Last week we enjoyed the thrills, spills, skills and four nils of the final round of matches in the Championship. Congratulations to Reading and Southampton on their promotions, and commiserations to Portsmouth, Coventry and Doncaster on their demotions.
For fans of the latter three clubs, perhaps it will console you to know that your teams’ poor form across the year kept this punter in moccasins (don’t you judge me).
But don’t panic trusty bwinners, for it is now the turn of League One and League Two to provide us with enough ammunition to put together one final Saturday Football League accumulator of the season.
Yes, it is also FA Cup final day, but with both Liverpool and Chelsea playing so erratically at the moment, the showpiece at Wembley can keep its grubby mitts off my coupon.
So place the free £25 bet you get for joining bwin on this 11/1 beauty and make League One and League Two your home for an exciting couple of hours in the lead-up to the cup final. Then you can wager your possible £305.75 winnings on another Torres hat-trick, or Suarez to bag a treble of goals from the halfway line.
Tranmere to draw with Scunthorpe @ 9/4
The tension rises, sweat pours from the brow, the people ask “Has he really just done it?” Well yes he has, he’s suggested a draw to kick off this accumulator, and he’s also speaking in the third person.
Yes, in a slight alteration from the norm we are going with a draw at Prenton Park in this thoroughly meaningless clash. Now for the stats to back up this wacky conclusion.
Rovers have struggled for large parts of this season, thanks almost entirely to their away form. At home they have lost just three times and won nine. But with a whopping ten draws, they have still dropped enough points in Birkenhead to ensure they wouldn’t make a late surge for the play-offs. They also boast the best home defence in the league, conceding a measly 15 goals in 22 games.
The Iron have also been collecting draws like Tom Jones (women are known to throw their knickers at him you see, that’s where that marvellous pun comes from). Tying in 21 of their 45 matches, which includes 11 out of 22 away, and in a game where neither team has anything to play for, 9/4 on a draw here seems to be inviting enough to take the plunge. (You see knickers are also known as drawers in America, I’ll move on now).
Torquay to beat Hereford @ 21/20
On to a match that does count for something on Saturday. Torquay have to get a better result than Crawley, and avoid getting a worse result than Southend, to clinch promotion to League One.
Surely it’s a formality that they should do their job and win as they play a Hereford side who sit second from bottom? But then Crawley probably thought that last Saturday and were on the end of a 3-0 hammering.
However, with an impressive 11 away wins this season, with eight of their previous 12 trips ending with three points, I would back the Gulls to avoid making the same mistakes as their rivals from West Sussex.
Contrasted with the Bulls losing more than half of their games at Edgar Street (13 out of 22) and with the worst scoring record in the league on their home patch, it may well be the end of both of these clubs in League Two, with Torquay going up and Hereford going in the other direction.
Rotherham to beat Northampton @ 4/5
Our final game this week also comes from League Two, and we’re back to a meaningless season-ender (hold onto your hats. If you don’t have one, buy one, and then hold onto it).
However, ‘meaningless’ may be a concept lost on opinionated new Millers boss Steve Evans, who has enjoyed a mixed start to life in Yorkshire, with one win, one loss and one draw.
The one win came in his only home match so far, and now up against a Northampton side who have lost half of their away games this campaign, the Scot will fancy his chances of ending the season with another win.
The Cobblers have failed to win any of their last five games, losing two of the three away fixtures in that run. With 12 wins at the Don Valley Stadium in 2011/12, odds of 4/5 appear to be a fairly healthy way to complete this three-match accumulator.
I just hope this crazy world doesn’t jeopardise things by throwing a strange result into the mix. Something like a 4-0 win for a team like Wigan over a team like Newcastle.
Thankfully, though, the world isn’t that crazy, so it just won’t happen. I missed last week’s results by the way. What’s that you say? I don’t believe you.
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