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THE BTTS COUPON 11th January
Last Saturday brought us our third winner in four attempts (although a postponement at Fratton Park meant that it was only a double this time) and we’re aiming for another victory as league football returns following last weekend’s FA Cup 3rd round.
Adverse weather may once again impact our selections but hopefully they’ll be goals in whatever games do go ahead.
Southampton V West Brom
Last week we successfully predicted that Southampton v Burnley would be a fixture in which both teams would score but the 4-3 thriller even shocked us. Against West Brom we’re expecting goals at either end again.
Saints have scored in all but two of their home matches (all competitions) this season and, despite an almost blemished defensive record during the early weeks, have failed to keep a clean sheet at St Mary’s since October. Their most recent six home matches have seen 27 goals (13 for, 14 against) and there should be no reason that goals won’t come in Saturday’s meeting with West Brom.
The reverse fixture was settled by a late Rickie Lambert penalty but both teams have changed a lot since that August encounter.
West Brom have struggled for points on the road but will be buoyant by the three goals scored at West Ham, which gave them a successive away draw following a 1-1 at White Hart Lane. An Anelka brace at Upton Park suggests the sulky Frenchman may finally be ready to start scoring goals for his new club and against a leaky Saints defence the Baggies will fancy their chances of scoring.
Southampton would love to follow up their FA Cup victory with a first home league triumph in five. However, you should rule out a Baggies upset at your peril. This one could go either way but hopefully they’ll be a few goals to keep the neutrals happy.
BTTS Yes @ 8/11 with Paddy Power
Bolton Wanderers V Nottingham Forest
In the Championship, ex-Premier League sides Bolton and Nottingham Forest face off at the Reebok in what could be an interesting encounter.
Despite performing poorly this season, recording just six league wins, Bolton have scored 29 times in 24 league games. However, they’ve shipped in 34 and finding a reason for their predicament of sitting 18th is not a difficult task.
The Trotters last two league matches have been a 5-3 loss and 2-2 draw. Combined with last Saturday’s 2-1 F.A Cup victory over fellow Championship side Blackpool, the stats suggest it could be a goal fest.
Billy Davies’ Forest are in great form and are definite contenders for promotion, even if that is via the play-off route. Their resounding 5-0 demolition of West Ham in the cup further highlighted their ability to score goals. Consecutive 0-0 draws in the middle of December are the Reds only blanks in 10 league matches and with 34 scored this season they’ll expect to get on the scoreboard at Bolton.
Forest are unbeaten in seven league matches and will be favourites to preserve that record here. However, Bolton could be dangerous and both keepers may have their work cut out in this one.
BTTS YES @ 8/11 with Paddy Power
Accrington Stanley V Newport County
The encounter at the Crown Ground carries equal importance for both Accrington and Newport, albeit for different reasons, and could be an extremely entertaining affair.
County passed up the glorious opportunity of breaking into the play-off places last weekend by losing to rock-bottom Northampton. As well as preventing Justin Edinburgh’s side the chance to move up to 5th, it also piles the pressure on Stanley who are now just three points above the Football League’s 92nd position.
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Both teams will be desperate for the win and goals will be the aim of the day.
Prior to that shock lossat home to Northampton, Newport lost 1-0 to Burton but that was their only blank in 5 outings. Nevertheless, back-to-back defeats threaten to ruin their promotion hopes and they’ll be desperate to put things right on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Accrington’s last five matches have seen goals at both ends. Form is a little sketchy at this moment for Beattie’s side but it seems strikingly obvious that attack is their best form of defence as they cannot buy a clean sheet.
I can see the Welshmen sneaking an away victory but do think Stanley will get on the scoreboard.
BTTS Yes @8/11 with Paddy Power
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