Town priced at 7/5 to pick up three points at homePreston North End v Leyton Orient
Preston are odds-on shots to return to winning ways in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night with victory over lowly Leyton Orient in Sky Bet League 1. The Lilywhites have suffered back-to-back defeats to Sheffield United and Walsall but are 3/4 with the League sponsor to claim another three points and remain even-money shots to clinch promotion this season. Orient (15/4) head to Deepdale after a home defeat to Fleetwood and will need to be at their best to upset Simon Grayson's side, who have lost only once at home this season. Preston won the earlier meeting between the sides 2-0 and it's a 7/1 shot for a repeat of that outcome, while a home win and both teams scoring is available at 11/4. Jermaine Beckford is 9/2 to net the opener for North End and 13/8 to score in a home win. The O's have drawn on each of their last two visits to Preston and are 5/2 to extend that run.
Top Tip: Preston to win and under 2.5 goals in the match at 11/4.
Doncaster Rovers v Barnsley
Doncaster are even-money favourites with Sky Bet to win their Yorkshire derby clash with Barnsley on Saturday. Rovers have drawn their last two and are 23/10 for another stalemate, while the Tykes are 11/4 outsiders to collect all three points. Both of Barnsley’s most recent wins have been by a 2-0 scoreline they are 16/1 to win this by the same margin, while their hosts have kept clean sheets in three of their last four games, a 6/4 chance this weekend. As the 5/1 favourite to score first, Curtis Main is considered Doncaster’s main attacking threat despite being used as a substitute last weekend. Nathan Tyson, who also has six goals to his name this season, could be better value at 11/2 with the Football League sponsor. Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane is the only player from either side to have managed double figures this season but is an event bigger price at 9/1 to break the deadlock.
Top Tip: Hourihane to be Barnsley’s first goalscorer at 6/1
Fleetwood Town v Oldham Athletic
Fleetwood are Sky Bet’s 7/5 favourites for Saturday’s clash with Oldham, who are 2/1 outsiders for all three points. The Cod Army have collected seven points from their last three games and can mathematically climb into the play-off places with a win, although they’re available at 10/1 to finish the season in the top six. The Football League sponsor consider Oldham more likely to make the play-offs at 9/2 despite them currently sitting three points behind their hosts in the table. Jonathan Forte is considered the 11/2 favourite in the first goalscorer betting, having netted 13 times in Sky Bet League 1 this season, while Jamie Proctor is rated the hosts’ biggest threat at 6/1.
Top Tip: Forte and Proctor both to score at 13/2.
Colchester United v Walsall
Colchester are narrow favourites to win their Sky Bet League 1 clash with Walsall on Saturday. The U's are 6/4 with Walsall 19/10 and the draw available at 11/5. The hosts had a morale-boosting win at Peterborough last week but have won only two of their 11 home games this term, while Walsall were hammered 4-1 at home to Scunthorpe. The last meeting between the sides finished goalless - a 15/2 shot with Sky Bet this time around. In fact the last five meetings have produced no more than two goals so under 2.5 goals at 8/13 seems certain to prove popular.
Top Tip: Draw and Under 2.5 goals in the match at 5/2.
Gillingham v Coventry City
Gillingham bid to halt a three-game losing streak by claiming either a win or a draw against visitors Coventry on Saturday, but the Sky Blues are the narrow favourites. Steven Pressley’s men are 6/4 to collect all three points, with the hosts marginally greater at 7/4, while a draw is priced up at 23/10. The Gills will be encouraged by the fact that Coventry have failed to score in three of their last four games, and the hosts can be backed at 7/2 to win to nil, or 9/4 to keep a clean sheet. Heading into the fixture, Gillingham are quoted at 4/7 to be relegated, with Coventry rated 7/1 chances to go down.
Top tip: Under 2.5 goals at 8/11
MK Dons v Sheffield United
Promotion hopefuls MK Dons are odds-on to return to winning ways after going two games without a win in League 1. Karl Robinson’s men are 19/20 to beat Sheffield United, who have just one win to their name from their last seven league outings. However, that victory came against title challengers Preston last time out, with the Blades showing signs of building on their recent FA Cup victory over Queens Park Rangers. Nigel Clough’s men can be backed to win three in a row in all competitions at 14/5, while they’re 5/2 to draw. Marc McNulty and Jamal Campbell-Ryce have each scored in both of those wins, with the former 7/1 to score first and the latter available at an interesting 11/2 to score anytime in this match.
