Football – England – League Two
Thursday 24th January 2013 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Relegation-threatened AFC Wimbledon take on league leaders Port Vale in Thursday night’s solitary League Two fixture as they make a bid to climb away from the relegation drop-zone by collecting all three points.
However, Wimbledon might almost be wishing they’d been travelling to Port Vale for this fixture as recent home results have been dreadful compared to their away form which is unusual. Indeed, recent wins over Torquay United 3-2 and Rochdale 1-0 were earned away from home while defeats against Southend United 0-4, Rotherham United 0-1 and Oxford United 0-3 were on home turf. AFC Wimbledon’s home record stands at a disappointing 2-3-8 12/22.
The Wombles have won just once in their last twelve league matches at home which was a 3-1 win over bottom club Bristol Rovers but aside from that rare success, they’ve suffered eight defeats and scraped three draws which means they’ve taken just six points from the last possible 36 on offer which is woeful and represents classic relegation behaviour.
It couldn’t be any more different for top of the league Port Vale who lead rivals Gillingham by one point but are eight points ahead of fourth placed Cheltenham Town – remember the top three are automatically promoted come the end of the season in May.
Port Vale’s form as usual has been very solid having lost just twice in their last twelve matches (including home & away matches), and unlike previous seasons where they’ve come close, I think this season is theirs for the taking and is entirely in their own hands to be playing League One football next season.
Port Vale’s away record stands at a solid 9-3-2 26/15 and they’ve performed well against teams in the top half of the division so far this season having lost just once in nine matches. The Valiants have recorded good away wins at Fleetwood Town, Bradford City, Exeter City, Rotherham United and Gillingham which emphasises my point and they really shouldn’t have too many problems at Wimbledon on Thursday night.
In summary, AFC Wimbledon have not played well at home at all this season and this is now affecting their confidence in front of their home failthful; indeed they’ve won just once in six matches against top half opposition and a visit from league leaders Port Vale can only spell further trouble I fear. I’ll back a Port Vale straight win here, perhaps 2-1.
Pick: Port Vale straight win @ 2.00 Bet Fred