League one

On this page you find articles on League one and sports betting in general.

Ladbrokes pays out on Boxing Day big wins

Ladbrokes
Boxing Day wasn’t kind to bookmakers as a stack of favourable results, particularly in the Premier League, gave punters some extra Christmas cheer. Each of the seven most popular selections in the Premier League all won on Boxing Day, including Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal. Ladbrokes suffered as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Bolton, Rochdale and Manchester City all won, those being the eight most heavily backed teams on the Boxing Day coupon with the bookmaker. Among the lucky punters who came up trumps there was one punter who turned a £1 stake into nearly a couple of grand. £1 Stake on Arsenal Chelsea Man Utd Man City Aston Villa Huddersfield Reading Fulham Leeds Wolves Returned £1,947.16 There was a bigger win off a £10 10-fold acca which returned £5,389.56 at the final whistle, with the being grateful for wins for Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Everton, Man United, West Ham, Aston Villa, Wolves, Bolton and Millwall. Another punter turned a £9 9-fold into a return of £4,730.33. So there were some hefty wins for punters and there was a dramatic cash out pulled by a punter as well on a 14-old acca. With 13 of the 14 selections winning, the punter cashed out the bet for £11,470.08 instead of trusting Plymouth to hold a lead against Wycombe in the final leg. It turns out that it was the right call, as Wycombe netted a late equaliser in the match, which would have caused the bet to tank. £2 stake - 14-fold - Cashed out for £11,470.08 - 13 selections won - Plymouth remain - Concede in 89th minute to draw 3-3 Register an account with online betting site Ladbrokes and earn a free £50 bet as welcome bonus from them. Just follow our links to get signed up and then after making your initial deposit, place your first stake on the new account and the bookmaker will match the value of it up to the maximum value of a £50 free bet. Just register using the promo code F50 and there is limit of one free bet per customer.
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Betfred anytime goalscorer promotion weekend special

Betfred
Betfred have a tremendous new promotion up and running for the weekend. It is a big weekend of football up and down the country and even out in Milan where the UEFA Champions League Final is set to be contested. The Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid UEFA Champions League Final is one of the highlights of the weekend and Betfred have created a special anytime goalscorer offer for that, and the big domestic play off matches. Saturday you have Hull taking on Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship Play Off Final to determine who will be rising to the Premier League next season. It should be a thriller at Wembley between these two after both were embroiled in great semi final ties to get to this stage. Who will win the richest game in English football? Then later on Saturday you have Real Madrid looking to repeat what they did two years ago, namely beating Atletico Madrid in the final of the Champions League. Real Madrid are out looking for their eleventh European Cup title, however, will they be stopped by Atletico who have already pushed Bayern Munich and Barcelona out of this season’s competition? Then moving on to Sunday you have Barnsley v Millwall in the League One play off final, followed by the final Play Off match of the season as AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth Argyle goes off on Monday afternoon in the League Two showdown. So a massive weekend of club football to come and enjoy this great promotion from Betfred where your anytime goalscorer bet will run through extra time as well. Place a bet on the anytime goalscorer market in the above matches and if your player scores in extra time Betfred will pay you out as a winner. Register an account with online bookmaker Betfred and enjoy a good welcome bonus from them. Place a £10 stake on your new account and then receive £30 in free bets within 48 hours of that first wager being settled.
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Sky Bet continue sponsorship of Football League through to 2019

Skybet
Online bookmaker Sky Bet announced recently that they will be continuing on as the sponsor of the English Football League for another three seasons. The Football League has gone through a rebranding and is to be known as the Sky Bet EFL and the new agreements sees Skybet hold the title sponsorship through to at least 2019. The deal will also increase revenue to EFL clubs (the three tiers beneath the Premier League ) and the new deal will come into place in August 2016. "At a time when The Football League is very much focused on its future, which includes our imminent re-branding to the EFL, it is a great encouragement to see Sky Bet putting their continued faith in our competition and our clubs,” said Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey. "This is an excellent way to end an outstanding year of league football and, on behalf of clubs, I would like to offer my appreciation to Sky Bet for their continued commitment." Sky Bet chief executive Richard Flint said: “Over the last couple of seasons we’ve loved working with the League, its clubs and the fans, and so are delighted to extend Sky Bet’s sponsorship. We are proud to continue our investment in such a fantastic competition and look forward to making betting better for football fans.”  
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Sky Bet offer free in-play bet for League One and League Two live games

