Going to take the briefest of looks at two domestic games tonight, in a very crowded midweek programme.
Sometimes you have to be prepared to change your opinion about teams and I feel that is the case with Accrington Stanley in Division 2, whom I have been underestimating a little. They have continued to play well, especially against the better teams on the road, winning at Shrewsbury, Notts County, Rochdale and Bury, amongst others. That is a four timer that I am safe in saying no other club will come close to this season, with those clubs only losing eleven homes games between them so far.
Stanley also out played Fulham for 45 minutes in the FA Cup and are not just getting results, but putting in a performance and creating an enormous number of goal scoring opportunities, including 25 in the 3-2 home win over Morecambe at the weekend, 13 of which on target. They currently lie in 8th place, just three points outside the playoff picture with 3 and 4 games in hand respectively over the two clubs directly above them in the table.
This is a fantastic achievement, especially considering that Stanley are operating on a shoestring budget, have not finished higher than 16th in their three seasons since returning to the Football League and lost four of their opening five starts this season. In addition to collecting an average of two points a game since then, boss John Coleman also guided them into the FA Cup 4th round and the Johnstone's Paint area semi-finals, whilst at the same time playing a number of mid season friendly fundraising matches. Now that they have only the league to focus on, we might get to see exactly how good they have become.
Three points this evening might well be enough to take them into a playoff spot and they are not going to travel anywhere at present with an inferiority complex and will fancy their chances at Northampton, who seem happier on the road and are struggling for goals at Sixfields with just 16 all season, only Bournemouth outside of the bottom five have managed fewer. They have notched only seven in their last eight league starts here, claiming more than a single goal just once and those two came against Crewe, who see it as their god given duty to concede as many as possible !
Don't get me wrong, Town are an improving side and might well also get into the post season picture, but they seem more comfortable when their opponents are making the running and with Stanley winning seven from eight and only having lost to Fulham , Leeds and onfire Bury in three months, they look good value getting a handicap start.
OK, that was not quite as brief as planned, but this will be, I also like goals in the Sheffield Wednesday-Blackpool Championship fixture. The hosts are playing with renewed confidence under Alan Irvine and were very unfortunate to come away from the City Ground pointless on saturday, after outplaying Forest for long periods. They have scored or conceded two or more in their last ten starts with eight ending "over" .
Pool's results have tailed off a bit, but they are creating plenty and were also unlucky to lose at home to Leicester at the weekend. They have scored and conceded in each of their last eight starts and are "over" in 11 of their last 15 and will be looking for all three points to take them back into playoff contention. Hard not to see both scoring and three goals plus looks firmly on the cards.
6.5 points Accrington Stanley +1/4 ball asian line.
6.5 points "over" 2.5 goals Sheffield Wednesday-Blackpool.