It’s been a frustrating ten days for Sheffield Wednesday, whose bid for automatic promotion from League One has been hit by two disappointing results on the bounce at Hillsborough.
First, the Owls were beaten 1-0 by leaders Charlton thanks to a sumptuous free-kick from Johnnie Jackson, despite creating plenty of chances and pinning the Addicks in their own half for long periods.
Then at the weekend, they looked set for a priceless victory over struggling Hartlepool, only for Antony Sweeney to grab a 2-2 draw for the visitors with an 87th-minute equaliser.
The good news for Wednesday fans is that they now have an opportunity to move level on points with rivals Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United – who sit second and third respectively – with victory at Scunthorpe United on Tuesday evening.
Gary Megson’s men are rated as 11/10 favourites for the win in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with Scunthorpe at 8/5 and the draw available at the same price.
And while the Owls have been far stronger at home than on the road this term – the defeat against Charlton was their first in front of their own fans – there is definitely a case to be made for them triumphing at Glanford Park.
Wednesday have won four of their last five away games in England’s third tier, with the only blemish being a 2-1 defeat at Walsall.
Scunthorpe have conceded 25 of their 40 goals after the break and Wednesday have smashed 28 of their 47 goals following Megson’s half-time team talks.
They face a Scunthorpe side who have recorded just one win in their past ten games and have not tasted victory on home soil since a 4-2 success against Tranmere way back in October.
But the glass-half-full brigade can rightly point out that United are unbeaten in their last four – and a 1-1 home draw with in-form Stevenage last time out suggests that Wednesday will certainly have a battle on their hands this evening.
If they are to get the job done – and I think they will, albeit by the finest of margins – Megson’s men may well have to wait until the second half to do so.
Scunthorpe are 19th in League One but would be seventh if the table was based purely on first-half home performances, while Wednesday would be a lowly 13th if results in the opening 45 minutes on the road were the sole factor.
However, the Iron slip to 21st in a table of second-half results at home, with the Owls sitting a more encouraging fifth in terms of how they have fared after the interval in their away matches.
With this in mind, punters should swerve Wednesday’s unappealing 3Way price and instead opt for draw/Sheffield Wednesday in the half-time/full-time market, which is at a tempting 19/4.
This is also backed up by the fact that Scunthorpe have conceded 25 of their 40 goals after the break and Wednesday have smashed 28 of their 47 goals following Megson’s half-time team talks.
New customers can claim a free £25 bet for joining bwin.com and placing it on the visitors to win after a drawn first half would offer returns of £143.75 if successful.
For punters who would prefer to place their money on a banker in this fixture, look no further than both teams to score at 3/5 or over 2.5 goals in total at 3/4.
Eight of Scunthorpe’s 13 league matches at Glanford Park have featured three or more goals and those figures are identical for Wednesday’s away games thus far.
Factor in the 3-2 scoreline when the two teams met at Hillsborough back in August – plus a 4-2 home win for the Iron in last season’s Carling Cup – and it seems clear that both of these short-priced punts have a very high chance of coming in.
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