EFL League One & League Two

Doncaster v Crewe: Back The Rovers with 9/2 handicap pick

Doncaster manager Grant McCann
Grant McCann's Doncaster are odds-on for the second leg on Friday

Alan Dudman can't see Doncaster losing tonight as he previews the semi-final second in League Two...

  • Rovers in control after first leg 2-0 win

  • Crewe's injuries have caught up with them

  • Alan Dudman previews Friday night's return leg

Doncaster Rovers v Crewe Alexandra
Friday 10th May, kick-off 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football

It's absolute one-way traffic in the Promotion Exchange Market with Doncaster Rovers, the form-team from the the end of season now odds-on at 1.804/5.

Indeed, you wouldn't often see a market as such after the first legs, with MK Dons 16.5 and Crewe at 38.037/1. The Alex have been written off completely, and I wouldn't disagree.

Luke Molyneux and Harrison Biggins got both of the goals for Rovers in the Mornflake clash, and the first was a nice one finishing off a sweeping move. Biggins soon went off with a hamstring injury, so he'll be assessed before tonight's game.

Grant McCann said after the first leg: "Hopefully we can perform like that again on Friday. The boys are playing with really good confidence. It was cagey early on and they had a couple of half chances. But when the second went in, we were in control.

"We will go to win the game on Friday which is all we've done since I've been in here. It's how I like to play football. We won't be sitting back."

McCann's side odds-on, but look a strong bet

Crewe look shot, as simple as that. The market got it right in the first game, and while I was expecting an odds-on price for another win for McCann's team, the 4/71.57 looks one of the best bets from the play-off games so far.

The Alex have won just one of their last 12 games, a horrid run at the wrong time, and Lee Bell's team have been hit hard by injuries.

"We're really struggling with injuries with players playing when they probably shouldn't do but we'll keep going and we still believe we can turn this around. The spirit and character we've got in the dressing room is our biggest strength. We're going to need it more than ever on Friday," said the Alex boss.

Doncaster ended their League Two season with just one defeat in their final 18 matches (W13 D4). At the start of February, Rovers were 22nd in the table but from the start of February onwards, they won seven more points than any other side (43) and 22 more than opponents Crewe managed (21), it really has been some effort from them.

They are miles clear on the 'Points Won Since February' table too - taking 46 points, four ahead of Wrexham.

I don't see any reason to deviate away from backing the hosts here, yes it's short, and while we've seen Posh and Bolton fluff their lines at home at short prices, I don't see Doncaster doing the same.

Back an Alternative Handicap play at 9/25.50

Doncaster won the home game 2-0 in the regular season with goals from Hakeeb Adelakun and Tommy Rowe and had nine shots to two that day, although they lost the game at the Mornflake in the regular season 3-2, but that was in November, and things have changed a lot since then.

The HT/FT price on the Sportsbook in backing the hosts is more than fair at 6/42.50, but there isn't much difference for me in that and the 4/61.67 for the Match Odds, so I'd rather play on the Alternative Handicap and back Donny -2 here at a generous 9/25.50.

They covered that bet three times in their winning run at the end of the season, and they also hit four in a 4-2 win against Barrow. Indeed, three games in April they scored four, and it's impossible to see Crewe keeping a clean sheet against a side with such momentum.

From the start of March until the end of the League Two season, only Newport County (6) won fewer points in the competition than Crewe (10). The Railwaymen scored the fewest goals (7), had the worst shot conversion rate (5.2%) and underperformed their expected goals by the biggest margin (7 goals vs 13 xG, -6) of any side in that timeframe.

Fewest goals against a team in form is not a good mix for Crewe fans or backers.

Ironside to enjoy a good evening

Talking of the run of scoring four against Barrow, Accrington and Colchester in April, Joe Ironside netted in each and every one of those games and while I missed the target with backing him in the first leg, the 11/102.11 price on the attacker for Anytime Assist or Goal at 11/102.11 is worth playing again.

Crewe's xA is 1.43 so I'd be staggered if he doesn't have a couple of good chances tonight, and they conceded 18 goals since the 2nd March when losing to Accrington.

Now read the Premier League Opta Stats: Back 4/1 assist tip and 8/1 Bet Builder

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