SCOTTISH international football's at a low point after Gordon Strachan's men became the first European side to be knocked out of the World Cup.

Failure was on the cards from the time we started with home draws against Serbia and Macedonia so Scotland are odds on to finish bottom of Group A and fail to win a game in a campaign for the first time in their history.

Scotland's fall from grace to disgrace will be much debated at grounds such as Central Park and Glebe Park but at East End Park the only topic of conversation will be Dunfermline's fight for survival.

The famous club, once managed by the legendary Jock Stein, are teetering on the brink and today have applied to enter administration.

Players have battled on bravely in the face of adveersity but it must be tough for them to do their job. I remember how the situation affected Rangers last season and tonight the call must be for a Falkirk away win.

The Bairns have been pretty inconsistent under Alex Smith since Steven Pressley left for Coventry and have lost their last two games to nil.

However, the sides are closely matched with one win each and a draw in three meetings this season. Falkirk are boosted by the return for Kieran Duffie and keeper Michael McGovern from international duty and I can see them taking advantage of Pars' problems and edging a win.

Dumbarton fought back from 3-1 down at Dunfermline at the weekend to win 4-3 and boost their hopes of avoiding the drop. Most of their best results have come away from home with their last two results at the BetButler being 3-0 and 2-0 defeats.

Home form doesn't inspire confidence in the Sons even though they look tempting at 5-2 with bet365 and BetVictor. Rovers have lost just one in six and Dumbarton draw no bet at 29-20 with BetVictor could be the way to go.

Previous meetings this season have finished 2-2 and 3-2 to Raith so both teams to score is likely but pays no more than 8-13 at Stan James.

Partick Thistle will go top of the First Division with a win at Cowdenbeath and confidence will be sky high after Saturday's 6-1 thumping of Livingston. That was Alan Archibald's first match in charge after a successful caretaker stint that saw the Jags win five on the bounce.

This match originally was abandoned due to fog with Cowdenbeath leading 2-1 so Thistle will have to be at their best to bag the win and should be up to the task as they hunt for a fourth win of the season against the Fifers.

Beath's last five have seen both teams to score and of course that was the case in the game stopped after about 70 minutes. Thistle had kept five clean sheets before coneding to Livi at the weekend but could struggle to shut out a side that's hit five in two games. Again look at both teams to score at 10-11 with Coral.

Chris Erskine has been Thistle's start turn in recent weeks and is 13-8 to score at anytime. Experienced striker Steven Craig is 11-10 favourite.

The other First Division game between Livingston and Hamilton has been postponed.

However, the Second Division clash between Brechin and Queen of the South goes on with the match switched to Station Park, Forfar.

That should play into the hands of leaders Queens who are 5-6 at Coral as they bid to have the trophy wrapped up before their Ramsdens Cup Final against Partick on April 7.

SFL top scorer Nicky Clark of Queens is also worth backing at 4-1 with McBookie.com to net first and is 11-10 to hit the target at anytime.

Recommendations

Falkirk
(19-10, William Hill, bet365)

Dumbarton draw no bet
(29-20, BetVictor)

Erskine to score
(13-8, McBookie.com)

Queen of the South
(5-6, Coral)

Double up

Both to score at Dumbarton/Cowdenbeath
Pays £29.80 to a £10 stake at BetVictor

31 Comments
  1. James 8 years ago

    Mr Fix It
    Can I have your initial thoughts on the outcome of these games over the weekend?

    West Ham vs West Brom
    Wigan vs Norwich
    Charlton vs Bolton
    Notts Forest vs Brighton
    Woking vs Hereford
    Cambridge vs Luton

    • Milesey 8 years ago

      West Brom appear to be over their mid-season blip and on overall form they have a good chance at struggling West Ham on Saturday.

      The Baggies clearly overachieved in the early part of the season and fourth place at the end of November was always going to be difficult to maintain. The almost inevitable downturn came in the month after Christmas when they took just one point out of a possible 18, but it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked because three of the six games in that run were against Manchester United, Tottenham and Everton.

      West Brom’s form has picked up again during a run of easier fixtures since early February, with their only defeat in the last five games being a 1-0 loss at Chelsea, and they have solid underlying form against the bulk of the Premier League. That is the most significant factor in the context of Saturday’s match.

      Steve Clarke’s side have lost just six out of 19 against teams below them in the table and since Christmas their record in that category is four wins, two draws and two defeats, which is respectable considering that period straddles both their post-Christmas blip and the recent improvement in results.