Skybet
There’s no action from the Premier League or Championship this weekend of course because of all the Euro 2016 qualifiers going on but there is still some good domestic action that you can get your teeth into and you can even enjoy a free bet as well thanks to a promotion from online betting site Skybet. Sky Bet are the Football League sponsors and they are offering a £10 free in-play bet if you place a £25 pre-match single selection on any televised Football League game this weekend. For a listed match you just need to opt in to the offer in the Skybet Sportsbook within the promotional period. Then customers must place a single bet of at least £25 on a pre-match market on the game which they have opted in to within the promotional period at odds of 1/2 or above. From League One this weekend you have the Southend v Peterborough clash being shown live and this should be an interesting scrap with both struggling to pick up the pace this season. On Sunday Burton v Coventry is the live game which is action from up at the other end of the table, both starting the weekend inside the top five. From League Two this weekend you have Sunday’s fixture of Bristol Rovers v Oxford to enjoy watching. Oxford start the weekend in fifth place, Rovers in seventh but both are on nine points after good starts. Rovers are 17/10 to take the home win, with Oxford at 2/1. Open an account with online betting site Skybet and not only will you receive a free £10 bet but you will also qualify for their Sky Bet Club where each and every week you can earn yourself a free bet on your account just from doing your regular betting!
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Darren Ferguson 4/1 to be next Sheffield United manager

Football Betting
After missing out on promotion, the Blades announced on Wednesday that boss NIgel Clough had gotten the boot. The Blades had made it to the League One Play Offs, where they lost 7-6 on aggregate against Swindon in the semi finals. But not only did they touch upon promotion, but Clough had also gotten them to the Capital One Cup semi finals. But that clearly wasn’t enough for the club, as they have decided on a change of boss. The main goal of the club is getting back into the Championship and there apparently is no margin for errors in getting that done. Online betting site Bet Victor had put former Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson at the head of the market at 4/1. But things change quickly and it is Bradford’s Phil Parkinson is running at 13/40 favourite to get the job, followed by Nigel Adkins. There doesn't appear to have been any official approaches for either of them yet, and it just reflects how active the next Sheffield United betting market is. Mark Warburton also seems to have his name in the hat, running at a quote of 8/1 Sheffield United have been stuck down in League One since 2010 and the options seem to be wide open for the Blades. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is backable from anywhere between 8/1 and 20/1, with Chris Morgan, Mark Cooper and even Sam Allardyce’s name being touted around.
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Preston v Swindon League One Play Off Final Predictions & Betting Odds 24th May 2015

Football Betting
Preston v Swindon League One Play Off Final Betting Preview Nine times Preston have been in the end of season play offs and nine times they have failed to win the promotion prize through them. However, they look to be in with a good chance of securing themselves a place in the Championship next season as they are in decent form, whereas the Robins have now managed to pick up just the one win in their last six. Preston finished a massive ten points in third place, ahead of fourth placed Swindon. That gap may tell at Wembley. Log in to your Betfred account through your mobile and enjoy their new ACCAttacka feature. You simply name your stake and how much you would like to win, and the feature will suggest an acca for you, so don’t even have to do the work! You can see the reasoning for each selection and alter the bet as well if you want too! A brilliant new feature!

Preston v Swindon League One Play Off Final Betting Tips

So will it be tenth time lucky for North End? The Lilywhites do look the far better value to be earning themselves promotion to the Championship. They just look composed, professional and right on focus for the task ahead. They took wins in both legs over Chesterfield in their play off semi final matches, not conceding a goal. Things have been even in the head to head against Swindon for them, having won two and lost two of their last four. Their most recent meeting was in their penultimate game of the regular League One season, a game which the Lilywhites won comprehensively 3-0. North End have managed to lose just one of their last nineteen games, winning eleven of them. They have banked three clean sheets in their last four played and had the second best defensive record over the course of the regular season. In the Betfred anytime goalscorer market, Preston have Joe Garner at even money and Jermaine Beckford at 6/4. What is giving Preston even more appeal than their own good form, has been the patchy form that the Robins have been putting up to close out the season win. The Robins have taken just one win in their last seven played now, that being their 2-1 semi final first leg win at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United. Then there was the crazy 5-5 draw in the second leg back on home turf. The problems for Swindon rest in their leaky defence, as they have kept just the one clean sheet in their last dozen games. They have the power to score, but do they have the focus and quality at the back to keep out the goalscoring threat that Preston bring? The Robins are 5/4 underdogs to lift the trophy and in the anytime goalscorer market, Michael Smith looks the best value at 2/1 for them.

