With a change in approach has come a real change in fortune, with both of our Saturday selections coming good last week. It seemed to be one of those weekends when everything fell our way, Accrington coming from two down to win 3-2 and Derby bagging a stoppage time winner to bring home both the single and double selections, leaving us well in profit for the season.
We have an action packed Easter weekend coming up with double header games on Good Friday and Easter Monday, giving us ample opportunity to increase our season profit, or to put a great big dent into it as it may be. It’s the most exciting time of the season, with the games coming thick and fast and every game seeming to have increased importance, as team’s battle for promotion or to avoid relegation, making it a great time for betting.
We’ll start with the Good Friday games in the Football League, where there is a full fixture list across the three divisions.
Nottingham Forest to beat Blackburn at Home – Best Price 13/10
Our first selection for the Easter period takes place in a match-up that could be a battle for who is the biggest basket case club in the Championship, with Nottingham Forest fancied to beat Blackburn Rovers (on the pitch at least). Forest seem to have been an absolute shambles for years, with the current owner trying to offload the club for some time but apparently with some ridiculous terms attached to the sale. They started the season well under Philippe Montanier, who was a bit of coup when appointed manager, with a young, attacking side scoring plenty, but they soon began to falter and struggle for consistency as you’d expect from a young team. Following the dismissal of Montanier, Forest recently appointed Mark Warburton as manager, which again was a bit of a coup as Warburton is a good coach who took a step backwards after joining Rangers from Brentford, showing Forest are still an attractive name.
It’s still early days under Warburton but the changes he has made look to be bringing improvement, as they become more consistent and tougher to beat, with results picking up of late. They may only have won one in four but they’ve also only lost once in the same period and if Warburton can continue to improve the defence it will have a big impact on the fortunes of Forest, as scoring goals hasn’t been the problem for them this year.
Blackburn somehow make Forest look almost normal, with it difficult to really know where to start with what’s gone wrong under the Venky’s at Blackburn. Focusing on this season, they have been in the bottom three all season and have looked like certs for the drop since August. Results picked up after Tony Mowbray replaced the hapless Owen Coyle but have dropped off again since, and the chance to avoid relegation is more down to rivals’ ineptitude than their own qualities. They’ll need at least two more wins to avoid the drop, but it’s hard to see where they’ll come from particularly with their poor away record of only two wins all season.
We can’t have too much confidence when picking a side in the bottom six and there are obvious risks attached, but Forest do have a solid home record with 34 of their 45 points coming at home and they look like good value to continue their improvement under Mark Warburton.
Doncaster to Win Away at Colchester – Best Price 11/10
It isn’t that long ago since Doncaster were in the Championship, but following two relegations in three years and a drop into League Two, Doncaster have bounced back at the first time of asking and will now be looking to secure the league title. Darren Ferguson may have failed in bigger jobs and be somewhat tarnished by the inevitable association with his father, but he has a very good record at this level and has continued that with Doncaster. Doncaster top pretty much every statistic in the division and, in John Marquis, have the top scorer in the division.
Colchester, like Doncaster, have spent recent years playing out at a higher level and reached the heights of the Championship in 2006, but have been in gradual decline since. This season has looked (from afar) like one of rebuilding, with a side in transition and results being as inconsistent as that would suggest. Form has been patchy but they have managed to flirt with the play-offs for much of the season and still sit only two points off seven place. They still have a chance of an immediate return to League One and their home form would have them challenging for automatic promotion, with Doncaster the only side in the division to pick-up more points at home, but I feel this might just be a season too early for Colchester.
This will be very tight, with the dangers being the home form of Colchester and Doncaster taking an early holiday after already securing promotion. However, at face value, I expect Doncaster to have too much for Colchester and represent fairly decent value at odds against.
Nottingham Forest – 2pts @ 13/10 (Stan James)
Nottingham Forest & Doncaster (Double) – 2pts @ 3.83 (Stan James)