The consecutive clean sweep is over but Adrian Clarke still turned a profit last weekend bringing him to 14-4 (77%) on the season with his Matchbook Insights picks. The EFL King has two more selections for the weekend!
The clean sweep run is over! Well played Sunderland last weekend (dammit) but 2 out of 3 winners did keep us in profit I am pleased to say. Hopefully, we can build on this season’s 77% strike rate with a couple more successful goals angles time around…
Jumping On The Burton Albion BTTS Bus
Sometimes a stat jumps off the page that you have to act on and that’s the case with my League One pick from Saturday’s programme.
Bottom-of-the-table Burton Albion entertain Doncaster Rovers at the Pirelli Stadium in a match most neutrals will expect the visitors to win.
Personally, I’m not too fussed about the result. This one is all about both teams scoring!
Jake Buxton’s Brewers are the BTTS Kings in 2020-21 with a whopping 83% of their matches featuring no clean sheet for either side.
That means just three of their 18 contests have failed to see both teams scoring. It’s quite remarkable really.
Still waiting for their shut out the visit of attack-minded Doncaster Rovers (the joint second highest scorers in the division) could spell even more trouble for them at the back.
Darren Moore’s men are adventurous by nature so I do envisage they’ll be very positive in their approach against a team propping up the rest.
Who’s been involved in the second-most BTTS affairs?
Yep, it’s Rovers with 12 of 16 (75%) clicking for those that backed it.
I am sure former centre back Moore will be preaching the importance of a clean sheet mentality to his players, but right now pulling them off is a rarity. Six of their last seven matches have seen both teams score – and if you want to stretch that run a little further it extends to nine from 11 too.
Donny are the better side so at 2.2 for the win they are priced up quite favorably but this won’t be attack versus defence for 90 minutes.
The hosts had been unbeaten in four prior to a 2-1 loss at Ipswich Town in midweek and their manager has promised to continue playing for wins.
In their predicament draws won’t do; Burton have to go for it.
Football is football so nothing is ever a cert but the data suggests this is a match for BTTS to land.
Don’t Expect Too Much Net-Bulging At The New Lawn
A couple of League Two’s strongest outfits collide in the Cotswolds this weekend when Forest Green Rovers host Carlisle United.
The Cumbrians make the trip on the back of four consecutive victories while Mark Cooper’s men are unbeaten in six. With both very much eyeing up automatic promotion this season they know this could be a pivotal afternoon.
For that reason I expect plenty of mutual respect, nerves to be jangling and a shared determination not to lose.
It feels like a low-scoring encounter is in prospect.
Chris Beech’s Carlisle United are incredibly solid.
Since shipping three at Cambridge United on the opening day, they have let in just five goals in eight League Two away games.
Rhys Bennett and Aaron Hayden have formed a quality centre back partnership in front of keeper Paul Farman, who has been incredibly well protected. In 18 contests the Carlisle number one has been asked to make just 21 saves! That is the lowest in the division by ten.
Forest Green are not an especially charitable team either, conceding just 15 all season which is currently the second-best defensive record.
They have scored in every home game, but five of their eight outings at The New Lawn have dipped under 2.5 goals.
This clash pits two excellent midfield units against one another.
The home side has Ebou Adams, Carl Winchester (or Dan Sweeney) and Odin Bailey, and their match up with Jon Mellish, Joe Riley and Callum Guy is going to be very tasty indeed.
Could they cancel one another out?
We have seen that type of thing happen frequently in key matches down the years haven’t we…
It has to be ‘Unders’ as the play, but what you opt for will be dependent on your own risk strategies.
Carlisle matches on the road average 1.67 goals (League Two’s lowest) so if you are feeling brave Under 2 goals is appealing at 2.27.
The most cautious gamble would be Under 2.5 goals at 1.68 or you may want to land on something in between.
My selection is in that halfway house by taking Under 2.25 goals on the Asian Handicap (getting your half your stake back if 2 goals are scored) and that comes out at 1.875.
These two teams boast enough firepower and quality to score goals but there are a lot of pointers that indicate this will be tight.
No matter what happens on Saturday I’ll be surprised if they aren’t in the shake-up for promotion in April and May.
- Burton Albion v Doncaster Rovers BTTS 1.75
- Forest Green Rovers v Carlisle United Under 2.25 goals on Asian Handicap 1.89