Our third tier expert Alan Dudman picked out a couple of winners last Saturday and he returns to preview Ipswich's struggles as they face Lincoln this weekend...
"A batch of new players were handed starts for the midweek Trophy game against West Ham U-21s and maybe a chance to stake a claim for a place, but they lost to the Hammers' youngsters and still remain without a win."
Cook's Town goal woes to continue
Lincoln City v Ipswich Town
Saturday 18th September, kick-off 15:00
Ipswich were described as shambolic following last weekend's 2-5 shocking home loss against Bolton and manager Paul Cook would have been tearing his hair out if he had any left, but the disastrous manner in which they folded so easily has left Town fans wondering where they go next?
Cook is a good manager, and has tasted a lot of success in the lower divisions, notably Wigan, but he has won just four matches in 23 since he arrived at Portman Road and I suspect it's more to do with the malaise at the club that was set even before the Paul Lambert era. Cook brought in 19 new players over the summer and handed another three debuts on Saturday, but they look very much a team of strangers. They have recruited well and have more spending power than most in the division, but they are conceding and losing at an alarming rate.
A batch of new players were handed starts for the midweek Trophy game against West Ham U-21s and maybe a chance to stake a claim for a place, but they lost to the Hammers' youngsters and still remain without a win.
Fans have been unhappy for a while and despite a the huge sea change throughout the club, they haven't won against most teams they are expected to beat. It's hard to imagine layers putting up Ipswich, one of the big names in the third tier, as 4.03/1 chances. But they should be on results, and don't deserve to be 3.211/5. They have also gone out to 18.017/1 in the Winner market.
Lincoln will see their chance to win this in midfield, as Town don't have the right combination at all and can't seem to break up play where as the hosts have some good passers and experience in the shape of Liam Bridcutt. Imps boss Michael Appleton was relieved his team earned a point in midweek against Rotherham - a 1-1 that was described as "daylight robbery" by Paul Warne. City dealt with Rotherham's physicality better in the second-half, but they were roughed up a bit in the first 45, and had it not been for Josh Griffiths in the Lincoln goal, it would have been a lot more.
And it looks a no-brainer in backing the hosts here, especially after Cook called his team a "soft touch". We can side with Lincoln at 2.26/5, and a replica of their Cambridge win should see them home here. Ipswich have conceded in every game (two a game prior to the five against Bolton), and they have a nasty habit of relinquishing a lead immediately after they score. It's no surprise the Both Teams To Score price is as short as 1.695/7. Backing the Lincoln win and BTTS on the Sportsbook Betbuilder pays out 4.08.
It will take time with Cook, but I can't see it changing this Saturday.
KEY OPTA STAT: For the second time in the last four seasons, Ipswich Town have failed to win any of their first six league matches of the season - the last time they did so, in 2018-19, the Tractor Boys finished bottom of the Championship and were relegated.
Dons to keep entertaining
AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth Argyle
Saturday 18th September, kick-off 15:00
Much has been made of Wimbledon's use of a substitution coach following a fascinating read in The Athletic regarding the work of Sammy Lander, and while to some it might be deemed a novelty, these days there are throw-in coaches and set-piece designers, and if an edge can be gained and clubs are receptive, I'm all for it.
The cynics like to hiss and boo at anything experimental, but something is working at Wimbledon at the moment and they currently three points off the leaders Sunderland with 12 points. I cannot remember the last time the Dons were in fourth.
Plymouth are exceeding expectations too in eighth position and gained the shock of the embryonic season last weekend with a 3-0 win against big-spending Sheffield Wednesday, a game that saw the goals spread around and not to the strikers Ryan Hardie and Luke Jephcott, who had nine between them prior to last Saturday.
Lowe likes to play a certain brand of football, and Wimbledon have changed their style from the Glyn Hodges days, with Mark Robinson trying to switch to a more expansive game. He also praised the team spirit this week and an improved mentality, dubbed a "never say die attitude" following their amazing comeback against Morecambe previously. They trailed 3-2, yet produced another rousing comeback to win 3-4 thanks to a 90th minute goal, trumping their previous comeback special earlier in the season against Bolton - winning 3-2 from a losing position.
The Wombles are the team for goals this term; both home and away. Backers of the BTTS bet so far would have collected in six of their seven matches, with the only loss being the 1-0 to Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light. Four of those have also hit the Over 2.5 Goals mark, and that's probably a runner too at a price of 1.9010/11.
However, I like the back of the hosts here, who are unbeaten at Plough Lane this term, and we can back them at 2.26/5. Some might think that's brave going against Plymouth and their epic success against the Owls, but so often in this division, the so-called lesser teams do struggle to back up surprising wins.
KEY OPTA STAT: This exact fixture was drawn 4-4 last season - it was Plymouth's highest scoring draw in the Football League since a 4-4 match at Wrexham in August 1996.
Carry on opposing the Addicks
Wycombe Wanderers v Charlton Athletic
Saturday 18th September, kick-off 15:00
We begin with a rather impressive Opta stat as Wycombe have won 17 of their last 22 home matches in League One (excluding play-offs), winning both home games this season against Accrington and Lincoln. That puts them in pole position at 2.26/5 this Saturday against a weak Charlton team.
I opposed the Addicks at home to Cheltenham with a Draw No Bet on 'the other Robins', and while we collected, part of me wished I had backed the outright win as the Londoners were "all over the place" according to their boss Nigel Adkins. He has now presided over their worst ever start in 15 years.
Charlton have a good striker in Jayden Stockley, a real handful, but they are becoming too reliant on him and overdoing the long balls to the target man. Defensively the Addicks were awful too - letting runners go on a regular basis.
Wycombe are a handful and know their game inside out. Yes, they can spoil matches, but they are excellent defensively and well organised, often happy to sit deep and soak up pressure. Their 0-0 with Oxford last weekend showed a different side to the U's. Wycombe have only lost once this season - and that was away at leaders Sunderland, but Gareth Ainsworth thought his men played really well.
Charlton's strength may have been their away form last term, but they've won once all season and it's hard to back them or even make a case for a result against a team that came down from the Championship.
KEY OPTA STAT: Charlton have lost their last two away league games, last losing three in a row between December 2019 and February 2020, losing four on the trot in the Championship.
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Alan's P and L
2017/18 to 2020/21: +34.17pts
*League One bets to a 0.5pt stake