A second consecutive frustrating week, with an injury-time winner for Stoke losing our Wigan double chance selection, and a late equaliser for Birmingham downing another. However, the top selection of the week eased home, being AFC Wimbledon to win to nil at odds of around 4/1, making it a winning week overall, with 2 of 5 selections winning.
This week sees the 2nd round of the FA cup take precedence over the lower leagues again. As was mentioned in the weekend of the 1st round, although cup games often are more entertaining for a neutral to watch, the one-off games are very tricky to analyse and predict. So we will skip over those this week.
Saturday does not have the most enticing list of fixtures for punters to get stuck in to, with the favourite in 4 of the 7 matches being available at less than 2/5 (1.4). Of those matches, the main one which appeals in Tottenham vs Bournemouth. Tottenham have recently appointed Jose Mourinho as manager. Although they have won their first 2 matches against West Ham and Olympiakos, they look vulnerable defensively. They have conceded twice in both games, and Bournemouth could pose a more significant threat than either of those teams.
However, Bournemouth’s away form has been below average in recent weeks. They have only taken a point and scored a single goal from trips to Arsenal, Watford and Newcastle. As such, it is a legitimate question as to whether they can generate enough going forwards to trouble Tottenham’s defence. Although there is a small amount of value in backing the double chance at 2/1 (3.0), this is not taken as a selection.
The main match with value in the odds is at Turf Moor, where Burnley host Crystal Palace. Burnley sit comfortably in 7th, enjoying another good season. Their home form is typically strong, gaining 4 of their 5 wins at Turf Moor. Their 2 defeats at home this season were to Liverpool and Chelsea, with both teams sat comfortably within the top 4. Their 4 wins were all against teams currently placed in the bottom 5. Crucially, they did not concede a goal in any of those wins.
Meanwhile, their visitors are coming off a brutal stretch of fixtures, where they played the current top 4 over 5 games (with their 5th game away at Arsenal). As expected, they only accrued 1 point from those 5 fixtures, at the Emirates. However, in 3 of their 6 away games this season, they have been held without a goal. This is in addition to their goals scored tally of 11 this season is joint second lowest in the entire league.
Crystal Palace fits the type of team that Burnley has had no trouble seeing off this year, being a low scoring team towards the relegation zone. With Burnley to win to nil available at 11/4 (3.75), this is taken as the first selection.
The 4 matches on Sunday feature 4 odds on favourites. The main game which catches the eye is Wolverhampton vs Sheffield United. Both teams are in red hot form, with Wolverhampton unbeaten in 8 and Sheffield United unbeaten in 6. Wolverhampton has only lost to Chelsea at Molineux. Sheffield United are unbeaten away from home this year, with 1 win and 5 draws.
The main unknown factor here is the Europa League. Wolverhampton secured their knockout place in the Europa League with a 3-3 draw in Portugal on Thursday. However, Wolverhampton has scored in all 6 of their home matches this season, with both teams scoring in 5. Sheffield United have scored in 5 of their away games, with both sides scoring in 4. Given both teams tendencies to attack, and both teams results this season, it would be no surprise to see both teams score in the match. BTTS is available at 1/1 (2.0) and represents excellent value.
2 selections come from the Championship this week, with the first coming from the DW Stadium, where Wigan Athletic host Reading. Wigan sit in the relegation zone, with 16 points from their 18 games. They have been noticeably stronger at home, where 13 of their points have been gained. Their home games are noticeably tight as well, with only 17 goals in those 8 games. Wigan have not won in their last 6, but have played a challenging run of opponents during that time frame.
Reading sit 4 places higher than Wigan in the table, but are only 2 points better off. They have played a game less than Wigan. Reading saw an uptick in form following the appointment of Mark Bowen, with 3 wins and a draw. Crucially, all 3 victories were at the Madejski Stadium. Their form away from home has been below average; they have won only 1 of their 8 fixtures, and have failed to score in 3 of the 8.
Ultimately, this is expected to an edgy and nervy game, with neither team wanting to make the big mistake which could decide the game. Given the nature of Wigan’s home matches and Reading’s troubles in generating goals away from home, it would be no surprise to see Wigan edge this without conceding. This is available to be backed at 10/3 (4.33) and is put forward as a selection.
The second comes from Griffin Park, where Brentford host Luton. Brentford have been in excellent form, sitting in 8th and winning 4 of their last 6 matches overall. They have only lost once at home in their previous 6 games, and have looked strong all season.
They host Luton Town on Saturday. While Luton has made a commendable start to the season following successive promotions, they have struggled of late. Although they beat Charlton during the midweek fixtures, they have lost their last 4 away games, conceding 10 goals. It would be no surprise to see them struggle and Brentford are taken to win by more than 1 goal (-1 handicap) at odds of 11/8.
The prices quoted in the analysis are from Sportingbet. Sportingbet is the world’s leading Sports betting, Casino, Poker and Games provider. Sign up today with this link to get a risk free £10 bet. As always, the prices quoted in the article were correct at the time of writing and may have fluctuated since.
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