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Match Previews

SkyBet League Two betting preview

13 February 2015

Burton Albion v Oxford United

High-flying Burton were held at home by AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night and are 5/6 favourites as they look to recapture the winning thread in Sky Bet League 2 against Oxford on Saturday. The O's suffered a 1-0 defeat at Accrington in midweek and find themselves 17th in the standings ahead of this weekend’s round of games. Michael Appleton’s side are 3/1 to claim victory at the Pirelli Stadium and the draw can be backed at 5/2. Burton have only conceded once in their last three outings and are 15/8 to win to nil, while a 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 home victory can be backed at a combined price of 13/8. Oxford are 11/8 to score once, 9/2 to score twice and 6/5 to draw a blank against Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Brewers.

Top tip: Under 1.5 goals at 7/4.

Cheltenham Town v Bury

Marginally preferred in the sponsors’ betting at 21/10, Cheltenham come into Saturday’s Sky Bet League 2 clash with Bury on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Southend United on Tuesday evening. That was the Robins’ third defeat on the bounce, extending a winless run that goes back to the start of January, and Bury are 6/5 to inflict more misery on the Whaddon Road outfit. The home win is priced at 21/10 and it’s 9/4 against the draw, with 1-1 topping the correct score market at 9/2. Bury have only scored more than once in one of their last seven games, drawing 0-0 at Stevenage in midweek, and Cheltenham can be backed at 3/1 to prevail by 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1. With neither sides prolific scorers, goals could be at a premium in this one and it’s no surprise to see under 2.5 chalked up at 8/13, with under 1.5 also worthy of a second glance at 7/4.

Top tip: Under 2.5 goals at 8/13.

Hartlepool United v Stevenage

Hartlepool are 21/10 to pick up their second Sky Bet League 2 victory in a week when they play host to Stevenage on Saturday. Town’s 1-0 home win over Northampton Town on Tuesday night was just their sixth win in what has been a difficult season so far and a repeat 1-0 triumph for the bottom side is priced at 13/2. Tenth-placed Stevenage, who have an impressive 12 victories to their name this term, are 23/20 to take all three points from the trip to Victoria Park following their midweek 0-0 draw at home to Bury. The Boro have drawn four times on the road in the current campaign and it’s 11/5 for this one to end all square, with 1-1 considered the most likely correct score at 9/2. Both clubs have been finding goals hard to come by, with Stevenage failing to hit the target in their last three, and no goals in the game is a 13/2 chance, while under 2.5 goals is 4/7. In contrast, those expecting a goal frenzy will be richly rewarded – you can have 28/1 that both teams score in both halves!

Top tip: Hartlepool to win 1-0 at 13/2.

Luton Town v Carlisle United

Luton are odds-on favourites at 4/6 with Football League sponsors Sky Bet to win their home clash with Carlisle on Saturday. The Cumbrian visitors, who sit just four points clear of the relegation zone, are 4/1 outsiders to claim victory after their bid for a third straight win came unstuck with a 2-1 home defeat to Shrewsbury on Tuesday night. Luton picked up a midweek point following a 2-2 draw with York and go into the weekend’s match in the thick of the play-off places having gone unbeaten in League 2 since a 3-0 defeat at Morecambe in mid-December. Mark Cullen hit a brace for the Hatters on Tuesday and John Still’s side, whose main emphasis has been on keeping things tight at the back, are 13/8 to beat Carlisle to nil. The Blues haven’t registered a draw in their last six games, winning three and losing three in that sequence, so quotes of 5/2 about this one ending level are unlikely to prove too popular.

Top tip: Luton to be leading at half-time at 5/4.

Mansfield Town v Northampton Town

Mansfield’s inconsistent Sky Bet League 2 form continued on Tuesday night when they were beaten 2-1 by Morecambe and The Stags are 9/5 to hit back with a win over Northampton on Saturday. Adam Murray’s men have only scored three times in their last four games and come up against a Northampton side whose recent run of five wins in their last six has seen them creep into the play-off picture. Chris Wilder’s Cobblers missed out on the perfect six when suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Hartlepool in midweek, the first time they had failed to find the net since a 2-0 loss at Southend at the end of November. Sky Bet make Northampton 7/5 favourites as they look to regain their momentum and the draw is a 9/4 chance.

Top tip: Northampton to win 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 at 17/2.