Preston v Swindon League One Play Off Final Betting Odds

Preston 6/5, Draw 5/2, Swindon 13/5

Preston v Swindon Predictions

The Deepdale crew look a lock to end their play off miseries. Both have decent power going forward, but Swindon have definitely lost their winning touch. Preston were superbly professional in their semi final games against Chesterfield and look the best value to win the day at Wembley. Find the latest results, League Table, Top Scorer and more on our football statistics on online-betting.me.uk (just choose your country & your preferred topic)
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BTTS Betting – Both Teams to Score: League One

Cyril's Betting Advice
For some unknown reason both Npower leagues do not fair too well on the BTTS front. League One just managing 56% of BTTS. They do, however have a better return than League Two. At this point in time, teams have played 21 games. Bournemouth lead the way with 16 BTTS games. Leyton Orient bring up the rear with just 7 such games. Goal totals with for and against split. [table=311] These stats show that some sides are involved in games where goals are quite easy to come by. Some teams, like Bournemouth seem to indulge in scoring and conceding on a regular basis. However stats do indicate that some sides do defend quite competently. Others, however seem to find a little difficulty in actually scoring a goal. Hartlepools spring to mind. Below is a listing of teams with their BTTS efforts. All teams have played twenty one matches. [table=312] Eleven of the sides listed above, have performed better than the average for the whole League One. These stats aren't as clear cut as the two sets we've seen previously. Nevertheless they should prove useful to an experienced punter. Perhaps it may prove worthwhile sticking to the best eleven and either discard or otherwise depending on their opponents on a particular match day. It might also be worthwhile keeping a weather eye on those clubs which have an up and down type of record. Reliable one day but not the next. Clubs showing a good consistent record of locking the opposition out, are definitely the kind to leave alone. There are four teams who have conceded less than 20 goals so far this season and only one of them has a better than 50% record BTTS-wise. Use these figures together with your experience and give the bookie sa bashing and win yourself a few pounds towards those Christmas bills and expenses. A general look at all the English top five leagues shows that a minimum expectation, on any match day, should be 50% of BTTS results. That in itself should be a good pointer to an even greater crop of money making possibilities. Remember, bet sensibly. Only bet with money you can afford to lose. Best of luck. -> BTTS for Premier League
-> BTTS Betting Premiership
 
(This article was written on the December 20th by our expert Cyril but our editor was very busy and did not manage to publish until now. Sorry for that!)
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Goals Galore – Teams to choose from League One and Two

Cyril's Betting Advice
Having looked at our top two leagues and the Conference (read Goals Galore) I'm now turning my attention to Leagues One and Two. These two leagues seem to be a little more competitive in as much as goals seem a little harder to come by for quite a few teams.
 
 
League One have the worst record in the English top five leagues for OVER 2.5 goals per game. Breaking 47% seems to have been a bit of a slog. League One shows fourteen of the sides have achieved at least a 50% return on OVER 2.5 goals after sixteen games. Leading the way is one-time Premiership side, now teetering on the brink of extinction, PORTSMOUTH. Accompanied by Yeovil, both on 11 games ending in OVER 2.5 goals. Altogether there are fourteen teams worth keeping in mind. Besides the two already mentioned, there are, Walsall, Bury, Preston, Carlisle, Tranmere, Crawley, Hartlepools, Scunthorpe, Coventry, Bournemouth, Brentford and Stevenage. These sides seem not to be too focused on defence. Of course their records need updating weekly. A chore, I know, but once the initial figures have been assessed it shouldn't be too stressful to keep them going forward. There are four sides which need to be avoided, at least for the present. They are:- Sheffield Utd (2), MK Dons (3) and Oldham and Leyton Orient on 4 games each.
 
In League Two there are a number of sides which might be considered a little goal happy. Not just for scoring goals' Over 52% of matches have ended OVER 2.5 goals. Altogether thirteen of the teams have taken part in games which have returned OVER 2.5 goals in more than 50% of their matches. Exeter take pride of place with 12 of their 17 games ending in OVERS. Other sides worth noting are:- Oxford, Wimbledon, Northampton, Morecambe, Barnet,Plymouth, Rotherham, Gillingham, Dagenham and Rochdale. Teams worth steering clear of, at present are, Fleetwood, Chesterfield, Bradford, Torquay and Aldershot. However, stats are so tight in this league that it won't take too many OVERS games to have these teams swapping places with some of the higher placed sides.
 
