Football Preview: 5th May

With League One already in the thick of the play-offs and the final day of The Championship and League Two spread across the weekend, we have a much reduced programme to pick from this weekend.

Despite the lack of action on offer there are still some good opportunities out there in League Two this Saturday.  There are some obvious short priced options, with home bankers like Portsmouth, but we’ve found a couple of selections that might just offer a bit more value.

 

Colchester to Win at Home to Yeovil – Best Price 7/10 (Ladbrokes)

The question could be raised if an odds-on selection actually represents value and I’d be the first to raise this with tipsters who regularly post long-odds shots to followers.  However, I can’t get away from the fact that I think Colchester should be considerably shorter here and at odds-on still offer a bit of value.

Colchester go into the final day of the season in tenth position but are just one point off the final play-off spot, so still have an outside chance of promotion.  With current seventh placed Blackpool facing as close to a gimme as they can get for their final game, already relegated Leyton Orient at home, The U’s will need a lot fall in their favour to grab that final spot.

Despite promotion only being an outside chance I don’t expect that to mean Colchester put in a reduced performance.  They have one of the best home records in the division; only Doncaster have won more games at home and they would have been close to promotion if their away form wasn’t so poor, and are one of the best sides in League Two at their best.  With one of the youngest squads in the division, I expect them to push on and challenge for promotion next season.

They face Yeovil who despite a few hairy moments have secured their League status with time to spare.  With safety assured, The Glovers form has dipped as they have won just one in nine and their away form has been poor all season, winning just three games all season – fewer than anyone else.

Colchester may be odds-on but I can’t see anything other than a home win so the 7/10 on offer looks generous to me.

 

Carlisle to Win Away to Exeter – Best Price 13/8 (Bet365, Ladbrokes)

Taking form at face value this may not be the most obvious of selections and you could argue the bookies have it wrong placing Carlisle as favourites, given recent form and positions.  However, when you look at the bigger picture Carlisle could be one of the bets of the season here.

If we were looking at the form of these two teams in isolation, we’d see that there isn’t a great deal between the two with Exeter one place and three points above Carlisle, the home and away form of each side matching-up very closely and Exeter in slightly better form of late as Carlisle have hit a dip in form.

That all seems relatively straightforward.  However, when we look at the bigger picture we can see that Exeter are safe in the play-offs; they cannot fall lower than their current fifth place position and are unlikely to improve on that given the goal differences involved.  Therefore this is ripe for an underperformance from Exeter who haven’t been particularly strong at home this season anyway.  They will want avoid risking injury or suspension ahead of what will be the biggest games of their season and who could blame them.

Carlisle on the other hand head into this knowing that they need a win to secure their play-off spot, with four sides outside of the top seven within two points and with superior goal difference to them.  They have to go for the win to be sure of reaching the play-offs and, despite being below Exeter in the table, probably have one of the kindest opposition to do this with Exeter unlikely to be fully geared-up for this fixture.

With Exeter likely to have an eye on the play-offs and Carlisle needing a win to have any hope of promotion, backing a win for The Cumbrians could be one of the bets of the season.

 

ADVICE:

Colchester & Carlisle – Double @ 3.46 (Ladbrokes)

Carlisle – 1pt @ 13/8 (Ladbrokes)