We were a Grimsby goal away from banking some cash on the midweek football but I’m putting my anger aside (honestly, I am) and moving onto the weekend’s fixture list to find some teams out there capable of bagging a few goals for us.
Cheltenham vs Barrow
Last season these two sides were two divisions apart but with Cheltenham suffering relegation from League Two and Barrow being promoted from the Conference North, the two meet for the first time since 1999 this Saturday afternoon at the The Abbey Business Stadium.The hosts have had an undefeated start to the season, albeit with 3 draws and 1 win and as a result they sit firmly in mid-table.
Gary Johnson has a fully fit squad to choose from for this game and with the addition of Rob Dickie on loan from Reading in the week, his defence has also been strengthened. The Robins have only failed to score in 1 of their 4 games this season and in their last game here at home stuck 3 past Southport.
Amari Morgan-Smith joined from Oldham in the Summer and has 2 goals to his name in 4 starts and he could be a big threat against a Barrow defence which has been far from reliable so far this term.
The visitors have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their 4 games this season, conceded 4 goals in both of their away games at Grimsby and Forest Green. Yes, those sides are possibly two of the strongest in The Conference, but so are Cheltenham and although the two sides now meet in the same league, I still believe there is a gulf in class here that The Robins can take advantage of.
Cheltenham Over 1.5 Team Goals at 10/11
Middlesbrough vs Bristol City
Boro have started their season in the way that many expected really and in 4 games in all competitions they remain undefeated with 2 wins and 2 draws. Only 1 of those 4 games has been played here at The Riverside, seeing off Bolton 3-0 last weekend.
Karanka’s men were also unlucky to only grab a draw against Derby in the week, being denied right at the death by Johnny Russel. They host Bristol City this Saturday and Karanka will be hoping to continue their solid form against a City side who have somewhat struggled to adapt to life back in a higher division.
Steve Cotterill’s men were impressive last year in League One, there’s no doubt about that, but here in The Championship it’s proven to be a difficult transition. They’ve collected just 1 point from their 3 games so far and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by League Two side Luton. But more worryingly, their defence has been suspect to say the least.
City have now conceded 11 goals in 4 games and have the worst defensive record in The Championship so far this season. With the likes of Kike who has 3 goals in 3 games for Boro and with David Nugent also looking to break into the first team, Boro should have too much here for newly promoted Bristol City and should find the net a few times with ease against this defence.
Middlesbrough Over 1.5 Team Goals at 8/11
Carlisle vs AFC Wimbledon
My final pick of the bunch comes at a very decent price and in all honesty it’s probably my most confident of the 3. Those who followed my treble midweek will know that I backed Cambridge to score twice against AFC Wimbledon and they duly obliged, but rather than following Cambridge, instead I’m going again against AFC Wimbledon.
I really see them struggling this season and with just 1 win to their name away at Crawley last weekend, it’s not hard to see why. They’re yet to keep a clean sheet this term and today they visit Brunton Park to play a Carlisle side who although have been unconvincing in terms of points on the board, they certainly know how to find the net.
Carlisle have collected only 2 points in the league so far this season leaving them 5th from bottom and although they have the worst defence in League Two, they also boast the joint 4th best attack so far. Keith Curle’s men have scored in all 4 of their games in all competitions this season and in their only league game here in front of their own fans, they scored 4 in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Cambridge last weekend.
Yes, they’ve also conceded in every game making the “Both Teams to Score” bet looking a very solid one here, but with Jabo Ibhere leading they line they have a very capable striker and he can add to his 4 goals today against a suspect Wimbledon defence.
Carlisle Over 1.5 Team Goals at 11/8
A £20 bet on the treble returns £156.62