Football League expert, The Betting Desk, takes a deep dive into three of this week’s matches and provides his best bets from League One and League Two.
Sutton vs Hartlepool
Sutton have gone W3-D1-L0 at home this season with their only dropped points coming in their opening game against Newport, which refers to the underlying performance was a fair result. So far, they have beaten Barrow, Mansfield and Harrogate at home. The victories over Barrow and Mansfield were excellent results given how both sides have started and with the bookies having Mansfield as a side which should fight for promotion.
I have them 8th on xPTS, 9th on xG ratio and 4th for SOT ratio. Over the last two seasons at home, they have a record of W17-D6-L4. Defensively they have been excellent, just 2.25 shots on target conceded per game with the only one side conceding fewer.
The Us have averaged 1.5 goals at home this season with a total of six goals scored and over the last two seasons, they have only failed to score on three occasions with two of these games against Salford and Northampton, two of the better sides in the division.
Sutton were unfortunate to go down 3-2 to Swindon in midweek, they were well worthy of at least a point, but back at home, they should be too strong for a Hartlepool side who are really poor.
Hartlepool are struggling and are now W0-D4-L4 this season and on the road its W0-D1-L3. Over the last 20 league games, they have a record of W1-D8-L11 conceding 35 goals which is an average of 1.75 goals per game, keeping just 3 CS. Since their promotion, their away record is W5-D6-L16 conceding 1.81 per game. They have kept just 3 away clean sheets since their promotion.
They sit 23rd for xPTS and xG ratio but 24th for Shots on Target ratio. No side concedes more SOT or has the highest non-pen xGA.
- Sutton to win and over 1 goal is 21/20 with Bet365
Salford vs Tranmere
Salford continue to look like a team we have all expected over the last few seasons given the money spent there and manager turnover! So far this term its W5-D2-L1 with the defeat coming on the road at Doncaster with the home record reading W3-D1-L0 scored 8 and conceded 2. The draw was with Crawley but they should have won that game easily winning the xG 1.89 vs 0.64 plus winning the shot count 18 vs 7.
I have Salford as one of the best six teams in the division in my rankings. Only one side has scored more goals and only one side has conceded fewer goals with an average of just 0.5 per game. Defensively sound with the 4th lowest shots conceded and 2nd lowest shots on target conceded and whilst the attacking process could be a little better, they are finding a way to score. The lower divisions are generally decided on one or two moments of excellent play and therefore this is not always reflected in the data as much as you would find in the top divisions.
Salford have lost top scorer, Asante to WBA, but have signed Ethan Galbraith on loan from Man Utd and Odin Bailey from Birmingham. Bailey spent last season in the Scottish Premiership and looks a decent young player.
Tranmere are really struggling this season with W2-D1-L5 with both wins coming at home to struggling Gillingham and Colchester. On the road its three defeats and a draw, which was against struggling side Hartlepool. So far this term Rovers have found the net just once on their travels. As you would expect the attacking process has been poor and the defensive performances at best would put them just below midtable.
Salford are full of confidence and look a good outfit. Salford to win is as low as 4/6 in places but we can back them to win at 4/5 with Betfred which looks a good price.
Should be goals here. Burnley are averaging 3.0 match goals per home game and Bristol City 4.20 goals per away game.
Burnley vs Bristol City
Burnley look good under Kompany, and they play some decent football but they are struggling at the back. 21st for xGA, 15th for goals conceded at home, 22nd for SOT conceded, 20th for shots in the box against and therefore 22nd for shots on target in the box conceded. It’s not very good defensively. Attacking they look great. 1.6 xG, 1.8 goals scored per game and then in the top 5 for all the major attacking metrics. Scott Twine is out for the hosts but the loan signing of Nathan Tella from Southampton to play alongside of Jay Rodriguez and new signing Manual Benson will be more than good enough to cause Bristol City problems.
Bristol City just love goals. The Robins front three of Conway, Wells and Weimann are causing problems with several sides this season.
Their away games have ended 3-2, 2-3, 3-3 and 1-1. They just are open and attack. No side has scored more goals on the road and only 2 sides have had more shots in the box or shots on target from inside the box. Yet defensively there are like Burnley. 2.0 goals conceded per away game, 13.3 shots conceded with 4.3 shots on target and 3.5 shots on target in the box against per game. These metrics put them bottom quartile for away performances.
Both sides have a lot of attacking quality and should find the net regularly.
Over 2.5 goals is 8/11 with Unibet and I think this is a decent price for these two sides to continue with their current form.
- Over 2.5 goals is 8/11 with Unibet