Monday, December 26th
Brentford (6th) v Bournemouth(16th)
Home: Evens Draw: 11/5 Away: 49/20
The Bees have enjoyed this fixture of late, having won four out of the last five meetings. The sides met earlier in the season in the JPT with Uwe Rosler’s side running out 6-0 winners. The Bees have only lost once in the last six league games while their opponents have only suffered one defeat in their last seven in League One. Lee Bradbury’s men have won three and drawn two of their last five away games and will be a tough test for Rosler’s men. Expect a close game and ultimately a draw here. I’m going to predict a score draw so back the lead-draw in the run of play market at 31/10.
Colchester United (11th) v Stevenage (8th)
Home: 27/20 Draw: 11/5 Away: 7/4
Stevenage haven’t lost in the league in nine games and will travel to face an inconsistent Colchester side at the Weston Homes Community Stadium confident of getting all three points. Stevenage have kept five clean sheets in their last six games but will face a tough test keeping Colchester out. The Us scored four in their last home game against Bury but have failed to score twice in their last four games. I don’t expect a goalfest here and suggest backing there to be under 1.5 goals at 21/10.
Huddersfield Town (4th) v Chesterfield (24th)
Home: 7/20 Draw: 16/5 Away: 7/1
The Terriers haven’t won in three league games but will be confident of returning to winning ways when bottom-of-the-league Chesterfield visit the Galpharm Stadium. John Sheridan’s side have failed to win a single league game in 12 attempts and I’m afraid this could be a long afternoon for Spireites fans. Give Chesterfield a 1-0 lead and back Lee Clark’s men to win at evens.
Leyton Orient (17th) v MK Dons (5th)
Home: 19/10 Draw: 11/5 Away: 5/4
MK Dons saw their unbeaten home record go last weekend when Preston shocked them 1-0 and Karl Robinson’s men will face a tough task to get back on track at Brisbane Road. The Os have drawn three and won two of their last five league games in front of their own fans and I expect a close encounter here. I fancy Russell Slade’s men to win, but not until after the interval. With that in mind, I will be backing the draw/Leyton Orient selection at 6/1 in the half-time/full-time market.
Oldham Athletic (13th) v Hartlepool United (14th)
Home: 9/10 Draw: 9/4 Away: 11/4
Pools are in desperate need of a turn in fortunes as they continue to slide down the League One table. Having lost eight of their last nine games they arrive at Boundary Park very low on confidence and Oldham fans will be expecting a Boxing Day victory here. The Latics have won five of their last six home games in all competitions and will be far too strong for struggling Pools here. Oldham are 2/1 to be winning at half-time and full-time – those odds are well worth consideration.
Preston North End (10th) v Carlisle United (7th)
Home: 6/5 Draw: 11/5 Away: 2/1
PNE will be boosted by their impressive win at MK Dons last week and considering their recent turmoil, will be pleased to find themselves within striking distance of a play-off place. David Unsworth has taken temporary charge at Deepdale and with victory here could go above their opponents in the League One ladder. Greg Abbott’s side will provide a stern challenge, though, having only lost once in their last seven league games. Neither side has been in rich goalscoring form of late and I predict a low-scoring contest here. You can get odds of 23/20 that at least one of the two teams will not score.
Scunthorpe United (20th) v Bury (12th)
Home: 11/10 Draw: 11/5 Away: 11/5
The Iron have been on a shocking run of form recently, having only picked up a single victory in their last ten league matches. Bury fans will be hoping for a better show from their side than their last away day, when they were battered 4-1 at Colchester. Alan Knill has seen his side concede late goals in two of their last three games to drop valuable points and must be getting concerned at his team’s lack of confidence. I fancy the Iron’s trend to lose games late to continue and suggest backing draw/Bury in the half-time/full-time market at 13/2.
Tranmere Rovers (15th) v Rochdale (22nd)
Home: 19/20 Draw: 11/5 Away: 13/5
Rochdale’s awful league form has cost Steve Eyre his job this week and fans of the Dale will be worried for their side’s League One status should their freefall continue. The side from Spotland have only recorded one win in their last ten league clashes and travel to a Tranmere side who have lost their last three home games in all competitions. This is a meeting of two of the league’s out-of-form teams as Rovers have lost their last six games in all competitions. I predict Rovers will get back to winning ways here and will back Rochdale to fail to score for a third successive game at 31/20.
Walsall (21st) v Sheffield Wednesday (2nd)
Home: 57/20 Draw: 23/10 Away: 17/20
Wednesday have only tasted one defeat in their last 15 games in all competitions but last week’s dramatic 4-4 draw with Huddersfield will feel like a defeat for Gary Megson’s men after they conceded a late, late equaliser at Hillsborough. The Saddlers have been struggling to turn draws into wins lately having drawn their last five consecutive games, but Dean Smith would be happy with a point if you offered it to him now. I see there being goals in this game odds of 11/5 on four or more could be worth a look.
Wycombe Wanderers (23rd) v Exeter City (18th)
Home: 7/5 Draw: 11/5 Away: 17/10
The Grecians have only won once on the road all season but their fans will be heading to Adams Park on Boxing Day confident their side will pick up a vital victory. The Chairboys grabbed a crucial win over Chesterfield in their last home game but needed a 90th-minute winner to come out on top. Before that they hadn’t won in front of their own fans in six attempts. Exeter have been tough to break down of late, having kept two clean sheets in their last three games, and I fancy them to win this game 1-0 at 8/1.
Yeovil Town (19th) v Charlton (1st)
Home: 57/20 Draw: 23/10 Away: 17/20
The Addicks currently sit five points clear at the top of League One and haven’t tasted defeat in ten matches in all competitions. The Glovers find themselves just two points above the relegation places and will be anxious to stay clear of the drop zone over the busy festive period. Chris Powell’s men are heavy favourites and I can’t see them not walking away with three points here. To boost the odds on an away win, consider the handicap market, giving Yeovil a 1-0 lead and backing Charlton at 23/10.
Tuesday, December 27th
Sheffield United (3rd) v Notts County (9th)
Home: 3/4 Draw: 23/10 Away: 67/20
The Blades go in to this clash having won the last six in all competitions and Martin Allen’s County will have to be on top form to avoid defeat when they visit Bramall Lane. The Magpies go in to the encounter having lost three of their last four league games and could be in for a tough time here. Danny Wilson’s side have kept four league clean sheets on the bounce and I can’t see how Allen’s men will leave Yorkshire with anything other than a defeat. The Blades have taken the lead in three of their last four league games and won all of them. So consider taking odds of 17/10 on Wilson’s side winning at half-time and full-time.
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