Friday, 15 April 2011

Make or Break Time For Many Clubs

We have reached that point in the season when its make or break time for many. A defeat could mathematically rule teams out of the promotion or play off fight, a win could prounce themselves as the late challengers. At the foot of the tables it the same, a defeat could end hopes of survival, a win couls set up a nerve wrecking end to the season.

The leagues are almost wrapped up now, Man United seem set for another Premier League crown, QPR look likely winners of the Championship. The first team to be promoted this season are Brighton, again they look solid to take the League 1 crown and Chesterfield sit handily in League 2. I can confirm that those 4 teams were available as an accumulator of 18/1 on New Years day so I'm pretty hopeful of collecting on that bet!

I am currently in the process of building a stats database, hopefully it will be perfected for the start of next season, it allows me to analyse all league matches since 2002/03 for all 4 leagues. It provides a mass of stats at the touch of a button so I can see current form, head to head form, goals scored for that all important goal crazy bet!

Quickly looking at the Stats I see that Burton are in real danger now of going down from League 2. They have lost their last 4 games and drew the other of 5 away 0-0 at Stockport! This shows no form at all. At home things aren't much better, 1 win and 2 draws in 5 including that 1-5 defeat to Barnet a couple of weeks ago. Barnet themselves have managed 2 away wins in 5 and drawn 1 and at home they have won 2 and drawn 2, they also played teams such as Crewe, Chesterfield and Lincoln without defeat. Burton are available at 9/4 to go down, in a 2 horse race where Burton only have 1 game in hand is a very interesting proposition. Barnet were galvanised by Martin Allen for a couple of weeks but he has since moved on to Notts County. I might bet half a stake on Burton to go down at that price.

In League 1 its almost certain that Plymouth will be leaving, hopefully as a relegated club and not one that is in liquidation. I understand that Peter Risdale is on Talksport this morning so that will make an interesting listen. It seems the bookies feel that Swindon and Bristol Rovers will also fall down a league leaving 1 place left to fight for with Notts County, Dagenham & Redbridge and Walsall the likely 3 teams attempting to avoid that position. Walsall are favourites to drop of those 3, althogh Notts County occupy the slot at present but have recently brought in the fabled Martin Allen to sort them out! It could be too late and at 6/5 maybe a double with Burton is a possible bet!

So to the weekend selections, I had some restbite last week with a second in the Grand National but I have nothing to back me up thyis week so hopefully the new stats application will start to payback the hours I have sunk into it!

First into the hotseat this week are Charlton and Huddersfield. Charlton were recharged under Chris Powell earlier in the season but things have gon a bit flat, they have fallen out of contention for a playoff birth and find themselves stranded in mid table. Their home form is not great although they did win last timeo ut against Orient 3-1 which eneded a run of 5 games at home without a win. Huddersfield on the other hand are unbeaten away in tehir last 10 games a run that stretches back to defeat at Southampton in December. Huddersfield lie in 3rd place on goal difference to second placed Southampton. I always feel at this time of the year its better to bet on the teams with something to play for rather than the ones with nothing to look forward to other than the summer break!
Huddersfield to win 5/4.

Staying in League 1 we have surprise package Rochdale. Ever since Rochdale won away at Southampton back at the start of the season I have been watching them carefully. This week they beat Southampton at home at a price of 11/4 which was most welcome, and now have a shot at the play offs. They are at home to Cup Finalists Brentford, another team with little hope of bridging the gap to the play off picture. Brentford have only won 2 away games in 10 and both of those wins came at clubs stranded in the middle of the league. Rochdale have won 3 of their last 4, drawing the other 2-2 with high flyers Brighton. Rochdale have had a great run in their first season in League 1 and hopefully they can go on and get a play off slot.
4/5 Rochdale home win.

