Mike Holden has two strong fancies for this big game in League two
Crewe v Mansfield - Saturday 15:00
Steve Davis experimented with a high defensive line at Wycombe in midweek and he probably won’t be in a hurry to do it again. His Crewe side were dismantled in devastating fashion by the lowly Chairboys, a simple ball in-behind carving them wide open time and time again. Three-nil down by half time, the Railwaymen eventually slumping to a 5-1 defeat.
However, let’s cast that result to the back of our minds, assume that Davis has learned a valuable lesson, and stick to the bigger picture. Despite the aborration at Adams Park, Crewe are still posting respectable figures defensively across the first nine games with expected goals against running at 1.21 per game, around 0.06 goals lower than average.
Mansfield ended their goal drought at Accrington last time out with a direct free-kick from Chris Clements that crashed in off the underside of the bar. It ended a sequence of 482 minutes without finding the net, but the Stags remain the tightest team in the division from a defensive perspective and the value here is playing under 1.5 goals at 13/5.
Adam Murray’s men are operating to a total goals expectancy of just 1.73, the lowest in the division by some distance, and this is, essentially, a clash between two teams who defend better than they attack. The market has the total goals line at around 2.40, whereas my ratings make it 2.04. On that basis, it would be rude to ignore no goalscorer at 9/1.