Football League expert, The Betting Desk, previews Saturday's English League Two match between Mansfield and Rochdale.
Goals at the Stadium of Light is my bet of the weekend.
Sunderland and Bolton have served up over 2.5 goals in 63% of their joint home and away games this season and I see no reason why this won’t continue with more goals again when the teams meet on Saturday.
Sunderland are top along with Wigan with a record of W5-D1-L1 scoring in every game apart from the one defeat at Burton. There were a little unlucky not to score in that game winning the xG 1.12 vs 0.65 while registering 19 shots with seven on target. Going forward their metrics look good.
At home they have chalked up an average of 1.40 non penalty xG per game, the 4th highest and they sit 5th for shots in the box on target meaning that on average they have scored 2.0 goals per game.
Ross Stewart has bagged himself five goals from his seven starts this season and with the forever young Aiden McGeady providing the ammunition from the wings, Sunderland will always threaten to score. Alex Pritchard has settled into the team well and plays just off the main striker whilst Elliot Embleton and Lynden Gooch have done well.
Manager Lee Johnson will encourage his team to get forward whilst he acknowledged early in the season that his defence still needed work. They have conceded in six of their seven games this season. Despite being joint top they have conceded the 15th most shots and 14th highest shots in the box, this is a side that can be got at.
The fans have been critical of Johnson over recent weeks as the side tends to sit back once in a lead and invite pressure which has often seen them concede. Last time out against Fleetwood they raced into a two-goal lead and then sat back and conceded twice.
Bolton have carried on their good form from the turn of the year. Since late January they have had a record of W19-D6-L5. They have taken to League One very well and look to be real contenders for a playoff berth come May.
I like the look of their squad with some real quality throughout. Josh Sheehan at the base of midfield with Lloyd Isgrove and Oladapo Afolayan and then Antoni Sarcevic tucked in behind Eoin Doyle. It’s a squad that have caused issues for sides already this season.
They have kept just two clean sheets whilst scoring in five of their eight games. Generating an away xG of 1.51 is the 2nd highest in the league. Only two sides have scored more away goals this season and most of the other attacking metrics also look strong meaning that Bolton are well poised to cause Sunderland issues. Defensively they are another side that can be a little too open and only six sides allow more shots in the box when on the road.
With both sides better going forward than defending I feel we should see some goals here and we can back over 2.5 goals at 1.91 (10/11) with Mansion Bet.
Mansfield vs Rochdale Tips
- Sunderland vs Bolton: over 2.5 goals 10/11 Mansionbet