Saturday, December 17th
Bournemouth v Sheffield United (3pm)
Home: 17/10 Draw: 11/5 Away: 7/5
The Cherries have struggled in front of their own fans this season and welcome an in-form Blades side to the Fitness First Stadium this weekend. Lee Bradbury’s men should be high on confidence following their impressive win at Huddersfield last weekend and will pose a tough test for United. I see this one being a close fought encounter and fancy a draw. Take the half-time and full-time draw at 4/1 as both sides play out a stalemate.
Bury v Brentford (3pm)
Home: 8/5 Draw: 11/5 Away: 3/2
The Bees have not lost on the road since their first away game of the season and arrive at Gigg Lane within striking distance of the automatic promotion places. Bury’s run of three straight league wins came to an abrupt end last week when they were beaten heavily at Colchester and Richard Barker will be expecting a response when his side host Uwe Rosler’s men. Both sides have struggled for goals lately so don’t be surprised if this one is a low-scoring affair. Consider taking odds of 11/5 on there being under 1.5 goals in this clash.
Carlisle United v Wycombe Wanderers (3pm)
Home: 7/10 Draw: 5/2 Away: 17/5
The Cumbrians haven’t lost at home since September and their fans will be confident of seeing their side pick up another three points when Wycombe visit Brunton Park on Saturday. Carlisle have only lost once in their last six League One fixtures, while Wycombe have only won once in their last seven games. Gregg Abbott’s men are strong favourites so consider giving the Chairboys a 1-0 head start and backing Carlisle to win at 19/10.
Charlton Athletic v Oldham Athletic (3pm)
Home: 53/100 Draw: 53/20 Away: 19/4
Only four teams have conceded more on their travels than Oldham and you have to fear for them when they visit top-of-the-league Charlton. Chris Powell’s side have been scoring goals for fun this campaign and it would be hard to back against another home win here. Expect goals and consider taking odds of 33/20 on there being over 3.5 goals. Also worth a punt is Charlton to be leading at half-time and full-time at 13/10.
Chesterfield v Walsall (3pm)
Home: 23/20 Draw: 11/5 Away: 21/10
Expect a nervy clash between these two sides as even at this stage of the season this could be classed as a six-pointer. Walsall have not won on the road in six league games, while Chesterfield haven’t won on home soil in five league clashes. The Spireites have to win this game to avoid being cut adrift at the bottom of League One. I fancy a score draw here and in the run of play market odds of lead-draw are at 31/10 – well worth consideration.
Exeter City v Scunthorpe Untied (3pm)
Home: 13/10 Draw: 9/4 Away: 9/5
The Iron have only picked up one win on the road this season and that stat must improve if they are to avoid relegation from League One. The Grecians’ home form has picked up of late, having lost just once in their last five games, and they are favourites to win here. Alan Knill’s side haven’t won in six games in all competitions and I can’t see them turning that around at St James’ Park. I predict a close game but Exeter to win it in the second half. With that in mind back the draw/Exeter in the half-time/full-time market at 5/1.
Hartlepool United v Colchester United (3pm)
Home: 13/10 Draw: 11/5 Away: 9/5
Pools are yet to name a new manager after sacking Mick Wadsworth following their defeat to Preston. It was mainly their awful run of defeats at home that cost Wadsworth his job as they have lost their last six league games at Victoria Park. Colchester might be the best side to face for managerless Hartlepool as John Ward’s men have only won twice away from home in the league. Both sides have failed to score in three of their last five games and you can get odds of 21/20 that one or neither of them hit the back of the net here.
Notts County v Leyton Orient (3pm)
Home: 9/10 Draw: 9/4 Away: 11/4
Martin Allen’s side have been on a poor run of form in League One lately, having only won once in their last seven games, and need to find some form to maintain their play-off challenge. The corresponding fixture last season finished 3-2 to the Magpies, which was the same scoreline in County’s last home game. You can get 20/1 on a repeat this time around. Whatever happens, expect plenty of attacking action and take odds of 33/20 on there being over 3.5 goals in this encounter.
Rochdale v Yeovil Town (3pm)
Home: 5/4 Draw: 11/5 Away: 19/10
Fans of the Glovers will travel to Spotland hoping their side will bounce back from their humiliating FA Cup defeat to non-league Fleetwood in the week. Dale have only won once in their last nine league games and find themselves fighting for their League One status going in to the festive period. Terry Skiverton’s side have won their last two league games 1-0 and will be confident of moving further away from the relegation zone with victory here. This clash could go either way and I am going to back the draw at 11/5.
Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield Town (3pm)
Home: 7/5 Draw: 11/5 Away: 17/10
This could be the game of the week in League One as secondentertains fourth in a mouth-watering Yorkshire derby. Gary Megson’s side have picked up an impressive 25 points from a possible 27 at Hillsborough. The Terriers arrive in somewhat shaky form having lost their last two league games and will face another tough test here. The Owls have been rock-solid of late, keeping three clean sheets in a row and only conceding two in their last six. I see this one being a really close affair and will back the draw/draw at 4/1 in the half-time/full-time market.
Stevenage v Tranmere Rovers (3pm)
Home: 9/10 Draw: 9/4 Away: 11/4
This clash sees a side who have not conceded a goal in five games host a side who have only scored once in their last four games. Graham Westley’s men have been in fine form of late having not lost in eight league games and continue to rise up the League One ladder. As far as Rovers are concerned, they haven’t won in five league games and are sliding in the opposite direction to their hosts. I’m going to back Stevenage’s mean defence to hold out again with 33/20 on Tranmere failing to score.
MK Dons v Preston North End (5.20pm)
Home: 13/20 Draw: 12/5 Away: 4/1
Phil Brown’s reign at Deepdale came to a premature end this week as Preston’s board decided to relieve him of his services after he presided over a woeful run of form in recent weeks. PNE are only five points off a play-off spot but will face a very tough ask to get anything from Stadium:Mk, where the Dons haven’t lost yet this season. Karl Robinson’s side have won their last seven in all competitions and will be too strong for Preston here. Give managerless PNE a 1-0 head start and back the Dons at 7/4.
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