League One Saturday Betting: Black Cats will get back on track against Dons

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson
Sunderland manager Lee Johnson saw his team lose for the first time this season on Tuesday
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Alan Dudman picked out three winners from his four midweek selections and returns with a Saturday quartet - including a Correct Score bet at just over 7/1...

"It says a lot for the Mackems that three of their players feature in the top six in the division for chances created."

Back Sunderland to beat Wimbledon @ 1.768/11

Black Cats to bounce back after surprise Burton loss

Sunderland v AFC Wimbledon

Lee Johnson's Sunderland suffered their first defeat of the season on Tuesday, falling at the hands of a well-organised Burton team at the Pirelli. Johnson actually felt his side had improved on their MK Dons win; creating more chances and better in possession, but the Albion got the goal and set up with two banks and effectively played with a back seven. It's effective for them, if slightly displeasing on the eye.

It says a lot for the Mackems that three of their players feature in the top six in the division for chances created. Elliot Embleton (nine), Aiden McGeady (eight) and Lynden Gooch (eight) have formed the attacking nucleus and I would be surprised if they couldn't score past a Wimbledon team that conceded three against Bolton.

There have been some good signs under Dons manager Mark Robinson, who has lost just six of his 24 matches since taking over from Glyn Hodges. They played with a bit of possession against Gillingham in midweek although the squad still appears to be gelling together. Seven changes were made for that 1-1 but they have scored in every game they have played which makes the Both Teams To Score at around 1.804/5 quite attractive.

The Dons number two Rob Tuvey insists in the build up they won't go to the Stadium Of Light and sit behind the ball, so it should make for an entertaining game.

The BTTS odds are a carbon copy of Sunderland to win outright at 1.768/11, and while short, they have never lost to the Londoners in their previous five meetings. We've seen backing Portsmouth at cramped numbers can make a small profit, while they are not blowing teams away, they are winning. Johnson was eager to emphasise they will pick plenty of wins if they get into the final third as much as they did against Burton - and that's enough for may to sway towards the win.

You can also play using the Betbuilder via the Sportsbook to give some more mileage in the price of the hosts. Backing Sunderland to win and Over 2.5 pays out 2.77 on the multiple.

Niall Huggins could be arriving from Leeds, as there has been a couple of problem areas at the back.

KEY OPTA STAT: Only Doncaster Rovers (eight games) and Rochdale (six) have faced Sunderland more often in the Football League without beating them than AFC Wimbledon's five games so far.

Yorkshire derby to end up all square

Rotherham United v Sheffield Wednesday

Rotherham United are looking to win three consecutive league matches against Sheffield Wednesday for the first time, having beaten them twice in the Championship last season and are strong favourites to do so again at 2.265/4 for Saturday's Yorkshire derby.

This represents the sternest test for both, with the duo holding Title chances with United at 10.519/2 and the Owls at 7.613/2. Both have shortened up, and it's pleasing to see our selection Rotherham already now a perfect trade out bet having advised them at five points bigger. Get your stake back for a free bet for the next few months.

Darren Moore's team have made the more impressive start - keeping four successive clean sheets in all competitions. Moore has added some excellent quality with opposing managers commenting on their increased athleticism and mobility in their 4-3-3. They have clout of course at this level and luring Championship class players such as Lee Gregory (who scored on his full debut on Tuesday) is perhaps something Rotherham can't quite compete with.

Warne will be aware that Fleetwood had more success against the Owls when switching to a back four, and while their opening day 2-0 triumph over Plymouth was more "pleasing" rather than "ecstatic", they are difficult to break down at home. The Under 2.5 Goals is an obvious bet, but perhaps too obvious as the price of 1.618/13 is a bit of a shocker. I'd rather have a go at the 0-0 Correct Score and use as a trade out from 8.615/2.

KEY OPTA STAT: Sheffield Wednesday are looking to keep a clean sheet in each of their opening four league games in a season for only a third time, also doing so in 1966-67 and 1981-82.

Bank on Pompey again

Doncaster Rovers v Portsmouth

Portsmouth featured as another of my ante-post selections - as I advised backing them in the Promotion market at 4.216/5. They are already at 2.915/8 following their three-out-of-three start and we have another quick trade out on our hands.

The stats are ominous for Doncaster this weekend, not only have they got off to a disastrous start losing all three, they've also lost their last six home league matches, only having a longer run once in their Football League history, losing eight in a row between January and March 1998 in a season in which they lost 34 league matches, conceded 113 goals and had a goal difference of minus 83.

They are 3.711/4, they could be bigger.

Backing Portsmouth at 2.186/5 looks a fairly straightforward bet, three wins, three clean sheets and a bit of possession football in the 1-0 Tuesday success against Shrewsbury. Ryan Tunnicliffe starred again - he's had a hand in all four goals now. And Ronan Curtis as usual was superb with the ball and sprayed some gorgeous passes around the park. A crowd of nearly 15,000 attended at Fratton, some 3,000 up on the previous one.

Looking at another potential shutout for Danny Cowley, there's a good bet to be had on the Sportsbook with the Betbuilder as we can play Portsmouth and Under 2.5 at 6.97.

KEY OPTA STAT: Portsmouth have won their opening three Football League matches of a season without conceding a goal for the first time in their history - it is the second time in the last three seasons current manager Danny Cowley has done so in League One, managing the feat with Lincoln City in 2019-20.

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Alan's P and L

2021/22: +0.48

2017/18 to 2020/21: +34.17pts

*League One bets to a 0.5pt stake

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