Home & Aways – Week 3

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So last week was an accumulator’s worst nightmare. Southampton somehow didn’t destroy Sunderland despite a more one sided game than Brazil vs North Korea (Remember that game where North Korea won 1-0? Or so their media claimed!). Then to make matters worse Man City decide to blow up at Cardiff before Man Utd and Chelsea subjected us to a coma inducing stalemate on Monday night. In summary, last week is best left as a distant memory. Fortunately for us that’s easy to do as this week presents us with a fresh new set of fixtures to cipher through. Here’s my verdicts and value.

Homes

Yes they got schooled by Cardiff last weekend. Yes we all laughed as Frasier Campbell nodded the ‘Dragons’ into a 3-1 lead. Yes it was great to see the most expensive players in the league brought down a peg or two. But will Man City drop points at home to Hull? Is there a stronger word for No? Erm… No. The odds on offer are pretty dire to be fair but there’s little to no chance of an upset being caused here. Getting psyched up to play in front of your own fans is one thing and Hull will take confidence from defending a 1-0 lead with 10 men against Norwich last week. But to go and get a result at the COM Stadium is a bridge too far. If nothing else this result is a small accumulator booster that shouldn’t fail and get them off to a good start after the early 12.45 KO.

Elsewhere in the top flight it’s tough to find any games to back with confidence but in terms of value I think West Ham at home to Stoke represent a great price at evens across the board. I’ve been very impressed with the Hammers showing in their first two games. They sailed past Cardiff in Week 1 and created way more than enough chances to down Newcastle last weekend. They’re playing some great passing football and back that up with a solid looking defence in Collins and Reid and I think they have more than enough to handle the Potters this afternoon. Despite a win against Crystal Palace themselves, Mark Hughes’ men hardly instilled confidence having gone behind in that game.

The Championship is always the hardest to pick winners from, each week never seems straightforward. But there’s a couple of really juicy games throwing out some nice odds. Derby welcome Burnley to Pride Park in an 8th vs 9th encounter. Both teams have made solid starts to the season and a win for either team will keep them just 3 points off top spot at worst. Derby haven’t beaten Burnley in the league since 2007 but I fancy the hosts to end that poor form today. A cracking away win at Yeovil last weekend wasn’t let slip when they annihilated Brentford 5-0 in the Capital One Cup midweek. Odds of evens looks really good value for a team that’ll be brimming with confidence and a win will do no harm at all to their outside chances of promotion.
Despite putting their first point on the board last weekend, an away trip to Brighton might be too much for Millwall this week. The Seagulls have won their last two and have scored in all 5 of their games so far this season. Couple that with Millwall’s poor defensive record so far in the league it looks like a home win should be on the cards here today.

League 1 seems to be one of the only leagues showing a bit of early consistency and for that reason it’s hard not to include Peterborough on the betslip this weekend. Arguably they have to drop points at some stage but I’m not sure at home to Crawley this week is going to be it. Smashing 6 past Reading in the cup midweek despite resting a few starters speaks volumes for the mood they are currently in. Crawley are no mugs in the league but they may be up against too much here and I expect the Posh juggernaut to go marching on.
Brentford also look a solid shout taking on lowly Carlisle. The away side are leaking goals like there’s a hole in the bottom so far this season and, while they go in search of just their 2nd point of the season, I’m not sure they’re going to find a result here.

In League 2 Oxford threw away the league’s only 100% record with a disappointing home draw to Wycombe last week. Odds of better than evens are too much to ignore this week though as they take on Rochdale at home. They’ll be looking to bounce back to winning ways and with a lot of their rivals having away trips this weekend they should see it as an opportunity to try and put some air between them and the chasing pack. The away side haven’t won since opening day and even that was against lowly Hartlepool.

Aways

There’s only one away game in the Premiership I’ve had my eye on this week. In terms of value I think it’s a pearler. It’s not often I’ll be saying this this season as I’m not a fan of the new Moyes ridden Reds, but Man Utd look cracking at odds of 2/1 to take down Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Despite putting me through 90 minutes of boredom against Chelsea this week they proved to me they’re made of slightly sterner stuff than I gave them credit for. Rooney is back on board and RvP is, well, RvP. The main factor for me here though is Liverpool’s “easy” midweek game against Notts County. I’m not sure the likes of Gerrard, Sturridge et al were expecting to need the full 120 mins to despatch of their League 1 opponents. Johnson and Agger also played the full amount and even subs Coutinho and Henderson played a good hour on the night. The potential loss of Toure tomorrow who’s looked particularly solid so far will also cause concern for the home side. Compare that to Utd’s near week off and surely that becomes a big factor here. It’s got draw written all over it but I can’t dismiss Utd’s positive odds which will certainly be rare on most of their away days this season.

In the Championship both Reading and Leicester are above evens to overcome Yeovil and Charlton respectively. Nothing can be taken for granted in this league but if we’re to go on any sort of form (Reading have had as tough a start as any so will be looking to take advantage of some ‘lesser’ opponents) then perhaps these two games offer the best chance of some away action on the betslips!

League 1 favourites Wolves go to the Vale on the back of three straight victories. They can bag another one here despite the home side claiming a decent scalp last time they were at home against Bradford. Their last outing was a 3-1 drubbing to Oldham so it would seem they’re not in any kind of groove compared to their rivals just yet. With Leyton Orient also having a tricky away day at Colchester, Wolves will see this as their chance to get up into the top 2 promotions spots where they’ll want to remain.

Finally, League 2 has a few interesting aways this week. Burton Albion take on bottom of the table Accrington and odds of better than evens look too good to ignore here also. No red marks on the away sides record yet this season (2 wins, 2 draws), you’d fancy them to keep their solid start going here. Southend’s 100% record was brought to a halt by 2nd placed Chesterfield last week but that shouldn’t stop them from travelling to Wycombe with confidence. It’ll be a tough ask against a side who took a well deserved point from Oxford last week but, if they’re to do well this season, these are the must wins! Last but not least I think Plymouth offer superb value at almost 2/1 away at Morecambe today. It looks like the Pilgrims may have hit a bit of form after convincing wins over Rochdale and Cheltenham. It’s by no means a banker but if you’re looking for a whopping bumper to put on the slip then there are worse shouts than this.

Accys

Homes – Man City, Brighton, P’Boro, Brentford, Oxford @ 9/1

Aways – Leicester, Wolves, Burton @ 10/1

Outsider – West Ham, Derby, Man Utd, Southend @ 30/1