Top tip: Both teams to score at 8/11.
Notts County v Crewe Alexandra
The home side have an impressive historical record in this encounter, winning 20 of the 39 games between the two sides, including both meetings last season and a 0-3 success at the Alexandra Stadium back in September. However, the home side are available at odds-against at 6/5 to win this, having lost their form badly in recent weeks, just as Crewe – 11/5 shots here, with the draw on offer at 12/5 - have found their form. Garry Thompson, with seven League goals to his name this season, is County’s number one hitman and 9/2 favourite to get the first goal of the game. Nicky Ajose, on loan from Leeds, has been Crewe’s most potent threat in recent weeks and given his four-from-six strike-rate, could be worth a play at 12/5 to net during the 90 minutes.
Top tip: Nicky Ajose to score at 12/5.
Port Vale v Peterborough United
Two sides on the periphery of the play-off zone in Sky Bet League 1, although it is the visitors who are considered the most likely to climb out of the division this season by the sponsors at 18/1 for promotion, compared to Vale’s 33/1 quote. A fair run of form for Port Vale came to an end with a 3-0 defeat at Chesterfield last time, but that was no disgrace against a team in fine form and they will expect to do better back at Vale Park. Peterborough have proved disappointingly inconsistent this season and need to find more goals in the second half of the campaign. Conor Washington has been their principal supplier in the League and can be backed at 7/1 to net first here. Vale’s Ben Williamson is the 13/2 favourite in the market.
Top Tip: Port Vale to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 at 5/2.
Rochdale v Crawley Town
Rochdale appeared to take heart from their FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest when dispatching Bradford subsequently and could be on the verge of a push for the play-offs if they can take three points here. They are 4/6 favourites to beat Crawley, who are 4/1 for the away win. The draw is 14/5. Crawley sit towards the foot of the table and haven’t won a match in the League now since October 21. The signs are not altogether bad though, as only a late capitulation saw them fail to beat MK Dons last time out and striker Izale McLeod has still been finding the net. He’s 12/5 to score in this game and 7/1 to get the first goal of the game.
Top tip: Izale McLeod to get the first Crawley goal at 7/2.
Scunthorpe United v Bristol City
With nine wins from their last 11 Sky Bet League matches, Bristol City are in flying form and could prove a popular selection for many accumulators this weekend. Not only are they winning, but they’re scoring too, with 10 goals in their last three games, although Scunthorpe defended admirably against Chesterfield in the FA Cup in midweek and don’t concede goals willingly. They are also in cracking form in the League, as you have to go back to October 25 for their last defeat in the division. Bristol City are 10/11 with Sky Bet, with Scunthorpe 14/5 and the draw available at 13/5. It’s a tough match to call and could be a good’un – perhaps the most sensible play will be the 4/6 that both teams score.
Top tip: Both teams to score at 4/6.
Swindon Town v Chesterfield
The Robins impressed in a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Coventry on Monday that saw them go top of the league and victory here ought to see them maintain that position. The home side are 19/20 with Sky Bet to take three points, with the draw 5/2 and Chesterfield 14/5. Chesterfield themselves are on a bit of a roll at present and they arguably should have got the better of Scunthorpe from an earlier stage in their midweek FA Cup encounter. However, the effects of that battle might just be felt here. Andy Williams and Michael Smith have dominated Swindon’s goalscoring this season and are 4/1 apiece to get the first strike of the game here.
Top Tip: Swindon to win and both teams to score at 3/1.
Yeovil Town v Bradford City
Fractionally preferred in the betting here at 13/8, visitors Bradford come into this clash on a high after their resounding crushing of Sky Bet Championship side Millwall in midweek, but need to transfer that sort of form to the League now. Defeat at home against Rochdale last weekend brought a tidy unbeaten run to an end. Striker James Hanson has been in decent form this season and scored in that FA Cup success. He is favourite to score the first goal of the game at 11/2. Yeovil, 17/10 chances to take three points here, have only scored one in their last five games in all competitions and will need to improve to get back on track here – although they gained plenty of admirers for the way in which they repelled Manchester United for the early stages of their FA Cup encounter.
Top Tip: James Hanson to score and Bradford to win at 11/4.