Whilst nothing is ever certain in football,(think of Celtic and Barcelona), using these stats with a little bit of research it should be possible to get a few doubles, trebles, etc. I'm not a fan of multiples but this is one of those occasions when needs must. Prices won't be over generous but some astute pairing etc should be rewarding. Browsing the internet, I have found that quite a few people are more than a little interested in multiples when backing UNDER/OVER 2.5 GOALS. Obviously the percentage of winning bets will be lower than for singles but hopefully the returns will make it well worthwhile. The last but second weekend ago there were 5 OVERS in the PREMIERSHIP and 8 OVERS in the CHAMPIONSHIP. Keeping the average for the latter well to the fore. The Blue Square Conference also returned 50% matches as OVERS. As match scores seem to hold a fascination for many people, next time I'll venture into the world of BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE. There appears to be a big following for this type bet.
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British Boxing Day preview

Sir Alex Ferguson
  Monday 26th December   English Premier League   Manchester United v Wigan   Manchester United have rediscovered their form in recent weeks so go into the Boxing Day clash with Wigan in high spirits despite trailing neighbours City by two points.   Sir Alex Ferguson was coming under pressure from a few quarters after his side's Champions League elimination to Basle at the start of the month but he has been in similar situtations before and will have laughed off claims that this United side are not as good as one's from recent history. Despite not being top at Christmas this year, United have actually accumulated more points compared to this stage last season. Wednesday's 5-0 away win against Fulham was their second win in London in a three days after a comfortable 2-0 success at Loftus Road against QPR. The most pleasing aspect for Ferguson will have been the amount of chances they created in those games as well as the 4-1 over Wolves in their last home match. It was getting back to something like the form they showed at the beginning of the season when their attacking play was immense and they were scoring goals for fun. With back to back home matches in their last couple of games of 2011 against Wigan and Blackburn, it provides United with the perfect opportunity to boost their goal difference as it may well come down to that at the end of the season with the two Manchester clubs so evenly matched.   Wigan are coming to the end of a difficult run of fixtures after playing both Chelsea and Liverpool at the DW Stadium within the space of a week. They managed to get a draw out both of those games despite looking like second best for the majority of both games. A late leveller from Jordi Gomez against Chelsea last Saturday and a penalty save from Charlie Adam's spot kick against Liverpool may prove to be vital come May. It's so tight at the bottom of the table that every point counts and those two draws are as valuable as wins when you consider the opposition. Monday's match may well be the most difficult of the lot with the form of United so Roberto Martinez has to get his players to take confidence from the two home games and use it when they go to Old Trafford. Currently still in the bottom three, any sort of result on Monday would be a massive bonus and would mean they had played three of the divison's best sides and remained unbeaten. In order to get a result, however, Wigan must begin the game better than they did on Wednesday against Liverpool as they could have lost the game in the opening half hour if it wasn't for their goalkeeper and their opponents being so wasteful infront of goal.   Wayne Rooney has scored in each of his last three games including an excellent strike in the comprehensive win against Fulham. His double against Wolves were his first goals since October and his first strikes in the league since September. The fact he has 13 goals to his name this season in league competition alone shows how prolific he wss in the early stage of the season. His return to form also proves how important he is to United's attacking play so Ferguson, his team-mates and the supporters will be hoping that he can continue it over the course of the rest of the season.   Unsurprisingly Wigan have struggled to accumulate points on the road again this season with five defeats from their first eight matches on the road. Their two victories, however, came in their last two matches away from the DW Stadium against West Brom and Sunderland. They will definitely improve the morale of the team when they make the short trek to Manchester but they will also be under no illusions as to how difficult it will be. The last four games between the two clubs have yielded zero points for Wigan, zero goals for Wigan and a woeful 16 goals against.   No surprise to read that I think United will continue their dominance against a Wigan side they have never failed to win against and it will be a comfortable one at that.   My Selections: Manchester United (-2) to beat Wigan   Best odds available: 11/8 available with Boylesports     English Championship   Reading v Brighton   Reading will be aiming to continue their recent good form against a Brighton side who have lost their last two.   After losing Shane Long to West Brom at the start of the season, Reading found it difficult to get any sort of consistency to their game and it was obvious that the other players had not adjusted to both Long's departure and the loss of captain Matt Mills who joined Leicester. Slowly but surely, however, the Royals are finding their best form at just the right time with the games coming thick and fast. Last week's 1-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road was their fourth win from their last five and it means that they have climed the table in recent weeks and are just outside the play-off positions. Three defeats in 15 is good going considering the competitive nature of the Championship and the difference in recent weeks has been the conversion of draws into wins which of course, makes all the difference. The players will take most confidence from their last two wins against Leeds and West Ham as they are sides which are in and around them at the moment.   