Set pieces could hold the key to Tuesday's solitary League One clash.
Bristol Rovers v Walsall - Tuesday 19:45
Darrell Clarke has vowed to stick by his coaching principles and makes no apologies for trying out a new 3-4-3 system on Saturday. Rovers were behind inside 20 minutes at home to Rochdale, prompting Clarke to ditch the formation and revert to a back four, but he insists he will keep an open mind on tactics in his pursuit of a formula that best suits his players at this level.
In each of the past two seasons, the Pirates have coughed and spluttered over the first seven or eight matches, only to then settle down and establish a 60-odd per cent win ratio from late September onwards. So maybe now isn’t the time to be getting on board with them at barely even money, opposable though Walsall are under Jon Whitney.
The Saddlers have taken just five points from six matches, raising concerns that Whitney lacks the experience to keep them competitive on the back of trailblazing season. Tactics and team selection have been inconsistent, to such an extent that it’s difficult to make any sort of case for the away win here. Instead, turn your attention to the goalscorer markets.
Peter Hartley has upped his game at set pieces over the past few months, netting five times in his last 12 starts for both Plymouth and Rovers and his presence in the 18-yard box played a huge part in both goals for Matty Taylor in the 2-2 draw with Dale at the weekend. The 28-year-old centre back is a whopping 33/1 to score first and 12/1 to find the net anytime.