      It is the ability to take points off the lesser teams that has sustained West Brom’s improvement this season. Against bottom-half teams (a category that includes West Ham) the Baggies have taken 28 points from 15 games at a rate of 1.87 points per game, a record bettered only by the big six. They have lost just three out of 15, which indicates they are a good bet on the Asian handicap at least against West Ham.

      West Ham, by contrast, have lost 10 out of 15 against top-half teams, with just three wins. And, unlike West Brom, their post-Christmas slump has been deep and long. They have lost seven out of 11 in that period and two of their three wins were against Norwich and Stoke, who along with West Ham have been the worst sides in the Premier League since Christmas.

      West Brom are 3.3 for the win and 1.9 off 0 & +0.5 on the Asian Handicap. The Asian option gives a little back in the event of a draw, although by matchday they are likely to be around 2.3 off scratch on the Asian handicap and that would be more attractive.

      Chelsea v Manchester United in their FA Cup quarter-final replay is the highlight of Easter Monday and the hosts are the team to back based on their remarkable cup record.

      The fightback for a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford extended Chelsea’s FA Cup record to 28 matches (22 wins and six draws) without defeat in 90-minute play since they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage five years ago by Barnsley. Their only exit from the competition since then was on penalties against Everton in the fourth round two years ago.

      Although Everton knocked them out at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea haven’t lost in 90-minute play at home in the FA Cup for just over 10 years. That defeat was 3-1 by Arsenal in the quarter-finals and since then Chelsea have had 24 home games (20 wins and four draws) without losing in 90-minute play.

      With the tie having to be decided on Monday, Chelsea are 1.87 To Qualify for a semi-final meeting with Manchester City, which looks a good price based on their cup record.

      Alternatively they are 2.54 for the win in 90 minutes and 2.14 giving up a small start off 0 & -0.5 on the Asian Handicap.

      Recommended Bets

      Back West Brom off 0 & +0.5 on Asian Handicap v West Ham at 1.9
      Back Chelsea off 0 & -0.5 on Asian Handicap v Manchester United at 2.14

      Milesey ( betfair )

    • Milesey 8 years ago

      Southampton v Chelsea

      Back Chelsea @ 2.1 (11/10)
      Back Chelsea/Chelsea in the HT/FT market @ 3.5 (5/2)

      Southampton meet Chelsea on Saturday looking to build on their 3-1 win over Liverpool but I think all that result has done is given us a better price on a Chelsea victory.

      The Saints dominated Brendan Rodgers’ side from start to finish in their last game before the international break but I’d argue that The Reds were terrible as opposed to Southampton being brilliant. Before that result, Mauricio Pochettino’s men had been held by Norwich and lost to both Newcastle and QPR.

      They’ve won just two of their last seven at St Mary’s and that includes a 1-5 hammering from this weekend’s opponents in the FA Cup. Southampton are only four points clear of safety and Wigan have a game in hand over them, so while they are badly in need of points, I can’t see them getting any here.

      Chelsea are still clinging on to third spot and are through to the quarter-finals of both the FA Cup and Europa League. That’s not bad for a club who are in apparent crisis and have a manager that almost all of the supporters want gone. Rafa will of course leave at the end of the season but the Spaniard loves to prove people wrong and I just have a sneaky suspicion that The Blues will go on a bit of a run from now till the middle of May.

      One of the reasons why Chelsea are odds-against is because they have a huge FA Cup replay with Manchester United little over 48 hours after this match. Clearly the United tie will be deemed more important than the league game but Benitez has a big squad to choose from and I would only be concerned, albeit mildly, if Juan Mata starts on the bench at St Mary’s.

      The Blues look an excellent bet at 2.1 (11/10) to me and I also recommend backing Chelsea/Chelsea in the HT/FT market at 3.5 (5/2) as I can envisage them wanting to put the game to bed early, so they can rest a couple of key players for most of the second half.

      Swansea v Tottenham

      Back Tottenham @ 2.25 (5/4)
      Back Tottenham to win 2-1 @ 8.5 (15/2)

      Swansea and Spurs clash in Wales at the weekend with both clubs looking to bounce back from two Premier League defeats in a row. Swansea have home advantage, but Spurs have the quality and should be backed to get all three points.

      I’ve criticised Swansea a number of times this season – sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. They have done better than I expected and given the points they already have on the board, they should finish in the top half, and they of course won the Capital One Cup.

