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Weekend Football Preview As Norwich Welcome Liverpool

Weekend Football Preview as Norwich Welcome Liverpool

Another busy weekend of football is upon us with many of the teams playing their third game in a week. Premier League leaders Liverpool go to Norwich with a 22-point lead while West Brom lead the Championship by six points. In League One Rotherham are top of the table with a one-point advantage while in League Two Swindon lead the way by two points. Which games should you consider for your bets? Charlie Mullan has done the homework for you by analysing all this weekend’s games.  


BTTS: Birmingham v Brentford, Forest Green v Oldham, Crawley v Carlisle

Brentford (20/21) missed the chance to go second in the Championship on Tuesday night when they drew 1-1 with Leeds in a game neither goalkeeper will want to remember fondly. A howler from Kiko Casilla gifted the Bees the lead midway through the first half only for Brentford keeper David Raya missed a corner which allowed Liam Cooper to level for Leeds. This is Brentford’s final season at Griffin Park and they would love nothing more than to close the famous old ground with a Premier League promotion party to end all parties. Victory at St Andrew’s will help their promotion push and keep the pressure on the sides around them in the table.

Birmingham (59/20) look set to miss out on the play-offs and with a 13-point gap between them and the bottom three, they should avoid being dragged into a relegation battle. There is a good chance of this fixture ending with goals for both Birmingham and Brentford given the frequency it has happened in recent games. Birmingham’s last seven games to be played in front of their own supporters have seen BTTS land and includes their FA Cup tie with Coventry which the Blues won following a penalty shootout after the replay finished 1-1 in normal time and 2-2 after extra-time. Eight of Birmingham’s last nine Championship games have seen BTTS land and they face a Brentford side whose last three league games have seen goals for both them and their opponents. SportPesa are offering odds of 5/6 for BTTS to land in this fixture while a score draw is trading at 33/10. Birmingham are 25/4 to win with at least one goal for the visitors who are 29/10 to win with BTTS landing. 

When Forest Green (31/20) were beaten 3-2 at home by Port Vale, it was the eighth successive game in which a League Two fixture involving Rovers saw at least one goal for them and one for their opponents. The last time Forest Green weren’t involved in a game where BTTS landed was on New Year’s Day when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Exeter. Mark Cooper’s side left it until the 78th to score against Port Vale in midweek by which time they were 3-0 down. This weekend, Rovers travel to Boundary Park to face an Oldham (9/5) team that has lost their last two league games. They scored first at Crewe but lost 2-1 three days before they equalised at Exeter before losing 5-1 when their goalscorer and key defender David Wheater was sent off just before half-time.

Five of the Latics’ last six league games have seen BTTS land and SportPesa are offering odds of 4/5 for there to be goals for both Forest Green and Oldham. A score draw is on the market at 3/1 while the home side are 9/2 to win with at least one goal for Rovers who are 15/4 to win with BTTS landing. Rovers made the play-offs last season, but they have their work cut out this season to be involved in the play-offs. They are currently 10th in League Two, six points off the play-off places. Oldham should be safe from relegation from the Football League and a win will ease their worries as they sit 19th in the table 14 points clear of basement side Stevenage. 

After a goalless draw at Salford, Crawley (6/5) returned to their old habits when they lost 2-1 at Crewe on Tuesday night when Chris Porter’s second goal of the game in injury time denied Town a point. It was the ninth time in their last 10 League Two matches that Crawley were involved in a game where BTTS has landed. Six of the last seven league and cup games Carlisle (41/20) have played have seen goals for them and the team they have been playing. In fact, Carlisle’s last six away games have seen BTTS land and includes their 2-2 draw at Mansfield on February 1 when Elliot Watt and Joshua Kayode scored in the final nine minutes to earn Town a point.

These two sides met on the opening day of the season when a total of three goals were scored. BTTS landed as early as the 16th minute when Beryly Lubula cancelled out Harry McKirdy’s opener in the sixth minute. Stefan Scougall scored the winner for Carlisle in the 32nd minute. It was the sixth time in the last seven meetings in which both Crawley and Carlisle found each other’s net. The last four meetings have seen BTTS land and SportPesa are offering odds of 2/3 for BTTS to land in this fixture while a score draw is on the market at 3/1. Crawley, who are 14th in League Two, are 29/10 to win with at least one goal for the visitors. Carlisle, who are 20th in the table, are 4/1 to win this game with the home side scoring at least one goal. 

