With a full set of League One fixtures on Tuesday evening, Alan Dudman returns with three midweek selections, and feels that Nigel Clough's Burton can gain a result at Bramall Lane...
"Even though I outlined their width and attacking full-backs recently, their defensive shape is excellent and they can strangle a match. With pressure on the hosts, Clough will no doubt try and make this as cagey as possible."
Sheffield United 2.466/4 v Burton Albion 3.052/1, the draw 3.3512/5
Former Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough returns to Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening, and he's in the position that the ante-post markets had expected the Blades to hold at this stage of the season.
Promotion for the Yorkshire club seems out of reach at the moment, and even a serious push for the play-offs would require a better run of form from Nigel Adkins' side. With just two wins from their previous seven, they are not in great fettle.
This potentially could be a tricky game for Adkins. Of course, his opposing number on Tuesday will know very well about failing to deliver on getting out of the division. And a poor result for the hosts will increase the pressure on their manager.
United were out-thought by Rochdale on Saturday. They had good spells and pressed on the front foot for an hour, but Dale soaked up the play easily and hit them with a classic counter-punch. Or two.
Burton continue at the summit of League One, but Wigan are throwing down an almighty challenge at the moment. However, we know that the Brewers can defend, and their discipline has been the hallmark of their season.
Albion have only conceded 15 goals on the road, and have kept an impressive seven clean sheets away from the Pirelli. The fact that Sheffield United have scored just three times in their last seven matches; leads me to the 'under 2.5 goals' market. It's the sort of game that could be goalless in the first 45 minutes.
Clough's side shut-out Walsall on Saturday in a 0-0; 90 minutes with a dearth of chances but the defensive tactical hipsters were left purring.
Even though I outlined their width and attacking full-backs recently, their defensive shape is excellent and they can strangle a match. With pressure on the hosts, Clough will no doubt try and make this as cagey as possible.
Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.9010/11 (half point)
Bradford City 1.635/8 v Colchester United 5.905/1, the draw 4.10
Strange things can happen. For instance I enjoyed an Ed Sheeran song the other day. And I remember the day when Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox were allowed to present the Brits. On Saturday; Colchester gained a clean sheet.
This is the club that have conceded a mammoth 78 goals all season, and currently boast a goal difference of minus 38. Saturday's 0-0 against Shrewsbury was their first shut-out since September 2015. However the result earned a club record of 19 League One games without a win. They could be double their price of 5.905/1. If they were Crewe...
February has also been cruel to Kevin Keen's side, as the U's boss has overseen a defence that has shipped 15 in five matches.
For an odds-on poke, Bradford are a fair price. Saturday's 1-0 success at Blackpool moved them to within a point of the play-offs and continued their improved form in this calendar year.
The Bantams were described by their manager Phil Parkinson as 'strong and professional' following Saturday's win, words that were last mentioned post-match with Colchester during the reign of King George.
Bradford actually dominated at Bloomfield Road, and in poor conditions recorded 18 shots for an away team. Blackpool have a decent defence at home, so you have to worry for Colchester's leaky backline.
My first hunch is the over 2.5 goals, but City should be able to cover the Asian Handicap here, and can move into the play-off zone.
Back Bradford City @ 1.654/6
Fleetwood Town 2.546/4 v Gillingham 3.02/1, the draw 3.4012/5
Gillingham let me down on Saturday, and probably deserved a draw in their 1-2 defeat against Chesterfield. They had a fair bit of the game, but were hit by two goals on the break. Bizarrely from their previous six outings, Gillingham have been involved in four 2-1 or 1-2 correct scorelines.
The Kent club have been hit by injuries. Skipper Doug Loft and John Egan were ruled out at the weekend, and manager Justin Edinburgh will be sweating on the fitness of 15-goal wizard Bradley Dack - who limped out of action during the defeat to the Spirerites. He'll have a scan on Monday, but Edinburgh desperately needs his goals and assists.
It must be remembered that Gillingham are third. Yes they are slightly wobbling, but the market has written them off here. Fleetwood are fighting off relegation and sit in nineteenth.
The Cod Army gained a crucial 2-1 victory at Coventry on Saturday, and according to their manager Steven Pressley, deserved more goals. They soaked up a lot of pressure against the Sky Blues, but this will be a different sort of set-up.
And as I have maintained throughout the course of the season, sides in the third tier cannot sustain a consistent run of performances. So can Fleetwood prove me wrong? You are taking 2.546/4 if they can.
Overall, Town are in reasonable nick, and have won three from their previous nine games. Former Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi recently signed for the club, but he didn't start on Saturday.
In summary; I'm too tempted by the price of the visitors. They were decent on their travels in December, when beating Millwall and Swindon (scoring three on both occasions), and I will give them a chance to bounce back on Tuesday.
Back Gillingham draw no bet @ 2.305/4 (half point)
*You can read more League One tips as well as Ian Lamont's thoughts on the week's League Two action by visiting our dedicated English Football League section here on Betting.Betfair.
Alan Dudman's 2015/16 profit and loss