Colchester should have the firepower to defeat Cheltenham, even with reinforcements, says Ian Lamont, who also takes on Doncaster at a short price against Stevenage who have won their last six away games...
"Doncaster offer chinks in their armoury, despite a +10 goal difference at home and no defeats at the Keepmoat Stadium: overall, Darren Ferguson's side have scored just once in each of their last three league games and failed to score in the previous match."
Five wins in an unbeaten six match run don't seem to have earned Colchester full credit. Many other sides would be odds-on to win against a side with one win in six games.
At the time of writing, John McGreal's side remain above the 'evens' watermark for Betfair punters - and Tarique Fosu-Henry remains with the Essex club. The U's boss is hopeful of extending the winger's loan from Reading past the end of the week. He has scored three times in 14 league and cup appearances.
Colchester had to change their lineup for the first time in six games against Stevenage, took a 2-0 lead and then saw their opponents come back to level before pushing on again to win. They will be hoping Craig Slater will recover having missed the match and that Kurtis Guthrie can maintain his scoring form, having netted in four of their past seven games. The battle is on between Guthrie (6) and Chris Porter (7) to reach double figures first as the U's stride towards a top six placement. Three clean sheets recently presents an even better platform to kick on.
Mystery still surrounds Cheltenham's inability to turn National League form into League Two. Gary Johnson has started to ring the changes to restore the Robins' fortunes. Out go five loanees, in comes one from Wycombe who played against them last week - goalkeeper Scott Brown. And a defender, 20-year-old Emmanuel Onariase from Brentford. Diego De Girolamo has also been added, up front, from Bristol City.
Cheltenham do have plenty of quality in players including Billy Walters and Harry Pell. It might be a matter of time before they pick up sufficient points to pull clear of relegation trouble, especially if they continue to pull in loanees who actually do make a difference. But, for now, it is worth backing Colchester on a roll. They also beat Cheltenham 3-0 just a matter of weeks ago.
Back Colchester @ 2.111/10
There is one time to lay Accrington - and that's when they are odds-on to win. They are extremely short, given that they only have one win in six games, a slim victory at out-of-form Crewe.
Part of the reason they are so short is Hartlepool's equally wobbly form. Even though they were 3-0 up against Morecambe they finished only 3-2 winners, prompting Craig Hignett to voice his displeasure at them taking their foot off the gas after goals by Padraig Amond, Billy Paynter and Nicky Featherstone.
A change to a three at the back and two up front formation seemed to have done the trick, too. One wonders if Hignett has been reading about Tottenham's occasional change of formation and it working against particular teams? Probably not.
A scrambled goal by Billy Kee won Accrington the game at Crewe. However, they have appeared to have a problem scoring lately as they had not found the back of the net in the three games before that. It might pay to back a Hartlepool victory at a big price.
Back Hartlepool @ 5.04/1
Doncaster 1.84/5 v Stevenage 5.04/1; the draw 4.03/1
It is only a matter of weeks since Stevenage lost just 4-3 to Doncaster at home, having been 3-0 down, but clawed back to 3-2. With six straight away wins behind them, they must believe they have a chance of earning something from this match.
They have scored twice in all those six away games, bar once, when they won 1-0. With Matt Godden and Ben Kennedy both scoring in the defeat to Colchester, Darren Sarll at least knows his players are capable of creating and taking chances - and pushing for a place in the top seven.
Doncaster offer chinks in their armoury, despite a +10 goal difference at home and no defeats at the Keepmoat Stadium: overall, Darren Ferguson's side have scored just once in each of their last three league games and failed to score in the previous match.
Teenager Liam Mandeville's form and emergence has been excellent with eight goals in the last nine league and FA Cup games. One would have expected them to win at Mansfield, but they had to claw back for a draw.
Stevenage certainly seem in a vein of form that suggests they can score on their travels.
That means Doncaster will have to score twice to win, giving the visitors a chance of going home undefeated. There could be some goals in this, too.
Lay Doncaster @ 1.84/5
Back over 3.5 goals @ 3.211/5