League One Betting: MK to KO LU
Leeds need to win but that's not to say they will
"Leeds were beaten on Saturday, 3-2 at Gillingham, a game in which their approach was awful. They looked slow and disinterested, confused and disorganised. Defensively they couldn't deal with any aerial balls, and the two centre-backs were ran so ragged they needed an Oyster card to get back."
Leeds United are desperate to win their home match against an MK Dons side who have seen Paul Ince walk out on the club for the second time this week. But playing under no pressure can suit the visitors. Alan Dudman talks us through that match and the rest of this weekend's best bets...
Walsall [2.42] versus Hartlepool [3.15], the draw [3.60]
The safety net to preserve League One status is generally around the 50 point mark - and both of these miscreants have achieved this. Actually, miscreants may be slightly unfair, and should therefore be swapped for chronically inconsistent yet capable (you get the picture).
If both could string together a run, both could be boxing with the play-off boys. Walsall's
season however should be viewed as a good one, whilst Hartlepool are like Mark E. Smith (he of The Fall) - you never know quite what you are going to get, but when it is good, it is very good.
The game could be a dead rubber, but contract decisions are still to be made. Walsall's recent form is good, a 1-1 draw with Swindon and a dramatic 4-3 loss whilst pushing Huddersfield all the way.
Hartlepool go from the sublime to the ridiculous. Their recent 3-1 win against Colchester was their best of the season, before that they were shocking at Wycombe. On-loan striker Roy O'Donovan's goals have been vital (eight in 12 games), whilst his influence has coincided with a run of 19 points collected (which could be viewed as play-off form).
The north-east outfit have been poor on their travels, but asking for around [3.40] might be a risk worth taking. James Brown is another in tip-top form since returning from injury. And he has been sorely missed.
Back Hartlepool @ [3.40]
Back the draw Half Time @ [2.14]
Leeds United [1.44] versus MK Dons [10.00], the draw [4.90]
It's make or break time for Leeds, and Saturday's home clash with MK Dons is the crunch game of all crunch games. The Whites will want to avoid the play-offs at all costs, but their recent home form has set the nerves jangling (two wins from seven at Elland Road).
Leeds were beaten on Saturday, 3-2 at Gillingham, a game in which their approach was awful. They looked slow and disinterested, confused and disorganised. Defensively they couldn't deal with any aerial balls, and the two centre-backs were ran so ragged they needed an Oyster card to get back.
And of MK Dons? Dear oh dear. Paul Ince resigned last week, without a win in eight, and they lost the big Bucks' derby against Wycombe on Saturday. The squad is being stretched to its limit, and at least four players were not fit enough to feature against Wycombe, but did.
29-year-old Karl Robinson (assistant to Ince) has now taken charge, and he's a young coach of some promise. Having worked with Liverpool and Sam Allardyce, he might just squeeze something out of this threadbare unit.
The Buckinghamshire side have nothing to play for, have no pressure, and can go out and enjoy it. Leeds have everything to lose. It's about the only time you'll get double figures on backing MK Dons.
MK Dons to win @ [10.00]
Back over 2.5 goals @ [1.90]
Oldham Athletic [2.02] versus Southend [4.20], the draw [3.55]
Oldham's priceless win at Carlisle on Saturday could have been enough to seal their safety, whilst Tuesday's 0-0 at Southampton just about confirmed it. Latics manager Dave Penney got his team to defend brilliantly at St Mary's in midweek. They closed down really quickly and got plenty of bodies behind the ball.
Although free-flowing football has been non-existent, they are unbeaten in four and that's better than anything Southend are doing.
It's been a wretched season for the Essex side. And with three games to play, it really is looking grim in terms of safety. It's an incredibly low atmosphere and Oldham need one last win to vanquish any relegation fears. Southend however, could be heading down.
Back Oldham @ [2.02]
Back Oldham 1-0 and 2-0 [10.00] and [12.00]
Wycombe [3.60] v Swindon [2.20], draw [4.00]
Swindon have started to panic Mr Mainwaring!!! The message is simple: if they get back to basics they are too good for Wycombe, they need to win. They should be backed.