Mike Holden picks out his best bets from the Football League on Saturday afternoon.
Chesterfield v Crewe
The contrast in mood coming into this game is distinct, with Crewe players speaking openly about the importance of the game in the wider context of the League One relegation battle, whereas Spirites boss Danny Wilson is keen to play the significance down. On that basis alone, you’d be inclined to suggest it’s the home team feeling the pressure more in the build up.
And rightly so. Chesterfield have only won three home matches all season and they haven’t managed a clean sheet in 15 attempts. Crewe might be down to the bare bones with Steve Davis forced to name a bench almost entirely made up of academy graduates but there’s a sense of camaraderie developing in the face of that adversity and it could be the difference here.
Exeter v Newport
The Exiles have taken 10 points from a possible 15 under new boss Warren Feeney and should certainly be fresher with a full week to prepare, while Exeter were trekking to York and back in midweek following a weekend trip to Wycombe. Both of those games ended in routine defeats with Tisdale bemoaning flat second-half performances when his team were required to chase.
He shouldn’t really be surprised. The schedule has been extremely demanding on the Devon outfit since they hosted Liverpool in the FA Cup last month with other trips to Morecambe, Leyton Orient, Liverpool and Hartlepool meaning the Grecians have spent 52 hours on the road, clocking up over 3,000 miles, in the space of just five weeks.
Oxford v Accrington
Now John Coleman is vowing to go all-out on the attack in this promotion six-pointer and his Accrington side look excellent value to take the spoils at 14/5. The more adventurous among you might also want to back it up with a bet on Accrington to score over 2.5 goals at 9/1.
From a ratings perspective, the visitors should be no bigger than 2/1 and their position as the division’s most creative attacking force isn’t truly reflected in the goals column but Stanley do have the capacity to tear it up from time to time. We should take Coleman’s promise at face value and back his men to expose diminishing confidence in the home ranks.