Peterborough v Morecambe

I am going to back goals at the Weston Homes Stadium as Peterborough welcome Morecambe on Saturday afternoon.

Posh won 3-2 on the opening weekend, coming from 2-0 down at half time to win the game. However, defensively they weren’t great and gave up several chances to Cheltenham and their display was littered with poor defensive errors.

Posh are well fancied to be in the top six come the end of the season whilst Morecambe are amongst the favorites for relegation. The away side conceded 88 goals last season with 53 of these goals coming on the road, an average of 2.53 per game. I don’t see how Morecambe have addressed this over the summer. They have lost one of their best defenders and attacking outlets in Greg Leigh and started Saturday with three of their back four making their debuts. These players will take time to gel and bond as a unit

The Shrimps finished the last campaign in the bottom four for shots conceded, shots on target conceded, shots in the box conceded and shots in the box on target conceded. Defending this way is always going to see any side concede a high number of goals. They conceded two or more goals in 18 of their 23 away games last term, keeping just one clean sheet. Against the top half their record on their travels was W0-D3-L9 conceding 1.5+ in 11 with Bolton only scoring once past them despite generating 1.66 xG with 21 shots.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Morecambe get on the scoresheet here. Posh allowed Cheltenham 2.18 xG from open play on Saturday and that’s with an own goal, which doesn’t count towards the metric. Cheltenham created plenty of chances creating 13 shots with five on target with five big chances. I think Posh might need at least two goals to win this game

Posh have plenty of attacking options. At 2-0 down on Saturday they brought on Jack Marriott, Ben Thompson and Joe Ward at half time. I don’t think there are many League One teams that could introduce this kind of quality from the bench. Ward then went on to assist two goal and Marriot scored the first of their three goals. Star striker, Jonson Clarke-Harris hit the ground running with two goals. The squad isn’t too different to the one that finished runners up in the 2020/21 and in that season they were flat track bullies against the poorer sides in the division.

The odds have dropped on Posh to score 1.5+ goals since I posted this into my private telegram group, so I am going to add Posh to win over 2 corners to boost the odds to 8/11

Portsmouth v Lincoln City

I am going to stay in League One for my second bet and back Portsmouth to score two or more at home to Lincoln. Pompey were impressive in Sheffield last weekend, coming away with a 3-3 draw with Wednesday. Pompey managed five shots on target, hitting the woodwork once and four shots in the box, generating 1.44 xG against a side who are favorites to win the division.

The Owls' home form at the back end of last season was excellent, conceding just six goals in their last 12 home fixtures, allowing an average of 1.66 shots on target per game. I think the Pompey performance and result has gone a little under the radar especially given how dominate the Owls were at home last term.

Pompey have added several new players into the squad and the players are still getting to know each other and forming partnerships so their result and performance was even more remarkable. A week on the training ground will have helped and they should be more settled this weekend.

Pompey manager Danny Cowley was full of praise for the team and made a point to comment on their two new strikers, Joe Piggott and Colby Bishop, and how well they have started together. This could be a very good League One partnership with both players having scored regularly at this level for previous clubs. Pompey’s home form was strong last season with W14-D5-L4 averaging 2.0 goals per home game. They only failed to score on three occasions last term at Fratton Park and against the bottom half they scored two or more in 10 of 13 games.

Lincoln will find League One tough this season with a squad that looks a little light and it might spell the end of their stay at this level. They started the season with a hard fought 1-1 draw with Exeter which was a game with little quality with just four shots on target in their entire game from both sides.

Last term Lincoln struggled losing 22 of their 46 games. Since mid-January they have an away record of W2-D1-L7 with their victories coming at Charlton and Wimbledon. The Imps kept just two away clean sheets last season, against two of the three relegated side and conceded two or more goals in 43% of away games and in 58% of away games against the top half with an average of 1.83 goals conceded.

Over the course of the season, I had them down in 18th for shots conceded, 16th for shots on target conceded and 14th for shots in the box conceded. Nothing particularly impressive in there. I don’t think the players they have signed has made them any better defensively and it could be another tough afternoon for the Imps as they travel to the south coast to take on Pompey who look to be full of confidence.

You can back Portsmouth to score over 1 goal at 4/5 with Bet365

QPR v Middlesbrough

My last bet this weekend is in the Championship and I want to get behind Middlesbrough to avoid defeat at QPR at Loftus Road.

I think Boro will have a very good season under Chris Wilder and should have enough for a top six finish. Wilder is one of the best managers in the championship and he quickly got to grips with what was needed last season when he took over and Boro went W14-D6-L9 from when he took the role.

This is a return of 48 points from 29 games, an average of 1.65 points per game, whilst before he took the job, they were averaging just 1.17, not far off relegation form. Ultimately the play offs were just out of reach for them, but a lot of good work was done in preparation for this campaign.

Wilder quickly made them more defensively sound and put into place his usual wing back style with them pulling wide and making the pitch bigger for his midfielders. Wilder now has a pre-season to work with the players and to fully embed his ideas, methods and how he wants them to play. One criticism of them last season was the lack of goal threat. Marcus Forss has signed from Brentford and should get a start on Saturday, and they have Chuba Akpom back from his loan spell in Greece, with both players offering them more up top than they had last season.

I thought Boro should have beaten WBA last weekend. They won the xG 1.56 v 1.08 and dominated the ball. QPR lost to Blackburn in a game which was devoid of any real goal threat with Rangers generating just 0.14 xG failing to register a single shot on target with just four shots in the 90 minutes.

QPR's season dropped off a cliff from February onwards with a record of W4-D3-L11, which ultimately cost manager Mark Warburton his job. Michael Beale has taken the hot seat and he has indicated that he is after a top half finish which seems a sensible aim given Rangers overachieved with an 11th placed finish last season. Looking at the underlying data, I had them 17th on expected points, 18th on open play xG ratio and 15th on shots in the box ratio.

I think Boro will have enough here to at the worst avoid defeat which means if we back Boro on the draw no bet market and the game ends all square we will get a full refund. Wilder should be able to get more out of side and I am confident that they will win this game.

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