It’s a new calendar year, and we’ll be hoping to start it as we mean to carry on by landing our first winning treble of 2017 on Monday afternoon.
At odds of just over 11/2, it wouldn’t be our biggest winner of the next 12 months. Still, returning over £50 profit from a £10 stake would be more than satisfactory.
Leeds United v Rotherham United
Despite a couple of important December wins at the New York Stadium, struggling Rotherham appear destined for the drop in 2017, and it’s thanks largely to an away record of just one point from a possible 36. As they head to an in-form Leeds United, another loss is seemingly on the cards.
After all, Leeds enter 2017 sitting in the play-offs and Garry Monk’s men will do everything they can to remain in the top six. To do that, games like this at Elland Road will be considered must wins. Having won three home matches on the spin without conceding, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
In addition to a great defence, Leeds boast the attacking talents of Chris Wood and Souleymane Doukara, who should be licking their lips in the prospect of facing an away side that’s shipped 33 times on its travels.
Anything can happen in a derby game, but Leeds are the far stronger outfit in this one. Home win.
Scunthorpe United v Peterborough United
In League One, a return of one win in five has seen Graham Alexander’s Scunthorpe drop out of the automatic promotion spots to third. But with just two points separating them from league leaders Sheffield United, the Iron still have plenty of time to get their title hopes back on track – starting with this home clash against Peterborough.
Despite their recent failings, the hosts remain unbeaten at Glanford Park, beating Millwall 3-0 in their last home encounter. The attacking options of Paddy Madden, Kevin van Veen, and Tom Hopper should give them plenty of optimism as they look to start the year in style, even if Posh will be expected to put up a fight.
Peterborough’s away form is fairly solid but Grant McCann’s men will be under no illusions about the enormity of this task. The visitors would certainly settle for a draw before kick-off, especially as they tend to concede goals.
Posh do notoriously score goals too. However, the hosts have leaked just seven in 11 home games, which has seen them win seven and draw four. Back them to register their eight victory here.
Colchester United v Cheltenham Town
League Two outfit Colchester are flying up the table right now, and will suddenly be thinking about the prospect of pushing for the play-offs as they bid to bounce back to the third tier. If they can make it four wins on the spin against Cheltenham, those aspirations will look even better.
In stark contrast to the hosts, Cheltenham are falling fast and are now trapped in the relegation zone thanks to a return of four defeats in five. While their away form is virtually as good as their home record, the Robins cannot afford to keep losing. Unfortunately, given Colchester’s form, the visitors couldn’t have asked for a tougher challenge.
Goals have been a problem for the visitors but Gary Johnson will be more concerned that his side has now gone nine league games without a clean sheet. With struggles occurring at both ends of the pitch, it’s easy to see why they are in so much trouble. The far harder task is seeing how they can turn things around, especially in this difficult first fixture of 2017.
With John McGreal’s side scoring goals at a rapid rate, the home fans will expect nothing less than three points. Thankfully for them, we think the players will deliver.