League 1: Gillingham - Sheffield United
Hosts are my big priced League 1 selection and we get an early look at their credentials today as they entertain the bookmakers favourites. Having said that, we will have 45 matches left to play after today so nothing is going to be decided either way at Priestfield, but it would be nice to start on the front foot. Gills beat United here 2-0 just six months ago courtesy of two late goals and have seriously upgraded since in my opinion, both in terms of personnel and how the club are now run under Justin Edinburgh ( see both below). I don't really have an issue with United as favourites to win League 1, they are a massive club at this level and will draw huge crowds if even moderately successful. However, odds of 5.50 do not reflect their real chance of winning the division in my opinon and they have not exactly thrilled me with their off season activity in the transfer market. They also have a new manager in Nigel Adkins and I can tell you one thing about him, he will have had the players working incredibly hard in pre season, probably harder than they have ever done previously, some will thrive on that, others will not, the ones that do will certainly benefit from it at some stage through the season, but they might well be a little "leggy" to begin with. However, pre season results have been decent so maybe they will hit the ground running, but they are very short of options in the middle of the backline and Adkins is desperate to bring at least one central defender in as soon as possible, it is a big squad now at Bramall Lane , but they are currently missing eight senior players with an average of over 25 apperances each last season, including two key figures in Brayford and Done and five who started the final play off match of last season. United arrive in confident mood, but given their injury list and that the Gills beat them here recently when United had far more to play for and that the home side have done more in terms of bringing in players since, I have to suggest a strong bet on the home side plus the handicap start.
Gillingham +0.25 ball 2.12 asian line/Sportmarket.