript mid-table finish but Graysons troops are suddenly just five points off the play-off positions.
Fleetwood have their eye on that prize now and will view this weekend’s home game as a must-win.
Poor old John Sheridan wasn’t sure if he’d make it as far as Saturday with Swindon Town.
After last weekend’s 3-1 capitulation at home to Gillingham, their fourth straight loss and ninth defeat since the turn of the year, the 56-year-old threatened to walk.
Sick of his players and their lack of personal responsibility Sheridan took a few days off to consider his position, but he’s back in the hot seat now and no doubt hoping to see a reaction.
Swindon always have a goal in them, but they can’t defend for toffee. They have kept two clean sheets in 35 games this term, and none of those have been away from home.
On the road, they concede more than two goals a game, the worst record in League 1.
All things considered, you have to fancy Fleetwood Town in this one.
At 1.8 they are strong favourites to keep up their momentum.
- Bolton Wanderers v Walsall & Barrow v Crawley Town Under 2.5 Double 2.85
- Fleetwood Town to beat Swindon Town 1.8
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