After last week’s largesse, it has been a quiet week at Long Shot Towers after a disappointing column which saw none of our tips come in – the first time that has happened since Arsenal last won a trophy. Or for three weeks, I’m not sure. It’s been that long that since it happened I can’t actually remember. I’m on about the Long Shot not winning, by the way. Obviously I have no idea when Arsenal last won a trophy. Nobody’s memory is that good.
It looked as though Newcastle might do us a favour again by winning at Liverpool but it wasn’t to be and our pot now stands at £125, on the basis of putting £10 on each selection.
Much like Leeds United, we aren’t bothering with the Premier League and instead this week we are looking to two Saturday games in League One, plus a Championship match on Sunday that promises goals, goals and more goals.
So keep the faith and get on these three beauties.
MK Dons and Sheffield United to draw 0-0 @ 31/4
These two sides were the favourites for the League One title before the season started but with their campaigns yet to truly ignite performance-wise, it is well worth a punt that the meeting of MK Dons and Sheffield United finishes goalless.
The home side have disappointed badly so far this season and currently languish outside the play-off spots in eighth place, eight points shy of leaders Tranmere Rovers. United’s performances haven’t been too great either, but they at least remain unbeaten and in the automatic promotion places.
But both teams have lacked fluidity and are struggling to score goals and as such, the 31/4 is a decent shout here. Each side have found the net just 19 times each – half the division have scored more often – and it is incredible that the Blades have managed to lift themselves to second place with such a paltry scoring record.
However, we can use this to our advantage. No League One ground has seen fewer goals than stadium:mk so far – just 14 – while no other side has seen fewer goals scored in their away games than United, with just 12 strikes in the Blades’ away games.
They are both coming in this game on the back of 0-0 draws in the last week (the Dons at Cambridge in the FA Cup, United at Swindon in the league) and at 31/4, another goalless affair is well priced.
Tranmere to beat Oldham by at least two goals @ 21/4
Everybody thought the bubble might have burst by now, but Tranmere Rovers are still top of the League One table and look a great price to go to Boundary Park and beat Oldham by a couple of goals at least.
Ronnie Moore’s side have had a mini-wobble, but they got back on track in midweek with a 2-0 win over Hartlepool at Victoria Park and they can follow it up by putting the not-much-better Latics to the sword.
Rovers are the story of the season in the lower leagues and the way Moore has built a team capable of holding their own at the summit on one of the smallest budgets of the 92 clubs is remarkable. It may not last, of course, but things look good now and they can beat a poor Oldham side who are 17th, just three points above the drop zone.
Eight of Tranmere’s ten wins have been by at least two goals and they have it in them to make the short trip to Oldham and do that again.
Over 4.5 goals in Bristol City v Charlton Athletic @ 4/1
Sunday’s match at Ashton Gate pits two of the worst defences in the Championship together and the 4/1 that there are over 4.5 goals is well worth a play.
No team have let in more goals that City, who are in a wretched run of form: after a promising start, the Robins have lost six consecutive games and have slumped to second bottom of the Championship, having now conceded 31 goals in 15 games.
Charlton haven’t fared too much better, conceding 23 goals so far, a record only five teams can worsen, and the Addicks have only won two of their last five games.
But both teams are scoring goals – City have got 24 (sixth-best record in the division) and Charlton have bagged 20 – and this looks like a game that could be full of goals. There have been 14 goals in Charlton’s last two games and there are goals whenever Bristol City play.
Derek McInnes’ side have seen 55 goals scored in their 15 games (only Burnley have seen more) and six of their league games already have had at least five goals, which is a remarkable stat.
At Ashton Gate, there have been 36 goals in seven games at an average of 5.14 goals a game and at 4/1, take a chance on there being another shedful on Sunday.