It’s the final fixtures of the calendar year and hopefully this both teams to score treble comprised of matches from the Football League will help us end 2013 with a bang.
Bournemouth V Ipswich Town
In the Championship, Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth will be hoping to complete a hat-trick of victories against Ipswich Town.
The festive period has been kind to Bournemouth so far as wins either side of Christmas has allowed them to claw away from the relegation zone into 15th place. In fact, the Cherries now find themselves closer to the play-off places than the bottom three; a home victory over the Tractor Boys would certainly ease the pressure as we enter the New Year.
Those two wins did come against teams in the bottom three though and this will be a much harder task against 7th placed Ipswich. Mick McCarthy’s men are in a great run of form with five wins, four draws and only one defeat in their last ten – and have also scored in nine of those matches.
They have kept clean sheets in each of their past three games on the road but that run will have to end soon and a Bournemouth side with 29 goals in 22 games and enjoying a run of back-to-back wins over the last week will fancy their chances.
The Cherries have conceded 39 times though and their defence leaks goals at Dean Court just as often as it does away from home. Ipswich will expect to at least score and I can see this being either a score draw or an away win with both teams scoring.
Both teams are high in confidence and I think that will show.
BTTS Yes @ 3/4 with BetVictor
Coventry V Oldham
In League One, Coventry City have been involved in some classic encounters this season and it could be another exciting affair against Oldham.
The Sky Blues have easily offered the most entertaining football of any third tier team, unfortunately nobody is there to watch it as the majority of their support refuses to see them play at the temporary home of Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium.
Coventry’s latest thriller came in the Boxing Day win over Peterborough, where a 4-2 triumph took their goals scored tally for the season to a staggering 48 from 22 matches; meanwhile they’ve also conceded 40. Eighty eight goals gives a goal to game ratio of exactly 4 and for that reason alone you’d have to fancy another BTTS in this one.
Oldham aren’t the division’s most prolific scorers but 24 goals in 21 matches is a steady rate and there is no reason to think they can’t score against the leaky Sky Blues defence. At the other end they’ve let in 29 and high-scoring Coventry will be optimistic about retaining their status as the division’s highest scorers.
This should be a home win, but a lapse in the Coventry defence would not come as a surprise. Hopefully it will be another enthralling contest involving the Sky Blues.
BTTS Yes @ 8/11 with BetVictor
Accrington Stanley V Southend United
Accrington Stanley have recovered from a tragic start and in recent weeks have been one of League Two’s most consistent sides.
Back-to-back defeats around 4 weeks ago are Stanley’s only recorded losses in ten matches and the league position of 18th does not give a true reflection of how they’ve performed in recent weeks. Of those ten matches, James Beattie’s men have found the net in 9.
Southend have been equally impressive in recent weeks. The Essex side currently occupy one of the play-off berths and promotion to League One will definitely be on the agenda for Phil Brown.
On their day they can be brilliant but they are equally capable of pressing the self-destruct button at any given moment. One thing that you can expect from the Shrimpers though is goals, as they have scored in 8 of their last 9.
The corresponding fixture has seen both teams score in each of the past three seasons (the only three times they’ve met at the Store First Stadium) and I expect that tradition to continue here.
BTTS Yes @ 9/10 with BetVictor