Friday Nov 19, 2010
Read Alan Alger's Blue Squyare preview of the weekends games.
WEEKEND BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER PREVIEW - by Alan Alger from Blue Square.
With AFC Wimbledon facing Kettering Town on Sunday due to their live FA Cup replay, Crawley Town or Luton Town will be looking to climb to the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table on Saturday. The prices for both teams to win are almost identical as they face sides from the bottom five at home. Crawley are the 3/10 favourites against 24th placed Altrincham. Alty have had a tough couple of weeks and this will complete a three game run against the top trio in the standings. They have acquitted themselves well in two home games, where although having failed to find the net they kept scores down to a 1-0 defeat against Luton and a 2-0 defeat against Wimbledon. Prior to those tough tasks they had a record of only one defeat in their last eight as they tried to close the gap at the bottom. Ken McKenna's team are still in a relegation fight but are five points off safety and moving in the right direction in the last few weeks. Crawley remain the slight title favourites at 6/4 and punters will be expecting them to add another three points to their haul on Saturday.
Luton Town are the shortest priced favourites of the weekend, with Histon the visitors to Kenilworth Road. Richard Money's side are 2/7 to beat the Cambridgeshire outfit who sit just one point outside the relegation zone. Their defeat at home to Kidderminster last Saturday put an end to a five game unbeaten run. Luton were in cup action against Corby Town on Wednesday night and booked their passage into the 2nd Round of the FA Cup. The Hatters have only been beaten twice in their last eight league matches and with the other six games ending in victories - their recent ‘points per game average' is title winning form. Another win is expected here and the Crawley and Luton ‘Saturday double' would pay just 0.67/1. That eventuality would put AFC Wimbledon in third place before they kick-off against Kettering Town as the 8/13 favourites on Sunday.
Only five points separate Fleetwood Town in fourth place and Darlington in 11th spot - suggesting the race for a play-off place will be incredibly tight all season. Fleetwood had a blistering start to this campaign which kept them in the top five. Micky Mellon's team have not managed to keep up that pace and their recent record of one win in seven will be of slight concern to the Highbury faithful. Expectations may have been raised by their form in the first couple of months, an excellent return from a newly promoted club. Mellon's side are the only away team to have the tag of favourites this weekend at 13/10 as they face in-form Bath City at Twerton Park. A home win is 17/10, with The Romans only losing two of their last seven.
Newport County are another odds-on home favourite in this set of fixtures at 8/15, in fact 10 sides share that honour this weekend. Southport are the visitors to South Wales and they bring an unwanted record of one win in 13 league matches. They were 2-0 up at home to a well-backed Bath City last Saturday but inexplicably suffered a 3-2 defeat with a second half collapse. They are 9/2 to reverse their bad form with a win here.
York City rewarded their new boss Gary Mills with an stunning FA Cup win over Rotherham in midweek. They are 4/1 outsiders for a trip to Nene Park to take on promotion chasers Rushden & Diamonds. Both sides made the play-off positions last year and the home team will aim for the bare minimum of a repeat this term. Mills will have the leeway of some time at Bootham Crescent and as long as The Minstermen finish in the top half it will be seen as a good pointer for the 2011/12 season. Rushden are the 4/6 favourites for a win which would be their fourth consecutive home success in the league.
Kidderminster Harriers are unbeaten in six matches and have put themselves into contention in seventh position. They sit at the top of the form tables and their boss Steve Burr has finally settled his squad into the right formula. Saturday's match at home to Eastbourne Borough sees them offered at one of their shortest prices of the season - 8/13.
Wrexham would be level on points with fifth placed Newport had they not conceded a second half equaliser at York on Sunday. Dean Saunders' team are the 5/4 favourites to beat in-form Darlington at The Racecourse on Saturday afternoon. Wrexham won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in early October, but Mark Cooper's team have improved since then and are unbeaten in five.
Barrow lost star-striker Jason Walker to Luton Town this week and they also have a sickness bug running through the team. It will be tough for them to extend their winning run to three matches as they visit Grimsby Town. A home win is a restrictive 8/13 due to that news and the fact that Neil Woods' team have been beaten only once in ten league games.
Four straight defeats have slumped Hayes & Yeading United to 23rd in the table, and they are priced at 5/1 to end that run at Mansfield Town. Garry Haylock's team only found the net once in those matches and that would be a concern for the Middlesex club. Mansfield are in a slump themselves and have only gained 5 points from their last possible 24. Punters will probably not want to trust The Stags at 8/15 regardless of the out-of-form opposition.
Gateshead are the 10/11 favourites at home to Forest Green Rovers. Ian Bogie's side have a good home record and coupled with Rovers' away form of one win in nine, they could be the best value favourites of the weekend. Cambridge United had a heart-breaking injury-time FA Cup defeat at Huddersfield in their last game and need to pick themselves up for the visit of Tamworth. The U's have dropped leads in a few recent outings but Martin Ling's team look good value at 8/11 to hold on to the victory this time.
Alan's Best Weekend Treble with Blue Square:
Cambridge United (to beat Tamworth)
Gateshead (to beat Forest Green Rovers)
Darlington (to beat Wrexham)
A £10 treble returns £94.80 at the current Blue Square prices!
Remember you can earn money for your club when you open an account with Blue Square - just visit www.bluesq.com/fans and click on The lamb's club's crest!