Plymouth Argyle v Cambridge United

Plymouth are a shade of odds-against at 21/20 as they look to consolidate their place in the Sky Bet League 2 play-offs with a home clash against Cambridge on Saturday. The Pilgrims’ 2-0 triumph over Wycombe in midweek made it two wins on the bounce for John Sheridan’s side after a disappointing defeat to Hartlepool late last month and they are 9/4 to be ahead at half-time and full-time here – as they were in their latest couple of outings. Mid-table Cambridge haven’t found things easy in the league since holding Manchester United to a remarkable draw in the FA Cup and let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 at Exeter on Tuesday. Richard Money’s team are priced at 12/5 to claim their 11th success of the season, while the draw can be backed at 23/10.

Top tip: Plymouth to score exactly two goals at 11/4.

Portsmouth v Exeter City

Pompey have kept things tight recently with three clean sheets on the bounce. Two of those games brought only a point from goalless draws, but they’re 23/20 to record a second successive home win here. Exeter are 12/5, with the draw available 9/4. That’s a live runner; Portsmouth have drawn five of their last nine and Exeter three of their last four. While goals have been scarce in Portsmouth’s recent games – just one in the last three – that’s not been the case for Exeter. Both teams have scored in seven of the Grecians’ last eight matches. All in all, an interesting clash.

 

Top tip: Back the draw at 9/4.

 

Shrewsbury Town v AFC Wimbledon

 

Top-of-the-table Shrewsbury look to keep their promotion push rumbling on with victory over the Dons, who themselves need points to stay in the play-off picture.  The bad news for the Dons is that Shrewsbury (priced at 4/7 to win) have a superb home record with 12 wins and three draws at New Meadow. The only defeat they’ve suffered there all season was a 2-1 defeat to finalists Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. Wimbledon, though, have reasonable form on the road with two wins and two draws – including at promotion-chasing Burton on Tuesday – from their last four games. The Dons are 5/1, with the draw 11/4. They can score goals too, with their midweek goalless draw being their first blank since before Christmas.

 

Top tip: Back the draw at 11/4.

 

Southend United v Accrington Stanley

 

Southend are flying at the moment, on a 10-match unbeaten run and with four wins in their last five lifting them to fourth in the table and right into the automatic promotion picture – it’s now odds-on at 4/5 with the sponsors that they go up to Sky Bet League 1 at the end of this season. The Shrimpers are 4/7 to pick up another three points at Roots Hall against Accrington Stanley (5/1) with the draw priced at 11/4. Accrington snapped a five-match losing streak with Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over Oxford but face another tough test here. Three of Stanley’s last four matches have ended 1-0 while, under 2.5 goals would’ve collected in each of Southend’s last three. That looks worth a bet here, while supporters of the home side might consider taking the 2/1 that they win but that under 2.5 goals are scored.

 

Top tip: Under 2.5 goals at 4/6.

 

Wycombe Wanderers v Newport County

 

Promotion-chasing Wycombe bid to bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat to Plymouth against Newport County on Saturday, and they’re even-money shots to collect all three points, with County 11/4 and the draw 23/10. Newport followed a four-match winning run with a four-match losing run before snapping those streaks with a midweek draw against Tranmere. Newport remain firmly in the promotion shake-up – they’re 11/2 to go up, compared to Wycombe’s 8/11 quote – but need to return to winning ways soon. Both teams have scored in only one of Wycombe’s last eight and two of Newport’s last eight. That points to an obvious bet in this encounter.

 

Top tip: One or both teams not to score at 8/11.

 

York City v Tranmere Rovers

 

A crucial clash at Bootham Crescent in the serach for valuable points at the bottom of the table as 23rd-placed York host Tranmere, who are two points and three places above the Minstermen in the srandings. York are 13/10 to pick up a win that would see them leapfrog the Rovers and climb out of the bottom two, while the visitors are 21/10 to get the three points that would see them move further clear. The draw is 9/4. York will take heart from a midweek 2-2 draw at Luton – although they had led 2-0 in that one – but it would be no surprise to see a tense encounter end all square here, as it did when the two sides met at Prenton Park earlier in the season.

 

Top tip: Back the draw at 9/4.

 

Sunday:

 

Morecambe v Dagenham & Redbridge

 

Sunday’s Sky Bet League 2 pits mid-table Morecambe against Dagenham & Redbridge, who still need a few more wins to remove any fear of relegation. The hosts are 23/20 favourites for this one, with Dagenham 5/2 and the draw 11/5. Victory for Morecambe would keep them on the periphery of the play-off picture. Having gone through January both unbeaten and without a win – drawing all five of their League 2 engagements – they’ve changed that in February having already registered a win and a defeat in their two games. Both teams have scored in their last five games – three 1-1 draws plus a victory and defeat by 2-1 scorelines.

 

Top tip: Both teams to score at even-money.

 

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