League 1: Oldham Athletic- Rochdale
This is a local derby and will be keenly fought, neither has given up on a top six finish and Dale will actually move into 6th with all three points, the task is much harder for the hosts who have had a lot of off and on the pitch issues to deal with, which we outlined in a recent preview, which is reproduced at the foot of this email. They lost that 3-1 and they have lost their last three starts at Boundary Park (the coldest ground in England.....believe me !) conceding ten goals in the process. However, I have just watched extended highlights of their 1-0 win at lowly Crewe Alexandra at the weekend and they were much improved there, but we saw something similar (at Port Vale....see below) inbetween the first two of those heavy defeats and it is perhaps a formline not to be trusted. Having said that, I really liked the way the whole squad celebrated the goal with the interim management team and the spirit appears healthy within the Latics.
However, I have spotted a few things, firstly that the host's home games have produced a League 1 high 34 goals before the break ( 1.89 average) and 21 after it, next highest in the division is 28. This is mirrored by Dale who have conceded 62% of away goal in the first half, with matches averaging 1.67 on the road before the break, which is also a L1 high number. Even factoring in that this is a derby game, that makes the "over" 1 goal FH quote of 2.02 asian line/Sportmarket look very appealing and if you can find it, or close, I would suggest 1.5 units. An alternative would be over 1.5 goals and there is quite a bit of 2.90-3.10 around for that.
We have spoken a couple of times about Rochdale's second half form on the road, most recently ahead of their trip to Notts County last midweek ....These two have been in freefall, but maybe now they are facing each other, they might revert to type. County have a goal difference of +3 at home before the break , a woeful -10 in the second half, Dale are -2 on the road in the opening 45 mins, +10 after the break. They trailed 1-0 there, went in 1-1 at the break and won 2-1, something similar could well be on the cards this evening. If Dale are level at half time, we could take 1.25 units at the first asian line quoted above 2.0, we could up that to 1.5 units if they were trailing (losing), I do not want to bet if they are already leading and as usual, we have to be playing 11 v 11 (no red cards).