Swindons County Ground
September 8th, 2018

League One Preview – Matchday 7

Starting with League 1 and we’ve seen some early pacesetters with 5 teams unbeaten after 6 games and just 2 points separating them.

Sunderland and Barnsley were 1st and 2nd in the Outright betting antepost at 3/1 and 9/1 respectively. Barnsley were my fancy at the odds and they have been very impressive so far. Sunderland have coped well with back-to-back relegations and the favourite tag.
 
They definitely have some players capable of playing at a higher level. Recent recruit Max Power and young star George Honeyman are certainly 2 that spring to mind and The Black Cats will be in the mix for promotion at the end of the season.
Portsmouth continue to make inroads in their rise up the football leagues and have a savvy manager in Kenny Jackett who has multiple promotions on his CV from this division. They have signed well and boast a strong team in paper and a play-off place should be the minimum berth this season.

Every one of those players that joined us was on a paper note from me when I went to visit the board in May. Not 15 of them, every one of them.

Peterboro Boss Steve Evans on his new signings

2 of the more surprising teams at the top of the division are Peterborough and Walsall, both for different reasons. “Posh” have the polarising Steve Evans in charge and currently sit top of the table. They are an old favourite in weekened lower league accas for punters and probably the most backed team in the Both Teams To Score market over the years. Interestingly, despite their perch at the top they sit towards the bottom or at the bottom of the league in stats such as possession, shots on target suggesting that their winning games against the run of play. This bodes well that they are grinding out results but also might make them vulnerable in weeks to come as maybe the bubble is due to burst, it can be looked at in one of two ways.
Walsall lost their star player Erhun Oztumer to Bolton in the Summer and many tipped them to be relegated. Always a streaky sort of team that usually tries to play football, they have surpassed expectations of many so far this season.
Erhun Oztumer signed for Bolton this summer

Erhun Oztumer signed for Bolton this summer

Towards the bottom of the table, play-off hangovers seem to be in full effect for last years’ surprise packages Shrewsbury and Plymouth who both haven’t acquired the points reflective of their successes last season and sit in the bottom two.
2 of the top 5 sides meet this weekend with Barnsley hosting Walsall. With both sides unbeaten and level on points, Barnsley are far too short at 2/5 to win this match. Whilst I would fancy the Yorkshire club to win this I would not be a willing backer at 2/5 against an unbeaten side who also suffered a Wembley Play-off final defeat a couple of seasons back against the very same opponents! Revenge will be on Walsall’s mind and its extra incentive as well as their very encouraging start and its one to stay away from betting wise.
Portsmouth look a good price at home to Shrewsbury at 10/11. Pompey have made the start to the season they would have wished for and whilst I expect Shrewsbury to improve this just seems a tough game for them. Play-off hangovers can be season long illnesses and I would expect Pompey to be remain unbeaten at 5 o’clock this Saturday.

BACK PORTSMOUTH HERE

Sunderland face Joey Barton’s Fleetwood who have blown hot and cold so far. I would expect goals in this game and favour the home side and I think 10/11 is a more than fair price. I respect The Cod Army’s a real danger but at 10/11 I think it’s a fair enough bet.

If we could change history life would be boring.

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton gets Philosophical, not for the 1st time!

FANCY SUNDERLAND TO DO BARTONS FLEETWOOD?

Table toppers Peterborough looks a very big price at 2/1 away to Southend. Southend do have real firepower up front, particularly with Simon Cox who has often bagged goals at this level. The Posh have been grinding out the wins and 2/1 looks a good price to me but I do expect the Posh bubble to burst sooner than later. This is given how they have been winning matches whilst being second best.
Wycombe look a big price to me away to Charlton. They were good away from home last season which led to promotion and despite being the 2nd favourties for relegation. They also have a very good young manager in Gareth Ainsworth. Wycombe have real power in their team and have goals in them. They are good on their travels and Charlton just don’t convince me. Off the field issues and an unproven young manager as well as losing 1 or 2 key players, I think Wycombe at 5/2 is worth a small flutter.

WY COMBE HERE, TO BACK WYCOMBE OF COURSE!!

Gillingham, outsiders at home to Wimbledon just looks the wrong price to me. Gillingham though are far from a safe betting proposition and haven’t been in form the last few weeks. Wimbledon are no world beaters on the road though…
Scunthorpe have had 2 creditable draws after a couple of thumpings at the hands of Sunderland, and Fleetwood and seemed to have turned a corner. Rochdale are a hit and miss side who will spring surprises and throw the odd shocker in there. They also have one of the best managers in the Division in Keith Hill. Scunthorpe are unbeaten in their last 12 home games against Rochdale and I think they have turned a corner in recent weeks. So at 7/4 they are impossible to ignore at that price at home.

SCUNTHORPE DO IT FOR YOU?

 

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BEST BETS
PORTSMOUTH 10/11 v Shrewsbury (h)
SUNDERLAND 10/11 v Fleetwood  (h)
SCUNTHORPE 7/4   v Rochdale   (h)
WYCOMBE 5/2      v Charlton   (a)