Monday, December 26, 2011
TAKEN FROM MY BOXING DAY NOTES .... WRITTEN EARLY ON 24/12
Full domestic programme in England "today" and I have six matches to discuss......
CHAMPIONSHIP .... NOTTINGHAM FOREST - PETERBOROUGH UNITED
Forest are one of the clubs I want to keep an eye on in the coming month or so, they have been big underachievers this season, they have not won or even scored in five, but their two most recent outings, a 1-0 loss at Brighton where they had the better of the chances and a 0-0 draw at Bristol City, where only the heroics of David James denied then a 2-3 goal victory, hinted that an upturn in fortune was close. They have two home games in a row now, the second is against 5th placed Cardiff City and that is followed by starts against the top two sides in the Championship, Southampton and West Ham, so these are clearly the easiest points on offer for the time being, at least on paper. Confidence appears to remain high and Marcus Tudgay has talked this week about that and other players about how they are so much more solid at the back and just lacking a goal or two and it is not like they are not creating chances. This is a very big game for them and boss Steve Cotterill, however, for this game, unless Joel Lynch recovers it will mean probably playing returning defensive midfielder Guy Moussi in central defence, that is far from ideal, but Moussi has filled in there before successfully. Cotterill is well used to these type of problems from his time at Portsmouth and will certainly not be too fazed by the situation.
Posh also have problems and said earlier in the week they would be without three key players with striker Lee Tomlin having joined Grant McCann and Mark Little on the sidelines, however, it is now claimed that Tomlin might be available. They always look stronger when he plays, so I understand why they would give him every opportunity to prove his fitness, but with so many games on the horizon, it could prove to be the wrong decision to rush him back. I do think that Forest will come good very soon and with Posh only having beaten hapless Coventry in six starts and with just four wins from 34 away games at this level, today might well be the day. If Lynch makes the starting line up and /or Tomlin misses out, I would be even more keen, for now, just a flat stake .... Nottingham Forest -0.5 ball 2.01 asian line.
LEAGUE 1 ...... HUDDERSFIELD TOWN- CHESTERFIELD
Just one cleansheet in six for Town, who have struggled since losing that incredle unbeaten record recently. However, striker Jordan Rhodes remains on fire and notched all four goals in the 4-4 draw at Hillsborough last saturday. He must feel that the schedulers have given him a Christmas present with the holiday trip to the B2net Stadium, as the Spirites have conceded 22 goals in their last ten starts and not kept a clean sheet since boss John Sheridan was wearing short trousers to school. We discussed the hosts ahead of their game with Walsall last week, which ended 1-1, they created a lot of chances 19, including nine on target, but took too long ( over an hour) to get back into the game after falling behind in the first half. Having just got striker Jack Lester back, they are going to lose him for three games on a violent conduct charge. Even without Lester, I would not rush to take the understandably low odds on the hosts, but I do think there will be goals and Rhodes has far too much pace and energy for Neal Trotman at the heart of the visiting defence and the Terriers know him well from a lengthy loan spell at the club, two seasons ago. Field have leaked an average of 2.6 per goals per game on the road and the "over" could be landed by Rhodes on his own, even without Lester the visitors do have goals in them and have scored in their last 12 road starts, notching at least two in half ( six) of those. Given that Town have also been leaking recently a 3-2 ( odds 34.0) or 4-2 ( odds 51.0) home win is far from impossible and 5.0 + for the visitors to score over 1.5 goals is a tempting pick at juicy odds and something they have already done at Notts County and MK Dons, teams with similar home records to Huddersfield and they also scored one at both of the top two Charlton and Wednesday, at Hillsborough, it should have been three ! Town are worried about their defence and tried to get Jamie McCombe recalled from Preston where he is on loan, but with no recall clause in the deal, it was refused . However, I will keep things simple and opt for 1.5 units "Over" 2.75 goals 1.93 asian line.