Brighton looked as though they had recovered from their indifferent spell after a great start to the season. Three straight wins got their season back on track and they were threatening the teams in the play-off zone but they followed that run up with two consecutive losses against Burnely and Middlesbrough, both by a solitary goal. Gus Poyet will not be too disheartened by those results considering the teams that did beat them were in good form and they were also closely fought encounters as well. He may be more worried by the fact that his players still continue to struggle infront of goal. The Seagulls have managed just six goals from their last 10 games so it's evident where they need to improve. Their top scorer, record signing Craig Mackail-Smith, has just six goals in the league and has scored just one goals in his last 13 games for his club side.   With the goals of Shane Long, well, long gone, Reading have had to spread the goals around the team as opposed to relying on one man for the majority of their strikes. Adam Le Fondre has managed five, Simon Church has six and then it's a case of a handful of players having two or three to their name, including Noel Hunt. It is noticeable, however, that Reading are not as potent infront of goal this term as compared to previous season when they had the likes of Long, Kevin Doyle and Dave Kitson.   Brighton have managed even less goals to date but they still remain dangerous and as the old saying goes, if you keep a clean sheet, you can't lose. The story of Brighton's season is that when they do keep a clean sheet, they normally win. Six of Brighton's nine wins have came with clean sheets so they will be hoping they can keep Reading's forwards out in order to aid their chances of coming away with a win which would put them ahead of their opponents.   I can see this match being particularly close as the sides are very evenly matched in terms of ability as well as their current league positions and records to date. Reading are in slightly better form going into the match but that can often count for nothing in this league. Brighton have lost three of their last four away form home in the league with their only win being against a Derby side who were in terrible form at the time. With that in mind, I am on the home team's side to prevail - just!   My Selection: Reading to beat Brighton   Best odds available: 4/5 available with Betfred     English League One   Walsall v Sheffield Wednesday   Second top Sheffield Wednesday travel to Walsall hoping to keep the pressure on league leaders Charlton.   Walsall have been in and around the relegation places for much of the season and find themselves occupying the final position in the dropzone ahead of Wednesday's vist - on Monday. Their recent form has been littered with draws, four in the last five to be precise. It's a lot better than losing four of their last five but if teams close to them are getting the odd win it makes it so much harder to climb the table. Charlton visited in the middle of the month and could only manage a draw so although their fans will be hoping that they are converted into wins sooner rather than later, they will be delighted with the players' desire and hardwork, especially against the better sides in the league. Manager Dean Smith will no doubt take heart from that performance as well when the Owl's come to town and will be reminding his players that it will take the same level of performance if they wish to get anything out the match on Boxing Day.   Wednesday were involved in the game of the season in League One last Saturday against Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield. After going down 2-0 early on, Wednesday recovered and eventually took a 4-2 lead late on only to end up with the one point after Jordan Rhodes scored two late goals and rescued a point for their visitors. Gary Megson is not known for his side's free flowing football so he will be disappointed that they not only failed to win, but also because they conceded four goals at home. That will be fresh in the mind for Megson and his defenders so it wouldn't be a surprise to see the away side adopt a slightly more conservative approach, especially early on against Walsall.   Walsall have still not won since October but for the reason's mentioned earlier in this preview, the result of Monday's match is certainly not a forgone conclusion. Jon Macken scored against Charlton as well as when these sides last met back in April so he'll be closely monitored by the Wednesday defence and is the biggest threat for the home side.   Wednesday will again be without Gary Madine who is out with a broken toe but the four goals last week prove they are still very dangerous going forward. Nicky Weaver is expected to come into goal as Stephen Bywater has returned to his parent club after his loan spell. Wednesday have been in excellent form on the road of late with three straight league wins and four in all competitions.   Wednesday are in far better form than their Boxing Day hosts and I expect them to go one better than Charlton by taking all three points.   My Selection: Sheffield Wednesday to beat Walsall   Best odds available: 10/11 available with Totesport     Finally, I hope all readers have a very Merry Christmas. Let's hope Boxing Day brings with it a few delayed presents.
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Saturday’s British betting preview

