League Two Betting: Back the big price on Carlisle

Keith Curle could be coaxing his men to another away win
Keith Curle could be coaxing his men to another away win

Derek Asamoah of Carlisle can leave the Pirates' defence in ruins just like he has done to other teams, says Ian Lamont, who backs the Cumbrians to make light of their big price and takes AFC Wimbledon to gain reward at Portsmouth on Sunday...

"Darrell Clarke, the Bristol Rovers manager, could argue that his men have faced a number of form sides at home in a row, plus Newport under new management. But bad runs like this get into the psyche."

Bristol Rovers 1.875/6 v Carlisle 4.57/2; the draw 4.03/1

Unless Bristol Rovers have some sort of Epiphany moment two months before it is celebrated by Christianity, Carlisle are a large price, on many counts, to win at the Memorial Stadium.

As good as The Pirates have been at pinching points away - top of the division's standings with six wins - they have been poor at home with just one win and a draw to show from seven league matches, plus an FA Cup exit to Chesham.

Add in that Keith Curle's men are helping him negotiate a new Carlisle contract (his expires next summer) by scoring in all eight away games, plus performing well in cup matches away, and questions have to be asked of the layers' odds making.

Interestingly, Opta point out, the Cumbrians have only managed one clean sheet on the road, but even if they do concede they are the division's highest scorers in the second half (18).

Darrell Clarke could argue that his men have faced a number of form sides in a row, plus Newport under new management. But bad runs like this get into the psyche.

Hallam Hope, cleared to play for the Cumbrians by Bury in the FA Cup, will want to build on his goal that helped knock out Plymouth, while Derek Asamoah, 34, seems to save his best for tormenting defences on their own turf. The striker says he wants to stay and be a part of a successful season. Curle has his eyes on the play-offs and has to make the most of opportunities like this.

Recommended Bet
Back Carlisle @ 4.57/2

Northampton Town 2.447/5 v Mansfield Town 3.211/5; the draw 3.55/2

It hasn't seemed to have mattered - so far - to the Northampton players that their club might soon be no more or in administration with the resultant 10 point tumble down the league table.

They have defied these problems to keep scoring and, for a large part, keep winning. Having had to call on the PFA to pay players, last week's FA Cup first round winning money will no doubt come in handy as they also have to fend off HM Revenue and Customs who are seeking £166,000 in unpaid tax. Now, you might cynically think: "what football club doesn't owe the tax man money?" But from a taxpayer's point of view it is nice to see the Government agency looking after our interested isn't it? Next, the big corporations who avoid paying tax at all.

Anyway, the Cobblers are strong at home, with five wins, and average two goals a game for their last seven, thanks to the likes of Marc Richards, a 33-year-old with 10 this season, and Sheffield United midfield loanee Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has five.

So it seems a bit strange for them to be as large as 2.447/5 against a side that hasn't scored in three matches. On the road, however, their last four games have resulted in three wins and a draw, point out Opta, with three clean sheets. Northampton's last nine league games have seen an average of 3.7 goals, add the stats men, which makes absolutely no different to the layers who price over 3.5 goals at 3.7511/4.

There may not turn out to be that many, but with the Stags on the low scoring side and facing an FA Cup replay next week, the hosts should win to continue to find silver linings among the clouds.

Recommended Bet:
Back Northampton @ 2.447/5

Sunday 14:30
Portsmouth 2.111/10 v AFC Wimbledon 4.03/1; the draw 3.613/5

The reaction to one defeat will tell us just how ambitious AFC Wimbledon can consider themselves after Neil Ardley's noises that they could head into the play-offs this season.

The defence seems a little too irregular, line-up wise, for that and one wonders if Adebayo Akinfenwa - recognised by the video game FIFA as the world's strongest player - missed the FA Cup defeat at home to Forest Green through injury or because he was busy practising for his Children in Need "bench press" of lifting up Pudsey Bear for Children In Need on Friday.

I hope he's fit to add weight to the Dons frontline which, let's be fair, did perfectly well against Hartlepool without him before he came on as a substitute and got over-penalised just for competing for the ball. Such is life for the big fella.

With Lyle Taylor and Sean Rigg posing an attacking threat, even before mentioning Callum Kennedy, plus Ade Azeez on the bench, the visitors have plenty of attack to offer with even Dannie Bulman, the protector of the defence, scoring twice at Accrington.

Stanley were in form at the time, too, but nonetheless that set the Londoners on a path of three straight wins, two away. Kennedy? He's been pushed into midfield from left back (but is no Gareth Bale) and scored Wimbledon's first goal this season from outside the box with a free-kick against Pools then netted again in the FA Cup, so Pompey have much to ponder.

Paul Cook's men progressed in the cup but, unlike the Dons, have not been scoring a huge number of goals. Nor, in the league, do they have the greatest home record of late, drawing the last three (scoring once) and losing the previous one.

Scottish striker Marc McNulty, on loan from Sheffield United, has been tipped by team-mate Ben Davies to become a hit at the club, but fans on forums worry he won't get chances when the team is set up to defend first. Matt Tubbs has not banged in the goals like last season, although Adam McGurk seems quite capable of usurping his "king" status on occasions, scoring twice last weekend.

If Cook sticks to 4-2-3-1 at home chances could continue to be fewer than with a second striker, giving AFC Wimbledon the chance to do what several have done already at Fratton Park and secure a draw. No wonder Opta are keen to point out that Pompey have failed to score in three of their four league games against the Dons.

Recommended Bet:
Lay Portsmouth @ 2.01/1

*You can read more League Two tips as well as Alan Dudman's thoughts on the week's League One action by visiting our dedicated English Football League section here on Betting.Betfair.

P/L 2015-16


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