Friday Aug 24, 2012
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Blue Square Bet Premier - Live Match & Weekend Betting Preview - by Alan Alger from Blue Square Bet
LIVE MATCH - Wrexham v Grimsby Town
Grimsby Town suffered a huge blow in midweek when the diagnosis of star-striker Liam Hearn's injury came back with the news that he would be out for ‘several months'. The Mariners have scored just two goals this season and that slow start has seen their title odds drift out to 12/1. On Saturday evening they visit Wrexham, another club who have seen themselves ousted from the top four in the title betting. The Red Dragons have been pushed out to 9/1 after unconvincing displays away at Macclesfield and Ebbsfleet followed an opening day victory over newly promoted Woking.
Saturday's match represents a real test of both teams' promotion credentials, even at this early stage of the season. Wrexham are the odds-on favourites with home advantage. They can be backed at 4/5, a price which has shortened since the news of Hearn's absence for the visitors. A draw is priced at 12/5 and a first win of the season for Grimsby is offered at 3/1. The importance of the game could lead to a cagey first-half and the price for the game to be goalless at the break - 21/10 - could be a value call. The ‘Total Goals' market pitches ‘Over 2.5 Goals' as the 8/11 favourite, but Evens for the ‘Under 2.5 Goals' option looks a far better prospect. Grimsby probably won't contribute more than one goal to the game and if they are to win, then a 1-0 success at 9/1 looks most likely.
Blundell Park management duo Rob Scott and Paul Hurst have to find the answer to Grimsby's failures against the bigger teams in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season. Their promotion charge was derailed by failing to win any of their 12 games (home and away) against the top six. They only managed to win seven away matches outside of that all season. Hurst and Scott have no doubt been tasked with finishing in the play-off positions as a bare minimum and on the evidence of the last campaign they will need at least four more wins to do so from their 46 games. Another slow start could be fatal for their hopes, just as it was last season when just six victories were produced in the first 20 matches to leave them languishing in 16th position. Conceding late goals has been a feature already this time around and confidence needs to be restored.
Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell has plenty of options up front, including his own experience. Youngster Rob Ogleby is the 6/1 joint-favourite to get the first goal of the game, along with teammate Danny Wright. Summer-signing Brett Ormerod has been playing in a wider role and can be backed at 13/2 to get his first Wrexham goal and the first of the match. They had the best home record in the whole division last season, but still managed to lose four times at The Racecourse. They also drew three times there, including a 2-2 draw in this fixture. A repeat of that result is 12/1 on our ‘Correct Score' market. Andy Cook and Anthony Elding will have to make up for Hearn's absence in the away sides' attack and they can be backed at 15/2 and 8/1 respectively to break the deadlock. Wrexham have their own injury woes with the absence of commanding centre-back Mark Creighton. The defender, affectionately known as ‘The Beast' by the Wrexham faithful was absent for 8 of their league matches last season - three of which resulted in defeat. That's a loss ratio of 38% compared to just 13% when he has been present. That would give an on-song Grimsby team a squeak but the best correct score bet could be a 1-0 win for the home side at 13/2.
Other Weekend Matches
The weekend action in the Blue Square Bet Premier gets underway at Edgeley Park on Friday night where Stockport County host Gateshead. The sides are separated by just one point and one place in the early table, with Stockport just edging both. Jim Gannon's team won their first two games but failed to justify favouritism at Tamworth last weekend going down by a 1-0 scoreline. County are priced at 5/4 to get back to winning ways here. Ian Bogie's visitors remain unbeaten after opening matches against three of the top four teams in the early season title betting. This is another tricky game for the North East outfit and they are priced at 9/5, the draw is 12/5.
On Saturday leaders Newport County travel to Braintree Town hoping to keep their 100% record intact. Justin Edinburgh's team are 5/4 favourites to stay on top of the table with a win at Cressing Road. Braintree, priced at 15/8, have had a mixed bag of results. Their only win coming at Ebbsfleet United. They failed to score in a heavy defeat at Telford last Saturday meaning that the only goals they've managed this season came in their first two matches - all three against teams that had been reduced to 10-men before The Iron managed to find the net. An away win looks the best bet. Hereford United have seven points from their unbeaten start and play Ebbsfleet United at Edgar Street. The Bulls are one of six odds-on teams in this round of matches, priced at 4/7. They've managed to score at least two goals in every game so far. Ebbsfleet scored five on the opening day at Nuneaton, but have only scored once in the two games since. Their home draw with Wrexham last Saturday was good form though and they may have their backers here at 4/1.
Luton Town remain our title favourites at 15/8 after their solid early start. They are the shortest price of the weekend, offered at 3/10 to see off AFC Telford United at Kenilworth Road. They should do so with the minimum of fuss, although Telford have not been disgraced in any of their three matches. Andy Sinton's team registered an impressive 3-0 home win over Braintree last weekend, and may find the net in this fixture to unnerve The Hatters. Cambridge United are the only odds-on away team on the coupon, something which should often be avoided at all costs by punters. On balance though they look very worthy 10/11 shots to win at Nuneaton. The hosts have just one point on the board from a decent goalless draw at Grimsby Town but conceded 4 in each of their other two games.
Elsewhere Tamworth's impressive start hasn't gone unnoticed and we are swerving them with a quote of 15/8 to win at Southport. Macclesfield Town head to Lincoln City priced at 6/4 off the back of two home wins. The Imps looking to halt a two game losing streak at the same price. Newly promoted Woking will be delighted with their position in the early table, although their two wins came in home games where they were favourites to take the points. The Cards are 7/2 outsiders for a trip to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday afternoon. The home side, on a steady 5 points, are 8/11 favourites to register a first home win of the campaign. Mansfield Town got off the mark with an edgy 3-2 win at Kidderminster last week and they are 4/9 favourites to win a home clash with Hyde. The visitors look to be better than my early season prediction of a bottom placed finish, but have it all to do here at a price of 11/2. Barrow take on Alfreton Town at Holker Street with both sides needing the points after slow starts. We make the home win our 6/5 favourite, with Alfreton quoted at 15/8. Last, but not least, the two sides propping up the table on zero points meet at Princes Park where Dartford host Kidderminster Harriers. The draw which will get them both off the mark is priced at 11/5, but we make a Harriers win our favourite at 11/8.
Alan's Best Bets for Wrexham v Grimsby Town:
0-0 AT HALF-TIME - Half-Time Correct Score
UNDER 2.5 GOALS - Total Goals Over/Under
WREXHAM TO WIN 1-0 - Correct Score
Alan's Best Weekend Treble:
NEWPORT COUNTY to win at Braintree Town
FOREST GREEN ROVERS to beat Woking
CAMBRIDGE UNITED to win at Nuneaton
Wrexham v Grimsby Town is live on Premier Sports TV - Saturday 25th August 4.45pm (5.15pm kick-off) - visit http://www.premiersports.tv/ for subscription details.
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