Sports Betting
  Saturday 10th December   Scottish Premier League   Celtic v Hearts   Celtic have transformed their season in recent weeks and will be hoping to continue their good run with a victory over an out of sorts Hearts side at Celtic Park.   It wasn't so long ago that Celtic were 12 points behind in second place and there were more than a few supporters who were calling for Neil Lennon to be sacked as manager. Fast forward a month or so and things are looking a lot brighter for the Bhoys. Having won their last five league matches they have cut the gap to just four points which makes the form side in the SPL. Their recent good form has been the result of some key players coming back from injury and getting a run of games under their belt. Gary Hooper is a prime example as the striker was out of sorts for much of the season because of niggling injuries whereas now he has hit the kind of form he was in last season, scoring five goals in his last three league games, including a hat-trick the last time Celtic played an SPL match at home against St Mirren. Hooper is now joint top scorer in Scotland and Lennon will be keen for his star man to continue his good form, especially as Celtic are due to play league leaders Rangers at the end of December.   Hearts started the season brightly enough despite Jim Jefferies being sacked. Paulo Sergio was installed as his replacement and the initial signs were good however there has been a total lack of consistency recently and the pressure seems to be affecting the manager as he has had several outbursts at referee's and the other match officials. The other problem facing Sergio is discontent amongst his players who have been failed to be paid once again this season. The players must try and remain professional but they are also human and if their is no guarantee of their wages being paid before Christmas, it's bound to have an effect on the field. Last weekends 2-1 home defeat to St Johnstone was a real low point and was their seventh defeat of the season already. They travel to Glasgow knowing that the last time they played Celtic they ran out 2-0 winners at Tynecastle in October so they will be aware of what level of performance it will take in order to repeat such a feat.   Celtic's recent form has been impressive in terms of results and performance. The 5-0 demoltion of St Mirren two weeks ago was a signal of intent from Lennon and his men and the first half performance last Sunday away to Dundee United was also much more like they way they can play. Beram Kayal is in much better form alongside Victor Wanyama in the middle of the park and it's their partnership which has provided more protection for the much maligned defence. This has been evidenced in the amount of goals they have conceded in recent weeks compared to earlier in the season with the opposition managing to breach the defence just twice in the last six SPL games.   Hearts have lost four of their last six matches in the league and the fans are beginning to get restless as the performances have dropped in recent matches. Sergio is a passionate person and will be hoping that his passion rubs off on his players heading into Saturday's match as it looked lacking at times last Saturday. When they defeated Celtic in October the players were all up for it and they never stopped fighting for every ball and closing Celtic down at every opportunity. It's now about transferring that kind of performance from Tynecastle to their travels as they have won just one match on the road all season.   Celtic are without doubt in much better form than the last time these two sides met and Hearts are regressing. Hooper and Stokes have 20 goals between this this season and will be a handful for the visitors defence whilst Kayal, Wanyama and Forrest in the midfield are full of energy and enthusiasm at the moment meaning it will be be difficult for the Hearts midfield to get a hold of the game. There is only one winner of this match for me and I can see it being a comfortable one at that.   My Selection: Celtic (-1) to beat Hearts   Best odds available: 21/20 available with Bet365       English Championship   Burnley v Portsmouth   Burnley have come from behind twice in the last fortnight to win away from home, this week they entertain a Portsmouth side yet to win away from home.   Eddie Howe came with a big reputation for such a young manager when taking over from Brian Laws last season. The former Bournemouth manager had been used to success and winning games when at his former club but it's been a slightly different story at Turf Moor. Fans would have been disappointed after missing out on the play-off's last season whilst this season, they have been unable to string a run of form together meaning they have been towards the wrong end of the table for much of this season. Signs are there, however, that Howe and his players are beginning to turn things around. After losing two late goals to Leeds resulting in a fourth successive defeat could have been a crushing blow but they have dusted themselves down and put a run of three wins together. They were behind against both Hull and West Ham but showed a new resilience and came back to win both matches. In between those games, they destroyed Ipswich at home which was arguably one of their most impressive wins of the season to date.   