Adrian Clarke was 4/4 with his debut EFL tipping piece last weekend and he’s looking to keep the good times rolling this week with another three selections!
Classy Canaries should have far too much for Wycombe
While it’s an outstanding achievement for Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe Wanderers to be plying their trade in the Championship, it’s already beginning to feel like a stretch too far.
Six straight defeats, scoring just once in the process (that from an embarrassing goalkeeping gaffe!) must have sucked the fun out of a dressing room noted for its’ remarkable spirit and togetherness under their rock-loving boss, ‘Wild Thing’.
Wycombe should take the positives from a narrow and much improved 1-0 loss to Reading on Tuesday night, but in their own minds, they must be thinking this is going to be a long, long, long, long season.
It doesn’t get any easier for them I’m afraid.
A trip to Norwich City lies ahead this Saturday, and I can’t help but think it could be a torturous experience for the Chairboys.
I watched Daniel Farke’s men beat Birmingham City 1-0 in midweek, registering 23 shots during an extremely dominant performance.
Transfer window rebels Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell were handed back the keys to Norwich’s attacking midfield department – and together they regularly unlocked an organised Blues back five.
Out wide full backs Max Aarons and Xavi Quintilla produced quality deliveries, in the heart of the engine room Lukas Rupp and Oliver Skipp ran the show, and in Buendia and Cantwell they have two creators who are good enough for the top flight.
Even with Teemu Pukki and Jordan Hugill below par they still had way too much for Birmingham City, who are stronger in every department than the newly promoted Chairboys.
If the fine margins had gone Norwich’s way they would have dished out an absolute hiding.
This season’s stats tell us plenty.
The Canaries have had more shots per match (16.7) than any other Championship side with 5.2 of those hitting the target, ranking them second.
Ainsworth’s Wycombe have faced 15.2 shots per game (the highest tally) and at the other end they’ve created the second-fewest opportunities (8.5 a game).
Farke’s men will monopolize possession – and at times they will be frustrated I’m sure – but this has the look of a contest that will be one-way traffic in the extreme.
Wycombe are fighters and will give anybody a test, but talent-wise there is a gulf in class; these two squads shouldn’t really be in the same division.
How to bet this one:
You won’t get rich backing Norwich City for the win (1.3) but I am drawn to the hosts on the handicap markets.
You can take Norwich City at 1.920 on -1.5 goals in the Asian Handicap or if you’d rather play it safe Matchbook are offering 1.65 for Norwich on the -1.0 / -1.5 goal line.
I believe they are too strong, too classy, too well oiled for Wycombe to avoid an avalanche of sorts.
I’m backing Norwich to win with something to spare.
Predicting goals in the West-ish derby
Oxford United and Swindon Town lie 30 miles apart and sit in different counties but they’ve shared a fierce footballing rivalry that dates back to the 1970s.
Crowd trouble has marred some of their previous encounters but any skirmishes between fans of these two bitter enemies will have to be done online this time around – which may be no bad thing.
The standout betting selection has to be goals because Oxford and Swindon just don’t have defences you can trust.
Injury problems haven’t helped but without a League One clean sheet between them so far this season it’s easy to see why BTTS has been priced up at about 1.75.
Karl Robinson’s men will be boosted by a 3-2 win at home to MK Dons in midweek, but it came at a cost as they lost centre back Rob Atkinson to injury. Not ideal.
Therefore attack will likely be the best form of defence in this encounter.
Swindon themselves are a high tempo attack-minded side under Richie Wellens but they cross the Wiltshire/Oxfordshire border on the back of four successive defeats.
Rest assured they will be extremely pumped up to ensure they don’t make it an unwanted five.
Oxford matches have spawned an average of 3.33 goals this term (the highest in League One) with Swindon just behind on 3.14 (ranked 3rd).
In fact, over half of the home side’s matches have ended with +3.5 goals.
The likes of Matty Taylor, James Henry and exciting newcomer Olamide Shodipo are sure to ask big questions of a Robins rearguard that has leaked at least two goals in five of their last six outings.
And Swindon’s Brett Pitman, Jonny Smith, Jack Payne and Diallang Jaiyesimi have talent and goals in them too.
I’d be looking at over 2.5 goals (1.91) or going one step further with a 2.5/3.0 goal line on the Asian Handicap at 2.1.
It might be played out in front of empty stands but I don’t envisage this being a sterile spectacle.
- Norwich City -1.5 goals Asian Handicap – 1.920
- Oxford-Swindon Over 2.5 goals at 1.91
- Oxford-Swindon BTTS – 1.75