League One Tips: There's juice in Greens for trip to Robinson's U's

Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe
Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe heads to Oxford this Saturday

Alan Dudman previews Saturday's action in League One and believes Plymouth are a big price to maintain their league position at the top...

"Plymouth are unbeaten in their last 11 league games (W6 D5), their longest run without defeat since a run of 14 between August-November 2016."

Back Plymouth Double Chance @ 2.47/5

Back Salop to hold out against Manning's Dons

Shrewsbury Town v MK Dons
Saturday 16th October, kick-off 15:00

I'm still smarting from the MK Dons' defeat at Doncaster two weeks ago. Their first loss in 10 games, and a defeat to the bottom club which ended their previous unbeaten run. They started poorly in the first-half and were far too passive; conceding twice against a team that had found the net just three times all season was a real hammer blow.

The Dons were big favourites then, and are once again market leaders for Saturday's trip to Shrewsbury at 2.111/10, but I won't be tempted into making the same mistake. The Dons have good attacking options, but I get the feeling the Shrews are improving (certainly at home) despite their poor league position, and this could be a tough fixture and a clash of styles.

Manager Steve Cotterill was slightly aggrieved at some of the refereeing decisions in last week's 2-1 loss to Ipswich, but they managed to keep quiet an expensively assembled team for a while and certain aspects of their game has got better.

Salop have endured a fairly brutal run of fixtures away from home against Sheffield Wednesday, Accrington, Bolton and Ipswich, and they have only been beaten by the one goal in three of them (earning at draw at Hillsborough).

It could be that sort of fixture again and they have only lost once in their last five at home. Cotterill has certainly made them harder to beat following a poor beginning, although clean sheets are hard to come by as they are one of four teams yet to record a shut-out in League One this season (along with AFC Wimbledon, Fleetwood and Lincoln).

They went a flat back five and a deep-lying midfield three to stem Ipswich, and it could be similar scenario for Saturday. The Correct Score trade is a possible play here for the 1-1 at 6.611/2 but the outright draw bet is the most tempting.

KEY OPTA STAT: Four of MK Dons' eight away Football League games against Shrewsbury have ended level (W2 L2). Their defeats in this trips came in their first such away game against them (1-2 in April 2007) and their most recent visit (2-4 in February).

Plymouth look overpriced for Double Chance tilt

Oxford United v Plymouth Argyle
Saturday 16th October, kick-off 15:00

Plymouth matches usually attract a fair bit of liquidity and they travel to Oxford with what looks one of the fixtures of the weekend.

Oxford are putting their unbeaten record on the line at the Kassam (W4 D2) against the league leaders, who haven't quite replicated away from Home Park (W2 L2 D1).

However, these are two attacking-based teams that play possession football and Pilgrims boss Ryan Lowe is well-versed in how his opposite number Karl Robinson likes to play, as he was part of the MK Dons teams under Robinson a few years ago, and the two are good mates as scousers.

Oxford play on the front foot so it will be interesting to see how Plymouth approach this, as in their recent matches they've scored twice in a pair of 2-2s at Portsmouth and Lincoln - who are both counter-attacking teams.

The visitors have a great supply of goals from a fine front two in Ryan Hardie and Luke Jephcott. Hardie has 10 in 15 this term, with his partner on five from 13 and they like to get forward as often as possible playing a back-three with overlapping wing-backs.

Robinson has a fully fit squad to choose from for the first time in a while. His team have 12 goals at the Kassam so far (second highest in the league) and Plymouth have scored on the road in all but one so the BTTS to score looks a pretty good bet here at 1.814/5, and certainly the visitors look overpriced.

KEY OPTA STAT: Plymouth are unbeaten in their last 11 league games (W6 D5), their longest run without defeat since a run of 14 between August-November 2016.

Big play price for the Betbuilder

Cambridge United v Ipswich Town
Saturday 16th October, kick-off 15:00

After a wretched start, Ipswich are finally turning the corner with three wins in their last five. Manager Paul Cook's harsh criticisms have worked, to a point, but they certainly produced one of the performances of the season with their 6-0 hammering of Doncaster.

No side has scored more League One goals than Ipswich this season (21). However, only Cheltenham and Accrington Stanley (20 each) have conceded more than the Tractor Boys this term (19), so perhaps it won't all be plain sailing at a price of 2.1411/10 for Saturday's trip to Cambridge.

A replication of last weekend's first-half against Shrewsbury will help, as they passed the ball well and certainly attacked. Conor Chaplin now has three in four games and despite the embarrassment of riches at Cook's disposal up front, Chaplin should get the nod again.

He's a big price at 5/2 to Score Anytime on the Sportsbook, a market that is dominated by Ipswich forwards.

Save for a couple of hefty reverses including the 1-5 home loss to Lincoln, the newly promoted outfit haven't done too badly and started the season well at the Abbey beating Burton and Bolton. They also held Oxford to a draw.

Until Ipswich hit top stride, especially on the road, I think we can sit out the 2.1411/10 away win and back the draw instead. Combining Chaplin with the stalemate on the Betbuilder pays a whopping 14.72.

KEY OPTA STAT: Cambridge have conceded nine goals across their last three home league games (D1 L2), as many as they had in their previous 12 combined.

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Alan's P and L

2021/22: -1.68
2017/18 to 2020/21: +34.17pts

*League One bets to a 0.5pt stake

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