Portsmouth done the column a favour last weekend when they were successful against struggling Coventry but they face a different proposition against Burnley away from home. As mentioned, Pompey have not won an away game this term with a record of three draws and six defeats. They are one of only two sides who hold such a record so Michael Appleton definitely has his work cut out as he strives to improve his new club's fortunes on the road. Last weekend's victory was massive for a couple of reasons; they off-field drama seems to be never-ending at Fratton Park so the players showed how professional they are by gaining all three points and it was also the first win under the new manager. He will be hoping to build on that and ensure that Portsmouth can stay clear of the relegation zone as it's getting very congested towards that end of the table. A win tomorrow, however, would mean that they would be just one point behind the Clarets.   Burnley's home form has been patchy due to their inconsistency this season. They have won three, drawn three and lost the other four so if they do hold ambitions of being compeititive for a play-off spot they need to start winning more games at home. Last time out at Turf Moor their crushing win over Ipswich would have done a lot for confidence as it was also at home where they let slip a lead to lose 2-1 to Leeds late on the game beforehand. On loan striker Sam Vokes has been a breath of fresh air since moving from Wolves and he provides a different option upfront. His header last weekend which gave his new side victory showed his class and if they can retain his services to enhance their chance of promotion to the Premier League.   Portsmouth have lost six of their last seven away games in the Championship with their only point coming against Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago. Their biggest struggle seems to be scoring goals as they have only managed one goal in their last six on their travels. Appleton may look to adopt slightly different tactics tomorrow but his hands are tied in terms of personnel as he is working with such a small squad. His options will be boosted tomorrow however as Liam Lawrence, Hayden Mullins and Luke Varney are all set to declare themselves fit after missing out last weekend.   Burnley don't have a great home record by any means but they are hitting a bit of form and with Portsmouth so poor and toothless away from home, the selection is a home win.   My Selection: Burnley to beat Portsmouth   Best odds available: 21/20 available with William Hill       English League One   Walsall v Charlton   League leaders Charlton travel to Walsall on Saturday hoping to continue their excellent run of form which has left them seven points clear at the top of the table.   Walsall are currently in the relegation zone after a dismal run of form which has seen them fail to win any of their last six games in League One. Their last win was a 1-0 home victory over Preston back in October which was only their third win all season. Dean Smith has been in charge for just under a year but he is under pressure to get results and with the festive period coming up, he will be hoping his team can get some sort of confidence heading into one of the busiest periods of the season. Two of their three wins have come at home but they have also lost five matches at the Bescott already. In order to climb the league they need to make it harder for teams to take points off them, the visit of Charlton may well not be the type of team they will look forward to facing but if they were to get something tomorrow, it may well act as a catalyst and get their season going.   Chris Powell will be delighted with the start his Charlton side have made this season after so many coming's and going's during the close season. More than 20 players have been brought to the Valley under Powell but the supporters will not be caring about that so long as they continue to steamroll through the League One opposition. With just one defeat all season, an incredible eight wins in a row in all competitions and the top scorers in the division, the plaudits they have earned thus far have been well deserved. Their last league match was arguably the biggest of the season to date in England's third tier as they came up against a Huddersfield side who had not been beaten for over 40 matches in the league. This Charlton side don't care much for reputation or records though, and they accounted for them rather comfortably in the end, winning 2-0.   Walsall know that if they can string a couple of results together then it will mean a move out of the relegation zone. It is tight at the bottom of League One but the longer they go without winning, the harder it becomes to climb the table. Jon Macken is one of the most experienced players in the division and Smith will be hoping that his striker can put that experience to good use and prevent others around him for panicking as it's the worst thing that could happen at this stage.   Bradley Wright-Phillips is one of the most inform strikers in England never mind League One. The former Manchester City trainee has 14 league goals to his name already including seven goals in his last six league matches. He is certainly capable of playing at a higher level but his attitude has been called into question at previous clubs. If Powell can keep his mind on his football and ensure he keeps putting the effort in, there is every reason to believe that he could finish up top scorer out of all the divisions in England this season.   Charlton are bang in form, Walsall are totally out of sorts so the away win looks the only wager here.   My Selection: Charlton to beat Walsall   Best odds available: 5/6 available with Coral
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