In the Championship Leeds welcome Watford to Elland Road. Watford were play off contenders for some of the season but have slipped south in recent weeks. Leeds have been on the edge of things for most of the season and currently occupy the last slot, a position they will be keen not to give up. Leeds are high scorers at home, they drew 0-0 with Ipswich recently but also had wins of 4-1 and 5-2 and draws of 2-2 and 3-3 to go with the 0-0! Watford have won once away in 5, losing the last 2 and drawing the others 1-1. I think its a day for Leeds to push on to the play offs so its Leeds to win

4/6 Leeds.

Finally in League 2 Torquay play Port Vale. Torquay are pushing hard for a play off spot and have won their last 4 games, before that they drew with Rotherham. In that time they have only conceded 1 goal. Port Vale however have lost their last 2 away games to 0 and at home have only won once in 5. So Port Vale, another team that were looking likely promotion candidates are slowly slipping to a position of neither up nor down!
5/6 for Torquay to keep the pressure on at the top of the play off picture.

Some other interesting options for the weekend - Scunthorpe won at home to QPR last week (against my bet) at odds of 6/1. This week they go to Crystal Palace, Scunthorpe have only scored once in 10 away games losing them all! I was tempted by Scunthorpe but at 100/30 the price was a bit short for me!
In the Premiership Birmingham play Sunderland. The Black Cats were once looking for a Europa Cup place but since selling Darren Bent haven't had anything to cheer! Sunderland havent won since beating Blackppol away on 22 January! They have to break that run at some point and at 11/4 it might be tomorrow!

The yankee pays £60 and the accumulator will pay £123 or thereabouts!

check out details for next season here

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martin – well I may not have had a ‘full house’ from my footie bets last week, but backing the first two each way in the National made up for that disappointment. As you say, it is make or break for clubs going in to mid-April and all of the home teams I have selected this week have something to play for still. You will note that I have also plumped for Rochdale.

    Of course there are a few sides that have nothing to play for, the mighty Chelski arguably being one of them after their exit from the Champions League this week. I note that with seven games to go, you can still get 4-1 on Fernando Torres not to score for them this season. I didn’t think those odds were too bad considering his pedigree. Maybe worth a tenner and some crossed fingers that Drogba plays instead of him for the remaining fixtures?

    Back to tomorrow though and the best of luck with your selections Martin. Here’s my choices:

    Hull v Doncaster (home win 3/4)

    It’s been a long time since Donny won a league game at Hull – 61 years to be exact. In fact, whilst the stats may not quite point to an odds on home win here, I have a feeling that it’s make or break time for City. Their home form has not been great, yet they are still only four points outside the Play-offs, this despite only scoring a paltry 15 goals at home. Time to cut loose and go for broke methinks, so Donny might just have to baton down the hatches. Home win.

    Rochdale v Brentford (home win 4/5)

    Every side comes up against its ‘bogey team’ every now and again and this match-up pitches Rochdale against their nemesis. ‘Dale have only beaten Brentford at home once in 14 attempts down the years, yet they will not have a better chance to double that winning record than tomorrow afternoon. This season represents easily the most successful in their history and they have hit the heady heights of sixth in League One. To carry on that push, they need to beat the likes of Brentford, who may be suffering a Wembley hang-over at the moment having lost out to Carlisle. Another home win.

    Crewe v Lincoln (home win 8/13)

    If you have been following this blog over the course of the season, you will know that Crewe have been one of my favourite, and most successful, picks. Their home form is easily as good as any of the top sides in the league, however their mid-table position is a result of a poor away record. The history book says that they do not have the greatest of records at home to City, but I think they will outscore their opponents in this one, probably by at least 2 clear goals. Home win.

    Rotherham v Hereford (home win 8/11)

    Take away the 6 goals from an emphatic victory over the Bulls in the 88/89 season, and Rotherham have only achieved another three in the other five home encounters. They enter this game just outside the Play-offs and similarly to Hull in my first bet, need to get on track now if they are to secure a top spot over the coming weeks. On win in their last eight tells the tale – an awful run at the wrong time, yet they have shown that they can score goals and the one victory was by putting six past a hapless Lincoln. The poor home has to change at some stage, so I think it will be tomorrow.

    The £1 Yankee pays £47.03, which would be most welcome!