Football League expert, The Betting Desk, previews Saturday's English League Two match between Mansfield and Rochdale.
This game looks great for goals. The visitors are playing with real confidence at the moment as the team is unbeaten in their last four games. The team finally look to be enjoying their football again after some tough seasons where they struggled to get a foothold and now find themselves back in League Two.
Robbie Stockdale has set the side up well and the front two of Alex Newby and Abraham Odoh look a real handful with their constant running whilst Jake Beesley is excelling and chipping in with goals. There is competition for places and the squad has a balance to it that I like, especially in forward areas. However, I still find their midfield can be a little weak at time and can definitely be got it and they will do well to contain a Mansfield side that should be doing much better than recent results have suggested. Rochdale are a little more open on the road than they are in front of their own fans scoring 1.5+ in all three games so far and in my view they will get on the score sheet here and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win the game.
Every year the Stags are tipped for promotion and this season was no different. Manager Nigel Clough was allowed to bring in his own players after taking over midway through last season and improving the results although any upturn was short-lived. Olly Hawkins, Stephen Quinn, who will be suspended for this game, Danny Johnson, Elliot Hewitt and a host of loanees have strengthened the squad, but there may be an argument of too many players and its taking time to gel and as results have been very hit and miss.
They started the season well back-to-back wins over Bristol Rovers, who were one of the ante-post favourites for promotion and last season Playoff losers Newport before taking a point at Colchester. Since then, they have lost to Bradford, Swindon, Harrogate and Walsall.
At home Mansfield see an average of 3.75 match goals per game and Rochdale a huge 4.67 on the road. Straight away you can smell goals. Neither side has a clean sheet home and away respectively and Mansfield hasn’t kept a clean sheet all season. They have played 14 times between this season, and they have scored in 12. Rochdale have failed to find the net at home to Scunthorpe and Mansfield failed when playing Swindon despite generating 1.74 xG with 16 shots.
Rochdale have scored 11 goals so far with only three sides scoring more whilst Mansfield are on nine goals. Attacking the Stags sit 4th for most shots taken and top of the most crosses in the box demonstrating how Clough likes his side to play with the experienced Hawkins in the side whilst Rochdale have had the most touches in the opposition penalty area of any side in the division. Again, this points to two sides that like to get forward and attack
Yet Mansfield have conceded an average of 1.68 goals per game which is the 2nd highest in the league and therefore it's no surprise to see that no side has conceded more shots on target from inside the box than the Stags.
The underlying data suggests goals as does the results with both sides seeing this bet land in 78% of their joint games this season. You would therefore expect the odds to be closer to 1.28 yet we can back this at 1.77 with Mansion Bet. Some bookies are as low at 1.6 for this bet to land and come kick-off I would expect this to be lower so 1.77 looks decent value to me.
Mansfield vs Rochdale Tips
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