Over 2.5 goals: Norwich v Liverpool, Plymouth v Crewe, Southend v Coventry

Liverpool are on course to win their first ever Premier League title and in record-breaking fashion too. They currently have a 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League having dropped just two points from a possible 75. How many points Liverpool win the league by is one of the talking points being discussed on a regular basis. Another question is whether Jurgen Klopp’s side can go through the entire Premier League season undefeated and emulate Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ in their 2003/04 season. There is every possibility they can achieve that accolade. A trip to Norwich should be a formality, but the Reds will not be taking anything for granted. This is the return fixture of the season opener which Liverpool won 4-1. The game continued the tradition of plenty of goals with three or more goals scored in seven of the last eight meetings.

Both teams are returning to action after the league’s first winter break. Before signing off, Liverpool beat Southampton 4-0 while the Canaries drew 0-0 at Newcastle. Norwich will hope the fortnight they have spent on the training pitch will have helped them come up with a way of stifling Liverpool’s attacking threats. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have scored more Premier League goals between them than Norwich have as a team. SportPesa are offering odds of 20/39 for Liverpool’s trip to Carrow Road to produce three or more goals while odds of 11/10 are available for both teams to score and combine for over 2.5 match goals. Norwich, who beat Manchester City 3-2 at Carrow Road earlier in the season, are 15/1 to win this game with a minimum of three match goals scored. Liverpool are 5/7 to win with over 2.5 total goals scored. 

When Plymouth (6/4) and Crewe (7/4) meet, it usually means a busy day for the scoreboard operators. Only twice in the last seven meetings have the two sides failed to produce a minimum of three goals. When the two sides met in the opening day of the season, it was Argyle who started the season with three points following a 3-0 win at the Alexandra Stadium. Callum McFadzean scored twice that day and he will hope to be on the scoresheet again this weekend when the two sides meet at Home Park. Goals have not been in short supply when the Pilgrims have played in recent weeks. Nine of their last 10 League Two games have seen a minimum of three match goals scored and includes their five-goal thriller at Salford on Tuesday night when they were pegged back twice before Ryan Hardie scored the winner in injury time.

Crewe have won their last three league games 2-1 and another win could see them go top of the table if leaders Swindon lose at home to Scunthorpe. A win for Plymouth, who have a game in hand on the sides above them, will keep their hopes of automatic promotion alive. SportPesa are offering odds of 20/27 for this fixture between two promotion chasing sides to produce three or more goals. Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is on the market at 20/21 while Argyle are 53/20 to win with over 2.5 goals landing. Crewe are 57/20 to win with three or more total goals scored. 

Southend’s time in League One looks to be coming to an end with the Shrimps sat second from bottom 13 points from safety. Even if Southend were to cause a shock and beat Coventry, it could be a case of delaying the inevitable. Coventry (2/3) are planning an escape from League One themselves, but via promotion not relegation. The Sky Blues have three games in hand on second-place Peterborough who are one point ahead of them while leaders Rotherham have a two-point lead on Coventry who have played a game more than Mark Robins’ side. Southend (15/4) enter this fixture having been soundly beat 4-0 at Peterborough having held their hosts goalless for the first 50 minutes. It was the Shrimpers’ fifth consecutive League One in which three or more goals had been scored.

Coventry’s last away games in the league saw three goals scored when the beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 with Liam Walsh’s goal on the stroke of half-time turning out to be the decisive goal. Another reason why we think there might be goals in this particular fixture is the fact that Coventry’s last six visits to Roots Hall, the total number of goals has exceeded three. Last season, Jodi Jones popped up in the last minute to score City’s winner in a 2-1 win. SportPesa are offering odds of 5/6 for this game to produce three or more goals while BTTS and over 2.5 goals is priced at 6/5. Southend are 27/4 to win with over 2.5 match goals while the visitors are 6/4 to win with a minimum of three goals scored in the match.

A £10 bet on the BTTS accumulator has potential returns of £56.70

A £10 bet on the over 2.5 goals accumulator has potential returns of £50.61

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