Football – England – League One
Saturday 26th January 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
This fixture is undoubtedly the main feature of this weekend’s League One action with league leaders Tranmere Rovers playing host to fourth placed Swindon Town at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Tranmere know that they could steal a march upon third placed Brentford who are involved on FA Cup duty against Chelsea on Sunday by grabbing all three points today thereby giving themselves a nine-point cushion over them and indeed stretching their lead over today’s opponents Swindon Town to ten points.
But the focus for Tranmere here first and foremost is that they don’t lose this match which lets Swindon back in to the automatic promotion reckoning. This subtle psychological slant provides us with a good opportunity to make a bit of value here, as the bookies have Swindon Town as slight favourites for this match despite being the away team at the league leaders.
Tranmere’s recent form has improved to where they were at in the beginning of their campaign where they’ve won five of their last six league matches with wins over Crewe Alexandra 2-1, Scunthorpe United 1-0, Bury 1-0, Crawley Town 2-0 and away at third placed Brentford 2-1 last weekend.
There’s no way in hell that Tranmere would have been capable of such a result as the Brentford one back in their drop in form during mid-November up to just before Christmas where they failed to win in six matches and could only manage four draws while losing to MK Dons and on the receiving end of a 0-5 thrashing at today’s opponents, Swindon Town.
However, Tranmere have remained solid at home all season with an overall record of 8-4-2 25/11 keeping six clean sheets and failing to score just twice in their last 23 league matches at Prenton Park. And if there’s not enough incentive to do well today, they’ll be keen to avenge that loss to Swindon at the County Ground earlier in the season.
Onto Swindon Town then and they too have been in good form in recent weeks having put together a seven match unbeaten run which of course includes wins over Tranmere as well as Oldham Athletic 2-0, Portsmouth 5-0, Carlisle United 4-0 and Shrewsbury Town 2-0 along with a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth, but if there is a possible chink in their armour (and I believe there is), they have been indifferent in their performances away at top half teams so far this season.
A record of 1-1-1 5/2 suggests they might stumble on Saturday, and let’s not forget that we’re looking for just a draw to win half our stake which I think is a realistic return for such a match. Swindon Town’s away record stands at 6-3-3 17/11 but let’s also remember they haven’t played any of the League One ‘heavyweights’ on their travels yet – and by this I mean teams such as Tranmere Rovers, Doncaster Rovers, Brentford and Sheffield United, not forgetting MK Dons and Coventry City of course!
With all of this in mind, I’ll take my chances WITH the quarter ball on my side with the hosts Tranmere Rovers at odds close to evens for them not to lose. Could be a 1-1 draw or Tranmere might even sneak it 2-1 maybe.
Pick: Tranmere Rovers AH+0.25 @ 1.90 Pinnacle looks like value to me