League One preview for 19/12/2015

In an occasional feature, OVF takes a look ahead to the weekend’s matches in SkyBet League One…

We approach matchweek 22 of the Skybet League One and what a highly entertaining season it has been. Newly promoted Burton Albion have taken to the step-up in quality like a duck to water, putting themselves five points clear at the top, with 44 points. However, Burton have recently lost their enigmatic manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to Queens Park Rangers, so it remains to be seen if they can continue that momentum.

All predictions and tips provided by Sbat.com

Southend v Bury

Friday sees the first League One fixture of the weekend as 9th placed Southend host 7th placed Bury at the Roots Hall Stadium. Both teams have promotion aspirations and are within touching distance of the play-off spots. Bury’s Leon Clarke will be looking to add to his nine goal haul, which makes him the third highest scorer in the league. Southend are undefeated in six league games and another point here would be seen as a good result, three points would be a major coup for Phil Brown’s team.

My Prediction

Draw 23/10
Southend 1 Bury 1 (5/1)

Burton Albion v Doncaster Rovers

League leaders Burton Albion host Doncaster Rovers on Saturday and will be hopeful of extending their lead at the top of the table. Five points separate them from second places Coventry and third placed Walsall, however Walsall do have a game in hand. Burton have won their last 4 league games and boast the best defence in the league, having only conceded 16 goals. Doncaster enter the game in good form themselves with 13 points from their last six games in the league. Doncaster should come into the game with added confidence making this a potential banana skin for league leaders Burton.

My Prediction

Burton Albion win 1/1
Burton 2 Doncaster 1 (8/1)

Coventry v Oldham

Coventry will be looking to keep pace with Walsall, Burton and Gillingham with 3 points at home to Oldham this weekend. A loss for Oldham would be another huge blow to them as they battle to get out of the bottom three. Adam Armstrong will be the man to keep your eye on in that game. His 13 goals this season make him the League One top scorer by a margin of three goals. Having lost four of their last five games Oldham will be playing with little confidence. They will have to dig in against a Coventry side who have yet to be beaten on home soil this season.

My Prediction

Coventry win 8/15
Adam Armstrong to score 1/1
Coventry 3 Oldham 1 (12/1)

Walsall v Port Vale

Title hopefuls Walsall are also at home this weekend and will be looking to take all three points to improve their chances. However, they face a tricky opponent in Port Vale who (FA Cup form aside) have taken 13 points from their last six games. Walsall are five points off leaders Burton but do have a game in hand. Walsall have the best goal difference in the league thanks to a well regimented defence and prolific attack. Port Vale will be hopeful they can take at least a point out of this game with their recent league displays.

My Prediction

Draw 5/2
Both teams to score 8/11
Walsall 1 Port Vale 1 (11/2)

Crewe v Fleetwood Town

At the bottom of the table there is also a real tussle going on. A key game in the relegation battle sees Crewe Alexandra host Fleetwood Town. Crewe and Fleetwood both managed back to back wins prior to last weekend’s defeats against Doncaster and Blackpool respectively. A win for Crewe could see them leapfrog Fleetwood and put their opponents in the relegation zone, lifting Crewe out of it.

My Prediction

Crewe or draw 1/1
Both teams to score 8/11
Crewe 2 Fleetwood 2 (12/1)

Barnsley v Wigan

Barnsley will need a big performance against Wigan Athletic on Saturday in the search for much needed points. Wigan have got themselves in the play-off positions and will be hoping to go one better and gain promotion automatically. Barnsley have struggled throughout the season but have picked up four points from their last two games. The Tykes home form however has been woeful of late, taking just one point from their last five games at the Oakwell Stadium.

My Prediction

Wigan draw no bet 4/7
Both teams to score 8/11
Barnsley 1 Wigan 2 (8/1)

Colchester v Rochdale

Colchester are the most out-of-form team in the league having lost their previous six games in League One. You would do well to find a team in the top levels of English football to have conceded this many goals at this stage of the season. Having shipped 52 goals from 21 games it is easy to see where they are going wrong. Incredibly only five teams in the league have scored more goals than Colchester this season. They are up against Rochdale this weekend who are a comfortable mid table side. I would be surprised if both teams didn’t muster at least a goal each this weekend.

My Prediction

Rochdale win 1/1
Both teams to score 8/13
Rochdale 3 Colchester 2 (20/1)
Over 2.5 goals 3/5

Blackpool v Peterborough

Blackpool v Peterborough sees two teams fighting different battles at different ends of the table. Blackpool hover just above the relegation zone, they know anything other than a win could see them drop into that. Peterborough are fifth in the table and will be looking to maintain their playoff status. Peterborough are in red hot form with 13 points from their last five games in the league. Blackpool however have won their last two games against Fleetwood and Barnsley, keeping clean sheets in both.

My Prediction

Peterborough win 3/4
Blackpool 1 Peterborough 2
Peterborough to win from behind 7/1

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