      That cup victory is key as since the 5-0 demolition of Bradford in the final, they struggled past Newcastle in a game that they didn’t deserve to win and then lost to West Brom and Arsenal. It seems that the players have gone into holiday mode already and while Michael Laudrup will be trying to keep them motivated, I don’t see much hunger there at the moment.

      Tottenham slumped to a pair of defeats in the league and almost blew a 3-0 aggregate lead over Inter in Europe. The international break came at the right time for Andre Villas-Boas as he can re-group and try and avoid the fate that Harry Redknapp suffered last season.

      That fate was of course Spurs blowing a huge advantage over bitter rivals Arsenal in the final few months of the campaign. The Gunners are still four points behind Tottenham, but they do have a game in hand. Victory over Swansea on Saturday is vital as Arsenal play Reading at home in what looks to be a nailed on three points. If the gap is reduced any further, Arsene Wenger’s side will know that their destiny is in their own hands and that will spur them on even more.

      Gareth Bale has had his injury issues with Wales this week but if he comes through their game with Croatia unscathed, he will be looking to add to his impressive tally of 16 league goals this year, 11 of which came away from White Hart Lane.

      Spurs can’t be left un-backed at 2.25 (5/4) to grab a vital win here and I would also have a punt on them to win 2-1 at 8.5 (15/2).

      Everton v Stoke

      Back Stoke @ 7.0 (6/1)
      Back Stoke to win 1-0 @ 15.0 (14/1)

      Everton host Stoke in the live tea time kick off on ESPN on Saturday and I think there is value in backing Stoke against a depleted Everton side.

      There won’t be too many statistics used in my preview for this game as Everton have been good at home this season and Stoke have been in dire form away. My reasoning will largely be based on the players on show – or the players missing for Everton.

      Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini are both suspended. Pienaar has linked superbly with Leighton Baines down the left hand side for Everton since the South African’s return to the club and while Pienaar hasn’t looked at his best in recent times, Baines certainly performs better with him in the team. Fellaini has been a monster for The Toffees, especially since his shift to the forward line. He provides an out ball as he holds it up so well and he is fantastic at linking the play, as well as scoring goals.

      Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka could also be sidelined through injury and I wouldn’t have much faith in Jan Mucha dealing well with Stoke set plays if he’s between the sticks. Johnny Heitinga could play regardless of Jagielka’s inclusion or not and he has proven time and time again this season that he is there to be bullied – something which Stoke excel at.

      Tony Pullis will of course know all this and he will send his side out with the message to get stuck into Everton and not let them get into their stride like they did against Manchester City. Shawcross and Huth should be able to cope with an out of form Jelavic, or if Anichebe is given the nod, a couple of firm challenges from the centre halves could see ‘Big Vic’ go into his shell.

      Stoke are a massive value bet for me at 7.0 (6/1) and I’d also recommend backing them to win 1-0 in the correct score market at 15.0 (14/1) which coincidently, was the score in this fixture last season.

      Recommended Bets
      Back Chelsea @ 2.1 (11/10)
      Back Chelsea/Chelsea in the HT/FT market @ 3.5 (5/2)
      Back Tottenham @ 2.25 (5/4)
      Back Tottenham to win 2-1 @ 8.5 (15/2)
      Back Stoke @ 7.0 (6/1)
      Back Stoke to win 1-0 @ 15.0 (14/1)

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      James, I haven’t had a proper look at the weekend yet and rarely go down to the Conference when there’s a full card to look at.

  2. SFL Pundit 8 years ago

    Few bits of advice for the SFL games tonight.

    While Cowdenbeath’s park will “officially” be playable, even during the summer it is a terrible surface. It is a very narrow pitch that will be very heavy tonigh and will cut up right from the start. I’m sure Cowden would be happy with a point and will set up to contain Thistle..plenty of men behind the ball and playing on the counter. Thistle should have enough to win the game…probably by a 1 goal margin. Cowden do possess a bit of danger from set-pieces. If I had to pick a correct score I would go 2-1 Thistle.

    Dumbarton are 9th and are battling to avoid the relegation play-off spot along with Cowdenbeath and to a lesser extent (Hamilton). Raith are in 6th and while mathimatically there is still a chance they could get dragged into that batlle i’m sure they will be confident of picking up a few points in there remaining home games to see them safe. They beat a very poor Airdrie side on saturday in there first away win since October and while Dumbarton have had better results recently away from home, I feel they will be looking at this game as a great opportunity to take 3 points. Raith won’t fancy a game on wednesday night away at dumbarton with nothing to play for. Both defences have been shakey recently so there should be goals (over 2.5 I would recommend) and for correct score I would look at 3-2 Dumbarton. An outside bet on this game is Raith/Dumbarton in the half-time/full-time market.

