Port Vale v Rochdale - Tuesday 19:45
Port Vale have taken four points from the opening two matches, which goes a long way towards disguising grave reservations about their prospects under Bruno Ribeiro, with one newspaper column on Sunday revealing that the manager’s salary offered by chairman Norman Smurthwaite is somewhere in the region of around £40,000 - the same as your average Premier League kit man!
The Valiants were worthy 2-0 winners against a dreadful Southend side on Saturday but reports suggest they were distinctly second best before taking the lead shortly before half-time and confidence could be brittle against a tidy and occasionally ruthless Rochdale side who seldom take long to discover their mojo at the start of a new season.
It’s too early in the season to be getting overly excited about 9/5 shots away from home that you think should be 8/5, but the 5/1 available on Rochdale to clear the -1 handicap gets the pulse racing because there’s a back catalogue of examples showing they are capable. Keith Hill teams never settle on a one-goal lead.
Over the past two seasons, exactly half of their 38 wins have been achieved by two clear goals or more, seven out of 15 away. When playing away from home against the teams who eventually finished in the bottom six, Dale have scored 28 goals in 12 matches. As a speculative side bet, take the 15/1 available on the visitors to post a routine 2-0 win.