Burton Albion v Morecambe
The market are very heavily opposing Morecambe in this one, and for my money overrating Burton Albion. For the Brewers to be at 1.73 to win the game having tasted victory only twice in the league this season is too short. The Brewers flirted with odds on prices in their last home outing and lost 1-0 to Fleetwood Town.
Dino Maamria’s side did pick up an impressive 1-1 draw at Peterborough United in midweek and have been heading in the right direction since Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink’s departure but the market is giving them too much respect.
There is nothing in the data that suggests that Morecambe are not the worst team in League One, but Derek Adams can set teams up very well defensively and his side are still capable of picking up points despite looking like relegation fodder. Victor Adeboyejo has been in fine form for the hosts and appears to be a go-to man in the final third as the Brewers aim to pull themselves out of the mire after a dreadful start.
Taking the Shrimps with a handicap start could be a sensible angle into this fixture.
Exeter City v Oxford United
Exeter City suffered something of a reality check in the form of a 4-2 defeat at Charlton Athletic in midweek, while Oxford United were not in action. Karl Robinson’s men should have an advantage in terms of their preparation due to resting up in midweek and have been showing some positive shoots of recovery in recent weeks.
The Grecians do not have the luxury of a strong second string at the moment and named an unchanged side in the Saturday-Tuesday turnaround, which could show in energy levels this weekend. Oxford have a very strong defensive process and will back themselves to tame the exciting Exeter front three of Jevani Brown, operating just behind, Sam Nombe and Jay Stansfield.
Robinson is expected to at least push the Yellows into a safe mid table position in the not-too-distant future, and they were left to rue missed chances in last week’s defeat to Wycombe Wanderers. Oxford won the shot count 29-6 and the expected goals (xG) battle 2.68-0.16 at the Kassam Stadium. Better finishing should result in a victory at St James Park.
Milton Keynes Dons v Plymouth Argyle
Few EFL teams and EFL managers drew as many plaudits as Milton Keynes Dons under Liam Manning did last season. Beaten Play-Off semi-finalists in 2021-22, the summer departure of notable talent is having an even bigger impact on the team than first thought. A 1-0 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, an eighth defeat in 12 matches, sees MK Dons cemented into the bottom four, with their variance between a 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2 failing to produce enough sufficient performances and results.
The incredible goal output of Scott Twine has not been replaced either collectively or individually by new signings, and Harry Darling’s departure from the centre of the backline has left shoes that Jack Tucker or Warren O’Hara have yet to effectively fill.
With Will Grigg, Joshua Kayode, Matthew Dennis and Aston Villa loanee Louie Barry up top, Milton Keynes Dons on paper possess attacking power to hurt fellow bottom-half opponents, but there has yet to be sufficient enough chance creation from the likes of Matt Smith, Ethan Robson, Conor Grant or Dawson Devoy in midfield.
MK Dons’ 5-0 final day demolition prevented Plymouth Argyle from securing a play-off place at the end of last season. In 2022-23 however, there is no third-tier side currently performing better. Steven Schumacher’s 3-4-1-2 is solid in defence, competent in possession, and incisive in the final third. Finn Azaz and Morgan Whittaker, on loan from Aston Villa and Swansea City respectively, continue to catch the eye in attacking midfield roles.
Sam Cosgrove, brought in on a loan deal from Birmingham City, is showing that his time at Shrewsbury Town and AFC Wimbledon should not be used as a reflection on his ability as a goalscorer. Now in a side that creates opportunities tailor-made for his overall game, the 25-year-old has a minutes-to-goal ratio that has been rivalling Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
Additionally possessing Michael Cooper, one of the top shot stoppers in the entire EFL, the League One leaders will be keenly targeting an 11th win of the season. Up against a struggling MK Dons side lacking confidence and without the superstars of last season, the travelling Green Army are certainly allowed to feel confidence heading into this fixture in Milton Keynes.
Wycombe Wanderers v Peterborough United
Grant McCann has relieved some of the pressure on his shoulders at Peterborough United by picking up ten points from their last four games to re-assume their position in the top six. Posh have seen both teams score in six of ten, but all of their last three, and continue to be one of the more exciting sides to watch in the division, often relying on their overwhelming attacking talent to compensate for their less effective backline.
Wycombe won 1-0 at Oxford United last weekend, but according to the data it was far from an assured performance and Gareth Ainsworth’s men are not the force they were last season.
Oliver Norburn and Emmanuel Fernandez are still ruled out for the visitors, but the depth in the squad is there with McCann’s stamp on the side becoming more evident. Posh are up for sale as a club, which can cause some instability, but will only make McCann more determined to keep the focus on on-pitch matters. The Chairboys have scored in seven of ten and have the aerial prowess to cause plenty of problems at Adams Park.
Charlton Athletic v Portsmouth
Charlton Athletic pushed themselves into the top half with a 4-2 win over Exeter City on Tuesday evening. The result ended an eight-game winless run in the third tier for the Addicks, alleviating some of the pressure on Ben Garner’s shoulders after the club had slipped to being just two points above the bottom four.
Chuks Aneke scored two minutes after making his return from injury from the bench, as Garner’s substitutes had a huge influence on proceedings. Portsmouth have been amongst the highest-performing sides in the division and will likely stick to a 4-4-2 formation. Tom Lowery, Denver Hume and Joe Rafferty remain out for the visitors.
Charlton would like to match Pompey in the 4-4-2 formation they have played in their last two matches, however with Miles Leaburn limping off in midweek, and Aneke only being introduced in the 82nd minute, Garner may not have the personnel to facilitate it.
Corey Blackett-Taylor played a huge role in sealing the victory on Tuesday evening and will be pushing for a start, despite receiving criticism from his manager for his work rate in recent weeks.
The Addicks have seen both teams to score land in ten of 13 so far, yet it remains very reasonably priced.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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