League Two Betting: Back play-off hopefuls Cambridge and Accrington

John Coleman could be rubbing his hands at another three points
John Coleman could be rubbing his hands at another three points

John Coleman's Stanley have been on a fantastic run, says Ian Lamont, who is also tipping Newport on Good Friday to continue their remarkable escape act attempt at the foot of the table...

"It’s always a little risky to oppose a team which has just appointed a new manager, especially if he is someone as experienced as Russell Slade, returning for a second spell. However, Cambridge’s need - and therefore desire - for victory is stronger than Grimsby's."

Grimsby 3.711/4 v Cambridge 2.35/4; the draw 3.45

Cambridge, chasing a playoff place, couldn't bump into Grimsby at a more opportune moment. It is just five months since the Mariners appointed Marcus Bignot as manager - and now they have sacked him.

His crime? He didn't keep up the attack on the playoff positions, having inherited a team who were ninth. Nine wins in 27 matches and a slippage into solid mid-table. Surely after promotion last season they can't automatically expand a second on the bounce? And they could have waited for Bignot to have the longer-term influence that he had on Solihull Moors as they became an established National League team.

Omar Bogle's departure in January didn't help either.

There's nothing wrong with ambition, of course, and Cambridge still hold on to the chance that they can reach the top seven. Shaun Derry, not always a popular incumbent manager with fans since his appointment, has steered his charges on a great run of form.

They are strong away from home, with 10 away wins, Luke Berry has 15 goals and George Maris has started to make a real impact while full-back Greg Taylor has signed a new contract for another year. A contrast, then, to Grimsby shedding personnel.

It's a little risky to oppose a team which has just appointed a new manager, especially if he is someone as experienced as Russell Slade, returning for a second spell. However, Cambridge's need - and therefore desire - for victory is stronger. As Opta point out, they also have men in scoring form away: Berry (3) and Medy Elito (4) have shared the U's last seven away goals and the league.

Recommended Bet
Back Cambridge @ 2.35/4

Colchester 3.814/5 v Doncaster 2.111/10; the draw 3.814/5

I'm sure the BBC reporter thought he was being flippant when he suggested Doncaster might spend some time celebration promotion and they might be on course for a defeat in their next match, especially if it was away.

However, he clearly hadn't noticed that Darren Ferguson's side will face Colchester, a side who have 12 home wins - the second highest number in League Two. They have very much still to play for - a play-off place.

Rovers would never want to take their foot off the pedal because the divisional title still has to be won, but newly crowned League Two player of the year John Marquis will have to work hard to break down Colchester's defence. He has scored 26 goals, 16 of them away emphasises Opta.

John McGreal says supporters are getting "full value" from matches at home, where the players really look forward to playing. The prospect of a Wembley final spurs his squad, he says.

Brennan Dickenson says he is in the form of his life and he and Chris Porter, another key attacker, might have to put Doncaster on the back foot with an early goal to really take advantage of any "celebration fatigue" in the away side, who have scored more away goals than any other League Two side.

Opta add that Colchester's 41 points from 20 home games so far is only bettered by Doncaster's 48 from 21.

This game will be anything but an odds-on, or even money, march to a simple three points that the odds might suggest.

Recommended Bet
Back the draw @ 3.814/5

Newport County 2.3611/8 v Yeovil Town 3.39/4; the draw 3.55/2

Newport's climb since they lost 4-0 at home to Leyton Orient at the start of March has been remarkable.

That defeat left them 11 points adrift of safety. Now they are just three behind Hartlepool, four behind Cheltenham and seven behind Yeovil after four wins and a draw in seven games under Michael Flynn, including back-to-back victories twice.

The Exiles have failed to score in three previous games against Yeovil, according to Opta, something they will be looking to put right, even if three of their last four goals have been from outside the box. What does that tell us? That they shoot too early through lack of confidence? That they can't get closer to goal? That they take the option to shoot too early?

Whatever it says, it hasn't stopped them taking some much-needed wins and showing fighting spirit. Flynn has challenged forward Tom Owen-Evans to keep up the good work after scoring his first professional goal to beat Exeter. The experienced Sean Rigg is close to a return while Joss Ladabie will still be suspended, but the south Wales side have been showing mental strength as they hunt down security.

Darren Way's Glovers had Otis Khan back against Portsmouth after a lengthy spell out, giving him a creative option while Ben Whitfield is still suspended. But they have been on a run which offers little confidence they are up to facing a side who have been in a dogfight for weeks and winning many scraps.

The Somerset side have won once in 13 matches, drawing eight. So they are capable of frustrating their hosts, especially if Francois Zoko is on form. He has scored three of their last five goals in the league, two of their last four away, say Opta. They could come away with a draw, but Newport really need that win.

Recommended Bet
Back Newport County @ 2.3611/8

Blackpool 2.3411/8 v Accrington 3.412/5; the draw 3.613/5

Mark Hughes scoring twice in a comeback victory? Sounds like the stuff of legend from Manchester United. But that was actually Accrington last weekend, at home to Crewe.

The way Stanley came back from 2-0 dow shows great character, determination and skill. Belated this season, some might say, after a cracking 2015-16 when they reached the play-offs.

They might do so yet this season. With each set of results, it seems, they are making ground. Carlisle's stumble at home to Notts County now puts them just four points ahead of Stanley. The Cumbrians are the only team in the top 13 with a negative goal difference, giving six teams below them a chance to replace them.

To do that, Accrington would probably have to win four of their final five games to keep building up the goal difference - and hope that Blackpool, who have a huge goal advantage over the chasing pack of pretenders, don't pick up the points.

One way for John Coleman's side to prevent the Seasiders picking up those points is to inflict a third straight defeat on them.

Recommended Bet
Back Blackpool @ 2.3411/8

P/L 2016-17


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