An excellent week last week with 4 of the selections winning. This week saw 2 more Premier League clubs part company with their managers, notable wins for Newcastle and Brighton on Thursday and Liverpool continue their march to the title. On to this week’s analysis and selections.
The main match to catch the eye is at Tottenham, who host Burnley. Tottenham are currently 4/11 (1.36) favourites for this. Tottenham have made a decent start on paper under Jose Mourinho, winning their first 2 league games before losing 2-1 at Manchester United on Wednesday. However, they have conceded 2 goals in each game, including a Champions League contest at home to Olympiakos.
At home, they have had good results this season, winning 4 of their 7 matches. However, all their opponents sit below them in the table, except for Crystal Palace, who sit one place above. This shows their home fixtures have been relatively benign compared to average, and to fail to win 3 of them shows a weakness.
Burnley have lost 3 of their matches away from Turf Moor this season, and outside of one poor performance at Sheffield United, they have been competitive in 6 of these 7. Given Tottenham’s edginess in defence, it is likely that Burnley will score, and there is good value at 2/1 for them to avoid defeat as a double chance bet.
A second selection from the Premiership comes from Vicarage Road, where Watford host Crystal Palace. It is interesting to note that both teams have struggled to score this season. Watford have scored 4 in 7 home games, while Crystal Palace have scored 8 in 7 away matches. Although the returns are not enormous, it is worth considering selecting under 2.5 goals as a selection at 4/6.
After winning their first 2 matches under new manager Michael O’Neill, Stoke have lost their last 2. On Saturday, they travel to Hull City. Stoke have struggled on the road this season, only avoiding defeat in 3 of their 9 matches. Last time out, they lost 1-0 to Cardiff.
Hull sit in mid-table, with 26 points from their 19 games. They have faced a challenging home schedule of late, with their last 6 matches all against teams with at least 25 points. However, they have won 3 of these, including an impressive 4-0 victory over Preston. Despite the change in manager, Stoke should be a more straightforward proposition for Hull than any of their previous 6 visitors.
Hull can be backed at 6/4 for this, and are excellent value to take the 3 points.
Coventry currently sits 5th in League One, with 30 points from their 18 games. They host 2nd place Ipswich on Saturday at their temporary home at St Andrews. An unusual oddity of Coventry’s position is they have not won away from home this season; all 7 of their wins have come at home. A check of the fixtures gives a good indication of the reasons. Of their 10 home opponents, none of them currently sit in above 7th in League One. Away from home, they have faced a much trickier slate of games, with all but 2 fixtures against top-half teams.
Ipswich brings excellent away form into this matchup, with 7 wins and a draw from 9 matches on the road. Similar to Coventry, they have faced a more manageable schedule of teams on the road; 6 of the 9 teams they have visited are in the bottom half. However, they have won 2 and drawn 1 of those matches, proving they can compete and beat the best teams the division has to offer.
Overall, Coventry are favourites for this, with Ipswich available at 21/10. This is expected to be a very close game, with a slight edge to the visitors. Based on the value available in the price, Ipswich is put forward as a selection.
Swindon travel to managerless Grimsby to take on the Shrimpers. Swindon are in red hot form at the moment, having won their last 5 League Two matches. It will be a major surprise if they don’t secure a return to League One at the end of the season. Their away form has been excellent, with 5 wins and 2 draws from 9 away matches. They have won their last 2 away games.
Grimsby have struggled of late, especially at Blundell Park. The only goal they have scored in their last 5 home matches was in a 1-0 win against crisis-hit Macclesfield. They have lost 3 of their last 5 home matches. They have only scored 1 goal in their prior 6 League Two games, being a late consolation at Stevenage.
It is unlikely that Grimsby can keep face with a league-leading Swindon attack, who have scored the most goals this season. As such, there is good value at 13/10 on Swindon extending their winning run to 6.
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