Ian Lamont runs through the best bets from Saturday's League Two action including an expected win for Wycombe on their 125th birthday...
"It is hard to see the dispirited Dons spoiling the hosts' 125th party celebrations."
Paul Tisdale's demand for Exeter to "show more purpose at home" after taking a late draw with York paid off when they defeated Wycombe 3-2 on Tuesday night, James Cureton scoring his sixth goal in six games along the way. Tisdale was certainly with Cureton, but even more impressed with debutant Jimmy Keohane, who played alongside him up front. The Grecians will need to show that same desire away at Southend. However, the fact they are on a roll, with five wins from six, indicates they can overcome the injuries to strikers who gave Keohane his chance.
Southend took time to find their feet this season, but had scored 10 goals in four unbeaten games before a forgivable 1-0 defeat to leaders Gillingham in midweek. That was the first game in five that Britt Assombalonga had not scored. The teenage striker has extended his loan from Watford until the New Year. To me, this game should be much more evenly priced, so the value has to be laying the hosts.
Recommended Bet: Lay Southend at 2.255/4
For a few weeks I had felt that both managers were vulnerable. After a "club statement" three weeks ago from AFC Wimbledon it was obvious Terry Brown was on thin ice. Results have not improved. He has had no luck, with striker Jack Midson - last season's divisional top scorer - injured. But his teams' weaknesses have always been defence. Opta point out that, since the beginning of last season, AFC Wimbledon have conceded 96 goals, the second worst record in all four divisions. The worst with 98? Wycombe. But at least they were a level up for most of that time.
The Dons have signed a plethora of defenders recently, but to no avail. Simply, teams need a far stronger backline for League Two than non-league and some fans felt Brown was the man to get them into the Football League but not progress them further. Now, he will attend Adams Park to say goodbye to the fans. By a twist of fate, the Dons face Brown's successor as Aldershot Town manager, Gary Waddock, who must be under pressure as Wycombe boss. The Chairboys' board know he can get them promoted. That will buy Waddock time. They are better than their position shows.
Dean Morgan is a welcome addition in attack, displacing Jo Kuffour who has a point to prove after being released by both Bristol Rovers and Gillingham in the last year. It is hard to see the dispirited Dons spoiling the hosts' 125th party celebrations.
Recommended Bet: Back Wycombe at 2.01/1
I don't normally set much stall by previous seasons' results between sides as a guide to the present. But Opta's observation that these two racked up a pair of score draws last season might have relevance. Further statistics are that the Shrimps have not won in eight at home, while the Pilgrims have not won in eight away. And, crucially, on the field, not a substantial amount has really changed at either club - both realistically aiming for mid-table safety. Jim Bentley's men are layably short, but I'm going for the more rewarding draw.
Recommended Bet: Back The Draw at 3.45
On the face of it, Chris Wilder's men look short priced, given Bradford's recent form of four wins and a draw in six games, scoring three or more three times, James Hanson in fine form with four strikes. Is Opta's assertion that the Bantams have avoided defeat only twice in 11 league away games a worry to their chances? Improvement must start somewhere, though, and this season they have faced strong opponents away, losing to Gillingham (3-1) and Rotherham (4-0) while drawing at high echelon aspirants Accrington. Oxford have lost four league matches in a row, for the first time since November 2010, which means they are vulnerable.
Recommended Bet: Lay Oxford at 2.35/4