Football – England – League Two
Saturday 9th February 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Eighth placed Northampton Town will be looking to bounce back with another home win and return back to the play-off pack when they entertain Rochdale at their Sixfields Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Cobblers have suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of current play-off incumbents Gillingham 0-2 and Rotherham United 1-3 but both of these matches were away from home against top seven opposition, and Northampton’s away form is well-known to be shaky at best.
However, their situation can change very quickly with all three points against Rochdale today and with their solid home form of 10-2-3 30/13 they are a good price for the win here. Northampton are a bit of a Jekyll & Hyde side as their home form is completely different from their away and the bookies may have missed a trick in pricing this one up. Northampton have won their last four on home turf on the trot accounting for Aldershot Town 2-0, Dagenham & Redbridge 3-1, Fleetwood Town 3-1 and Burton Albion 1-0.
Indeed, just the one defeat from their last eight matches with seven straight wins including a 2-0 win over League Two leaders Port Vale is impressive and I would be expecting the price for the home win here to be around the 1.75-1.80 mark given their home record.
Visitors Rochdale have not won a league match in their last five attempts which includes three straight defeats to Rotherham United 1-2, AFC Wimbledon 0-1 and a 1-2 defeat at Dagenham but they have taken a point off Cheltenham Town and Chesterfield in their last two matches.
Rochdale’s away form is volatile to say the least and their away record currently stands at an inconsistent 6-3-6 28/31 with their main concern being the number of goals they ship on their travels; just one clean sheet from their last twenty-one away matches means that Northampton are (almost) guaranteed to score at least one goal and with their strong home form behind them this sets them up nicely I feel.
Leading goalscorer for Dale is Robert Grant but he received a red card in his last match so will probably be ruled out for this one. Adebola (6 goals), Grimes (9 goals), Tutte (7 goals) look the most likely to score otherwise while Kennedy (9 assists) has provided the chances.
This could well end up a goal-fest and there are numerous options open to us for this one, but I believe the safest option is to back Northampton Town with the -0.25 handicap at a very good price – alternatively you can back them for the straight win @ around the 2.05 mark. A 3-2 win for Northampton Town!
Pick: Northampton Town AH-0.25 @ 1.81 Pinnacle is a gift