Bottom of the table after 32 games and having spent 27 of the previous 31 weeks in the relegation zone, Doncaster’s form since then has offered hope that Dean Saunders’ men could yet save their Championship bacon.
Having emerged from their last five matches unbeaten, Doncaster could draw level with Bristol City, the team sitting immediately above the relegation zone, if they win their game in hand.
The next hurdle in their survival battle comes in the form of Derby, whose recent form has also picked up after a horrible run of eight games without a win.
Nigel Clough’s side have won two of their last four games although, with both of these victories coming at Pride Park, they have still gone five games without a victory on the road.
A closer look at the Rams’ record shows they have failed to score in the first 45 minutes of an away match in any of their last eight attempts.
As such, it is the relegation-threatened club rather than the side sitting in mid-table who go into the match as favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
Doncaster are priced at 5/4 to pick up all three points, leaving the draw at 21/10 and a Derby success at 11/5.
But whatever the end result, the chances are that the key incidents will happen after half time.
This is because Doncaster have scored just five goals in the first half of their 17 home games this season, while Derby have scored only four in the first half of their 17 away games.
A closer look at the Rams’ record shows they have failed to score in the first 45 minutes of an away match in any of their last eight attempts, while Donny have been comparatively prolific with four goals in the first half of their last ten home games.
This clears the way for a number of potential bets, not least a 0-0 scoreline at the interval at 25/4, while a safer play would be under 1.5 goals in the first 45 minutes at 7/20.
But perhaps the best option would be a wager on there being more goals in the second half than there are in the first at 6/5 given both sides are far more likely to score after the interval.
A successful £25 free bet on this outcome is set to return £55, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
As for the final result, Doncaster’s resurgence – evidenced in abundance in their match on Tuesday, when they held high-flying Reading to a 1-1 draw at the Keepmoat – suggests they could just be the team to edge it.
Just expect them to wrap up the game in the second half rather than taking a decisive lead in the first.
Recommended bet: More goals in the second half than the first @ 6/5
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