Saturday, September 03, 2011


Starting in League 1 , Scunthorpe United did us a favour in midweek with a relatively easy 2-0 defeat of Hartlepool United ( see below) , I think they will have taken a lot of confidence out of that, their first league win of the campaign and now that they have finally kept a cleansheet, I expect them to push on and they are a team I want to keep on the right side of for a couple of weeks. Their forward play has been really good, they are a ball playing side as you would expect from an Alan Knill coached team and they have enjoyed a lot of possession and been creating plenty of goal scoring chances, 44 on target, 39 off target and hitting the woodwork four times, all of which are division high totals.

They are averaging 7.2 attempts per start more than Colchester United which is huge, the visitors form has been very up and down, but one consistent has been their failure to keep a cleansheet, conceding in all seven starts, at an average of 2.14 per game. Hosts were the busier ahead of deadline day signing French midfielder Damien Mozika from Bury ( Knill's fomer club) and taking young Everton reserve defender Shane Duffy on a one-month loan. Duffy is very promising and should do well, United spent a six figure fee for Mozika ( who is very easy to spot on the field... see photo) who attracted interest from several clubs. 1.5 units Scunthorpe United -0.25 ball 1.88 + asian line

In League 2 .... I wrote prior to their match with Crystal Palace ( see below) about the lack of attempts on target that Crawley Town had managed and that they could not keep on scoring at the rate they had and they lost that tie and two subsequent games, scoring just once in the process and that came from the penalty spot. However, now it has swung the other way IMO, they are creating plenty but just not hitting the target and that can also only continue so long, they meet another attack minded team today in Bristol Rovers and one against whom you will get chances and this match should produce goals. Only Dagenham & Redbridge have created more than these two and both are prepared to shoot it out if necessary. Rovers are very offensive minded and have defended shambolically at times this season, they conceded three to Leyton Orient in midweek and the O's had only managed that number in six previous outings this season. I will be amazed if both do not score today and this goal line could easily be covered before the half time break ( that is available at 7.0 with William Hill if you are of an adventurous nature), but I will stick with the traditional quote "Over" 2.5 goals 1.92 + asian line.

Good Luck.

written August 30th......
We discussed Scunthorpe United last week, they are a team slowly getting their act together and there has been plenty to like about their last three starts, not least the 3-2 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on saturday, which came just 40 hours after a Thursday cup tie against an EPL side. To their great credit they kept plugging away despite going two down early and almost earned a draw, they were camped in the Wednesday half for most of the second period , were denied a penalty ( originally given by the referee) and finished the stronger, which is a testament to their high fitness levels, a throwback to when Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was in charge. They have created more goalscoring chances than anyother Division 1 side and really need a win now to kick start their season and I fancy they will be up for this tonight, Pool have a smallish squad and are without five options this evening. 1.5 units Scunthorpe United -0.25 ball 1.87 +

written August 23rd ....
I will not put this up as an "official bet", as I would like to see some confirmed line ups, but Crystal Palace who are very strong at Selhurst Part look very big to beat big spending Crawley Town. Hosts are 11-5-2 here in the last ten months conceding just 14 goals, considering they looked booked for relegation for much of last season, that was tremendous consistency. They have three wins from four starts this season and led in the single loss, already matching their road tally of wins ( one) for the whole of last season. They have a good mixture of experience and "hungry young players" who are "very exciting going forward" in the words of boss Dougie Freedman, they have a big home game with Blackpool at the weekend, but I would be happy to take some of this 2.29 if I knew they were naming a strong starting eleven, I think oddsmakers have gone too overboard about the visitors and that there will be value in opposing them in the coming weeks if we pick our spots . Some of these stats can be a little misleading, especially early season, but the ten Crawley league goals have come from only 16 attempts on target and that is a ratio which is completely unsustainable.


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