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Friday, 19 September 2014

Bookies Corner: Fleetwood Town v Bristol City

Last week Easyodds.com football tipster and City fan Ross Casey thought Doncaster would offer a stern test after winning all of their away matches this season but they came undone at Ashton Gate and were blown away 3-0.

That was a terrific result for the Robins and they then followed it up with yet another 3-0 romp away to out of sorts Port Vale on Tuesday night. Next up is our first ever trip to Fleetwood – a side two places off the play-offs but badly needing to turnaround a poor run of results.

Can the Robins continue their great 14 match unbeaten run in League One? Keep reading below for Ross’ full betting preview…

"The bookies were busy yet again in the League One outright winner market – last week they made us stand-alone favourites at 4/1 but after back-to-back 3-0 victories we are now a best price of 11/4. An incredible vote of confidence from the bookmakers!

Fleetwood carried on the crest of their wave to start the season terrifically well but have tailed off a little in recent weeks slipping to eighth – still way above their weight in terms of history. Their matches this season have plenty of interesting trends we can look at so let’s get to it!”

BRISTOL CITY – 31/20 (BetVictor)
FLEETWOOD – 11/5 (BoyleSports)
DRAW – 49/20 (MarathonBet)

After pointing out that we had only ever won by the single goal before the Scunthorpe game City have been running riot! A 2-0 win over the Iron was followed up by tremendous 3-0 victories over Donny and Port Vale.

This has been a truly brilliant start to the season – our best for over 100 years! Six wins and two draws mean we have 20 points and top the League One table unbeaten. A large part of our success has been the improved defence. We have kept three clean sheets on the bounce now and Frankie Fielding and company are a best price 9/4 to keep another on Saturday.

We have scored 15 goals this season and with the defence only conceding four goals thus far we look like a side that will continue to win or at least draw matches – a new experience for some younger City fans!

We have covered a minus one handicap in the last three matches and if you believe we can again win by more than one goal then the best price available is 4/1.

I have to be honest and say that when we signed Aaron Wilbraham I was pretty nonplussed – this was a player nearing the end of his career with one goal in 18 months at Crystal Palace. However, his chance meeting on holiday with Steve Cotterill has been a true blessing – he has led the line brilliantly and chipped in with seven goals. Only Chesterfield’s Eoin Doyle has more to his name in League One. Wilbz is 11/2 to finish the season as top scorer which would be a feat as Baldock was last season too. The target man is up against the huge Nathan Pond on Saturday which will be a real battle – but both he (19/10) and Aden Flint (12/1) are valid options in the anytime goalscorer market.

Fleetwood are an interesting side to look at in terms of betting. They are unbeaten at home – which is the main reason we are odds against to win (31/20 best price) but they are on a poor run of no win in six matches.

Their tight Highbury ground is a tough place to get a result, and their defence is excellent. They have only conceded four goals in eight matches. Their clean sheet value is dwindled slightly by the fact we are so free-scoring but that record cannot be ignored and some may fancy a Fleetwood shutout at 11/4.

Their forward line is not doing so well though – they have not scored in their last three matches and only scored seven goals in all of their 10 matches this term. Considering that there have only been five goals scored at Highbury all season the bet here could well be under 2.5 goals to be scored. A tight defence and a goal shy attack may well point towards that. Best price of 5/6 on that one.

We have never played at Highbury against Fleetwood. We have however beaten Arsenal at Highbury FOUR times in our history. Ave’ that Gooners!

I do believe this one will be tight and I think a draw may be on the cards personally – but I think with tight matches against well-drilled defences sometimes it takes a piece of individual brilliance to unlock a backline so I fancy Luke Freeman to score at 5/1. He has come close with his free-kicks plenty of times this season already and he could well come up trumps for us if things in open play aren’t going according to plan.

Draw @ 49/20 – BET NOW

I think this offers good value at 49/20. Fleetwood haven’t lost at home so far and we haven’t lost away. Whilst they are on a poor run and we are on an excellent one a draw would still be a decent result – see Rochdale’s improved form after we drew with them at Spotland!

*All prices supplied by www.easyodds.com and prices all correct as of Fri 19th September 2014*

The Exiled Robin

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The Inside Line: Fleetwood Town v Bristol City (20/09/2014)

And so it goes on. This stunning unbeaten run; no team in league one has scored more, no side has conceded fewer (Saturday’s opponents Fleetwood have an equally good defensive record), no other team in the league has 20 points already – its remarkable and for long-suffering City fans a true moment to savour!

It will of course all end at some point, perhaps on Saturday, perhaps a month or more from now, but let’s enjoy it whilst it lasts.

Ahead of the trip to the North West coast, Stu Radnedge takes a look at City’s stunning start to the season and adds a sprinkle of caution.

“Bristol City face another side on Saturday who earned promotion last year from League Two – Fleetwood Town.

Known as The Fishermen, the history behind the club is something which could easily be regarded as folklore – six promotions in the last 10 years have seen the club go from the depths of the non-league pyramid to attaining Football League status, and then up again to the “history making” status of League One football after winning the League Two play-off finals last year.

Romanticism aside (as great as it is to talk about the success of a club who have progressed from nowhere to League status) City will, no doubt, fancy their chances. The well circulated statistics of our season so far say it all – most goals scored, fewest conceded and a double figure positive goal difference for the first time since the end of the 2006/07 season – the  one when we got promoted from this league.

But, for me, it’s the stats that aren’t being circulated that matter the most. There have been four clean sheets (in eight games) already this year, with three in-a-row at the moment. Goals are coming from, what feels like, everywhere. Aden Flint, even though not our captain, is leading the defence and developing them into a much more solid unit and he’s also posing a threat at the other end of the pitch. Seven goals in eight games from Aaron Wilbraham is a solid return – if we feared we were losing a 20+ goal machine in the sale of Sam Baldock, we may already have his replacement.

Eight games into a season is a one-sixth of the way into the season. Statisticians would say, by law of averages and form, City will gain promotion at a canter.

But I’m taking a more pragmatic approach. Yes, Wolves ran away with it last year. Yes Arsenal’s unbeatables did it – so why can’t we? I like the optimism, I really do.

However, that time-old inner battle is taking place as my heart is saying we will but my brain is saying it won’t happen.

And the only thing that will stop us achieving is a lack of belief and confidence in our ability… which certainly isn’t the issue at the moment. The squad, not the team, has clearly bonded – with goal celebrations being as entertaining as the football!

Back to our opposition, Fleetwood began League One life in a very promising way. Top after three games, the wheels appeared to have  come off a little with three losses in a row (Morecambe in the Football League Trophy, Oldham and Crawley).  But a no-score draw at home on Wednesday with free scoring (of late) Barnsley could indicate the style of play City will have to endure on Saturday – a team aiming not to concede. We faced it against Scunthorpe and could face it again this weekend?

My thanks to Stu, it’s a tough challenge on Saturday that’s for sure, despite Fleetwood’s more recent form.  I can see a tight game and it may just take s stroke of luck to find a winner – fingers crossed it falls our way.


The Exiled Robin

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