Blue Square Bet Premier - Weekend Betting Preview – by Alan Alger from Blue Square Bet
Gateshead boss Ian Bogie may have winced when he saw a fixture list that produced opening matches against the top three teams in the pre-season title betting. It’s ‘so-far so-good’ for The Heed though after a draw at Luton on the opening day which was followed up by a stunning 4-1 win at home to Mansfield in midweek. They now host Forest Green Rovers at the International Stadium. Dave Hockaday’s side are also on four points from their two opening games. Rovers are yet to win in their three visits to Gateshead since Bogie’s side entered Non-League’s top-flight in 2009. We make Gateshead 11/10 favourites to continue that record with a win here. If that’s not the game of the day then at the other end of the table Kidderminster and Mansfield are both under pressure to turn around bad starts. Stags boss Paul Cox has blasted his defence and has made a plea for them to go ‘back-to-basics’ for this trip to Aggborough. Mansfield have conceded 8 goals in their first two matches but now face a Harriers side who are yet to score this season. We can’t split the prices and make each team 6/4 to win the match with the draw quoted at 23/10.
Last season’s runners-up Wrexham had a wake-up call at Macclesfield in midweek as they were beaten 2-0 by the newly relegated Silkmen. A win at home to Woking on the opening day had prompted some confident predictions from the Red Dragons faithful but, whilst it’s very early days, the feeling remains for me that Andy Morrell’s team will struggle to replicate anything near their form from last season. They are worthy favourites for their weekend trip to Ebbsfleet United though and could be fancied at 10/11. The Kent side were wasteful in midweek as they eventually succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat to Braintree Town after losing Patrick Ada to a sending-off late on. Grimsby Town are another of the pre-season market leaders to have struggled in their first two games. An away draw at Southport was followed with a defeat at home to Stockport in midweek, which could provide a difficult benchmark for the season. If Stockport have improved to challenge the top five in the market then where does that leave the Mariners? They are 8/15 favourites, the shortest price of the weekend, to get back on track at home to Nuneaton Town. Kevin Wilkin’s side yet to register a point and having conceded nine goals already.
Elsewhere Cambridge United can add to their solid start with a home win over Southport at 4/6. Macclesfield Town are another odds-on favourite on this weekend’s coupon at a price of 4/7 at home to Blue Square Bet South play-off winners Dartford. Newport County sit proudly at the top of the early table having won both games scoring four each time. Justin Edinburgh’s team are 4/5 home favourites to beat Lincoln City. The Imps won at home to Kidderminster on the opening day before losing at Cambridge on Tuesday. Jim Gannon’s Stockport County are the only other side to have a 100% record and they look to continue that with a win at Tamworth at 11/8. A price that could look a value call on a list of matches with plenty of odds-on shots. Hereford United are also priced at 11/8 for their away game at Alfreton Town. The Bulls drew plenty of their away games last season and a price of 12/5 for spoils being shared might be the best bet at the Impact Arena. If AFC Telford United are to avoid relegation this season they will need to win their home games against other teams that may finish in the bottom half. Braintree could be one of those teams and Andy Sinton’s side are 6/5 favourites to register a home win over them. Woking confirmed superiority from last season over Dartford in midweek and are 20/21 odds-on favourites to beat Barrow, who make the long journey down to Kingfield looking for their first goal of 2012/13.
Alan’s Best Weekend Treble:
CAMBRIDGE UNITED to beat Southport
STOCKPORT COUNTY to win at Tamworth
NEWPORT COUNTY to beat Lincoln City