After a couple of weeks off @tomlove_18 is back with another Betting Preview ahead of all the action this weekend in Leagues One & Two…


Doncaster vs Plymouth – Plymouth +1 Asian Handicap at 13/18


I was surprised to learn that within a month Plymouth have gone from 24th and bottom of the table to now sit in the top half! A simply sublime December for the Pilgrims built on an upturn in performances a month prior to that. Derek Adams has seen his team become more disciplined and better balanced but he’s also seen some much needed stardust from main man Graham Carey. Surely clubs higher in the footballing pyramid will be sniffing around the Scotsman, even if he did sign a contract extension not so long ago.


Football League stalwart Ryan Taylor has been a useful foil for the likes of Carey and Ruben Lameiras, his hold up play encourages forward runners from midfield, a key reason for their scintillating form. I was amazed to see the Green Army priced up as big as 5/1 to win this one, you’ll be hard pressed to see a side with a record of (W5, D2) in their last 7 fixtures being chalked up at such bulbous odds, especially surprising is the fact the opponents are a mid table Doncaster side.


Maybe one reason for this pricing structure is the departure of a hugely influential figure in the club in the form of rangy central midfielder Toumani Diagouraga who has made a permanent transfer to Fleetwood. The former Brentford man added strength and legs to that midfield and really tied the team together, still the the price looks too big and it enables us to bring the Asian handicap angles into play.


We can back the Pilgrims with a +1 start on the Asian handicap at 13/18 and that looks just the ticket. With this selection we get a full payout if Plymouth avoid defeat and our stakes will be returned if they lose by a single goal.


Gillingham vs Rochdale – Draw at 12/5


A first for this column, I’m backing the draw in the outright market between two teams with a penchant to share the spoils. Both these sides have a joint league high of 10 draws this season, and when seeing this looking through the fixtures my eyes were instantly on the draw and with their respective records I’d expect no bigger than 2/1 for a stalemate but 12/5 is available and looks an attractively priced angle to take at the Priestfield on Saturday.


Wycombe vs Colchester – Both Teams To Score at 5/6


Two teams with strong attacking artillery meet in Buckinghamshire on Saturday afternoon. I’ve talked about Wycombe a lot in this column and their various threats going forward so I won’t divulge too much more on the Chairboys, suffice to say they do have the players to score goals.


Colchester are a team that have some exciting young prospects. Someone I highlighted as one to watch in pre season, Sammie Szmodics, has been a revelation for the U’s. He’s took on the mantle as one of the key players for John McGreal’s side and he clearly has great confidence in his own ability. Rumours that Bournemouth have made a 7 figure bid for the player have been rife and it’s understandable why they’d be interested. Colchester seem to have an excellent youth set up, picking up some of the best talent from the Essex region and another player who’s caught the eye is academy product Frankie Kent. Kent has maturity beyond his years and reads the game very well, the defender also has attributes to utilise going forward popping up with a few goals in the past couple of seasons. Kane Vincent-Young is the latest player to come through the system and he looks an exciting modern day full back.


Along with Szmodics, Colchester have Mikael Mandron, Kurtis Guthrie and Sean Murray who can all play up the pitch and chip in with goals. It’s true that they were on the end of a 4-2 defeat at the Weston Homes Community stadium last weekend to Cheltenham, however they were with only 10 men for the entire second half of that one.


Wycombe are always good for a goal and their fans will be expecting them to win this one and they may well do but I feel Colchester can play their part in an entertaining encounter.


Swindon vs Forest Green – Forest Green +1 Asian handicap at 7/9


I’m backing the same bet as the Plymouth game here and laying short priced Swindon. As mentioned in a piece I did a few weeks ago, Swindon are a team I’m happy to back away from home at bigger prices but their home record doesn’t not warrant them to be as skinny as 4/7. Their record at the County Ground is (W4, D2, L7), not great.


Forest Green Rovers Chairman Dale Vince has been an immensely busy man the last few weeks, he’s brought in a number of new signings including 3 centre halves in the shape of Haydn Hollis, Farrend Rawson and Gavin Gunning. Gaffer Mark Cooper has been effusive in his praise for the leadership qualities shown by Gunning and that is something FGR have severely lacked this season. The Green Devils have also brought in striker Reuben Reid, a real eye-catching signing and the hierarchy at the club have stressed that he is there to partner top scorer Christian Doidge rather than be a replacement for him. It’s exciting times at the New Lawn and I really fancy there chances to get something this weekend. FGR with a goal start on the asians is the angle here.


*I’m personally going to have a little fun dabble on Plymouth and Forest Green both to win in a big price double. This is available at best price 30/1 with Betfred.


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