Saturday, October 13, 2012


No bets atm, we are looking for a good edge "in play" and information for the future.


Morning line : Level ball 2.12- 1.81  2.5 goals 1.99- 1.91........... odds are virtually unchanged through five hours of trading today.

Attempts on goal : 157-134

These two have had the most attempts on goal in League 1 this season, Brentford have been relentless in creating chances since day 1 and have almost 50% more than the division average. United's tally is far less impressive, of course, you knew I was going to say that, but they have a terrible conversion rate of less than one goal for every 19 attempts.

The Bees are good at closing players down and have not conceded a goal from outside the area all season, a lot of their offensive play comes through the centre and this is where United are incredibly vunerable, with 10 of the 11 goals they have conceded from open play,coming down the middle.

I have to give an honourable mention to the hosts for keeping faith with boss Alan Knill, since taking charge in March 2011, United have won just 14 of 65 league starts, a 21.5% strike rate, but he must be living on borrowed time now and the interest rates are getting astronomical !

You all know my thoughts on Brentford and I am not going to go over everything again, but I also like the work ethic at the club, fitness levels are very high and this has paid dividends with 47% of goals (a big number) scored in the final 15 minutes, they are constantly striving to improve and  had a bit of a weakness with regard to how goals were being conceded , the coaching team picked up on this pretty quick and I know they have worked incredibly hard on the training pitch to solve this issue.

Incredibly, United have scored six goals (all competitions) in the opening 15 minutes, almost half of their total, three were scored by Leon Clarke (6-5-0) , four of his goals have earned the hosts all eight points they have "amassed" this season. He is bound to come in for special attention today and boss Uwe Rosler is well aware of how they play to his strengths and commented specifically on that this week. We can expect the Bees to play high possession football and look to nullify this early threat, which is pretty much their normal MO in any case and they have only scored once in the opening 15 minutes.

Hosts would have collected 12 points from their first half performances, just six from their second, the visitors are 14 and 17 respectively. United have dropped ten points from winning positions, Brentford just two and the Bees are very good at holding on to a lead at the break, they are 3-0-0 this season and have failed to hold onto a half time lead just a couple of times over the last three campaigns.

The Bees have lost striker Farid El Alagui to a knee injury for a couple of months at least and will bring in a loan signing in the next week or so, all the rest of the squad are fit and available.

Striker Karl Hawley (6-1-1) remains a doubt after he missed last weekend’s match against Stevenage with a knee injury, he did not train Thursday. United have yet to collect a point without him in the line up.

Referee today is Trevor Kettle, he has a reputation as a bit whistle happy, in the last two seasons he has taken charge of 30 matches, given 121 yellow, 9 red cards and awarded 9 penalties. The Bees have a big edge in discipline ,having received just 10 yellow, 0 reds and conceded one penalty this season, the hosts are 20-2-2 and the numbers were similarly lopsided last season with United receiving nine red cards to the well behaved visitor's sole dismissal.

Half time update emailed at 15.50 UK time.

Full team news to follow.....

Brentford: Moore, Forshaw, Craig, Dean, Douglas, Donaldson, Logan, Forrester, Diagouraga, Hayes, Bidwell.
Bench: Lee, O'Connor, Barron, Saunders, Adeyemi, Dallas, Legge.

Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Newey, Duffy, Gibbons, Prutton, Ryan, Grella, Clarke.


Morning Line : Level ball 1.82 - 2.11  2.5 goals 2.03- 1.87 ....... the "under" has been supported slightly, down to 1.82

Attempts on goal : 68-117

No side in the Football League has had fewer attempts on target than Barnet and with just seven goals in L2 this season ( 24 in 30 starts) that tells you something about where their problems lie and their failure to be able to defend set pieces ( 11 goals conceded in this manner, an average of one per match), tells you a little more.

They have upped their profile this week with the signing of Collins John and Edgar Davids as player/coach, John is still only 26 but after making almost a hundred EPL appearances for Fulham, has gone on a very slippery ride, from the Championship, to Belgium, the MLS, then Azerbaijan and Iran, before joinging the fake Bees, he has been training with them for a couple of weeks, but now his international clearance has finally come through. Davids is almost 40, but spent two decades playing for the best in Europe and is a class act, but he has not played in two years and has kept himself fit by playing street soccer ( !) and managing a sunday league team. He lives in North London, so I am sure that for him it is more than a gimmick, but only time will tell what kind of influence he can have on or off the field. It will be a week or two before he is available for selection. If nothing else, it will put a good few hundred on the attendance home and away, if he plays.

Argyle seem to have a little more battle in them, they have collected an average of 1.45 pts after the break and seven points from losing positions, all of which came when they were trailing at the half. Barnet have an average of 0.54 pts per game from the second half and have lost every match in which they have trailed.

Barnet are especially vunerable either side of the break, with 41% of all goals conceded coming in the middle 30 minutes, Argyle have scored 81% in the second half, with four coming directly after the break, which is interesting.

The visitors made their own signing this week with Scott Griffiths joining on loan from Peterborough United, the left back played at Crawley last season and they conceded just six goals, with six cleansheets in his last ten starts, almost all the goals the Pilgrims have conceded this season have come play down the flanks, so this could be a useful addition.

Kindly old Fred Graham is in charge of the whistle, he is far more forgiving than Mr Kettle and has only shown 26 yellow and no red cards in ten matches this season. I am not sure how pleased the hosts will be to see him, he has refereed six of their matches previously and they are yet to win, last season they lost all three ( two here at Underhill) with a 2-8 goal difference and an average of exactly two cards per game.

Half time update emailed at 15.50 UK time.

Barnet (4-4-2): 29 Graham Stack; 2 Barry Fuller, 32 Krystian Pearce, 30 David Stephens, 4 Clovis Kamdjo; 3 Jordan Brown, 19 Jake Hyde, 8 Mark Byrne, 15 Andy Yiadom; 11 Ricky Holmes, 36 Collins John.

Substitutes: 1 Liam O'Brien (gk), 7 Oliver Lee, 10 Jon Nurse, 17 Anthony Edgar, 25 Jamal Lowe, 26 Elliott Johnson, 31 John Oster.

Argyle (4-4-2): 1 Jake Cole; 2 Durrell Berry, 5 Darren Purse (capt), 4 Maxime Blanchard, 33 Scott Griffiths; 32 Alex MacDonald, 6 Conor Hourihane, 8 Luke Young, 7 Paris Cowan-Hall; 10 Rhys Griffiths, 18 Guy Madjo.

Substitutes: 9 Nick Chadwick, 16 Jamie Lowry, 17 Curtis Nelson, 19 Joe Lennox, 20 Rene Gilmartin, 21 Matt Lecointe, 23 Jamie Richards, 27 Andres Gurrieri.

Good Luck.

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