  3. Chris 8 years ago

    Good shout with both to score at Dumbarton and Cowdenbeath. All four teams average over a goal a game this season.

    Both Raith Rovers vs Dumbarton games this season have finished with at least over 3 goals:

    16.02.2013 Raith Rovers 3-2 Dumbarton
    06.10.2012 Raith Rovers 2-2 Dumbarton

    Both Partick Thistle vs Cowdenbeath games this season have finished with over 2 goals:

    26.01.2013 Partick Thistle 2-1 Cowdenbeath
    22.09.2012 Partick Thistle 2-1 Cowdenbeath

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Chris, it was Beath 0, Partick 1 in the game at Central Park but as I said Beath were leading 2-1 at home when the game was abandoned a couple of weeks ago.

    • Chris 8 years ago

      Sorry my bad, didn’t think that made figure made sense. Hopefully it comes in anyway!

  4. John 8 years ago

    If there’s a vote for the five to follow this weekend mine is for Over 2.5 goals :-)

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      John, there’s no vote this week. I’m doing teams to score 2+. If it doesn’t win this weekend there will be a vote next week.

  5. Peter Brown 8 years ago

    Think ill go for the Falkirk Dumbarton Qos treble!

    Paul u putting a Btts score line up?

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Peter, there’s a btts double up. I won’t be putting anything else up on today’s games. I could see btts at all the surviving Scots games but nothing wrong with doing a double.

  6. Milesey 8 years ago

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/scotland/21944797

    Goooooooooooo on MR F, great work with the shovel !

    Milesey

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Milesey, I’d have left it covered in snow then watched it melt for 90 minutes. That would have been better than taking in the Scotland game last night. Anyway that bloke’s our new centre-half.

    • Milesey 8 years ago

      Sunderland v Man United (Saturday, 12:45, Sky Sports 2)
      Sunderland have won just one of their previous 23 Premier League games against Manchester United, losing 17
      It can hardly be described as the tip of the century to talk up Manchester United’s chance of winning a Premier League game, especially when the 12-time champs currently sit 15 points clear of the pack. However, a closer inspection of their record against struggling Sunderland makes it look a result worthy of sticking in every multiple in the land this weekend. Sunderland have only won two points from a possible 27 in their last nine Premier League home games against the Red Devils.
      Recommended Bet: Back Manchester United to win @ 1.74

      Swansea v Tottenham (Saturday, 15:00)
      Only Manchester United (32) have won more points away from home in the Premier League this season than Tottenham Hotspur (26)
      Having achieved such an historic and monumental triumph in winning this year’s Capital One Cup, it would be no surprise to see Swansea slacking off towards the tail end of the season. Already in Europe next season and wrapped in the comfort blanket of mid-table security, Michael Laudrup’s men could be excused for taking the foot off. Meanwhile, away specialists Tottenham need every point in their quest for Champions League football.
      Recommended Bet: Back Tottenham to win @ 2.32

      Wigan v Norwich (Saturday, 15:00)
      Norwich have won just one of their last 17 Premier League away games (W1 D8 L8)
      There was more than a touch of fortune in Wigan’s last win over Newcastle, not least because they should have spent the majority of the match down to ten men, before scoring a winning goal which included a blatant handball. Still, Wigan have started their annual escape in earnest and, with visitors Norwich harbouring a terrible away record, Roberto Martinez’s men can climb one more rung towards safety. Four wins in the Latics’ last five in all competitions suggests that this is certainly achievable.
      Recommended Bet: Back Wigan to win @ 1.96

      Everton v Stoke (Saturday, 17:30, ESPN)
      The Potters have failed to score in more Premier League games than any other side this season (13)
      After exiting the last eight of the FA Cup so meekly at home to Wigan, David Moyes’ side gave the perfect response in their last Premier League outing at Goodison Park. Despite having Steven Pienaar sent off on 61 minutes, the Toffees still went on to beat the current champions Manchester City 2-0. Next up they should have too much for a Stoke side in dismal form – especially away from home, where the Potters have succumbed to five straight defeats, drawing three blanks and scoring just once in the other losses.
      Recommended Bet: Back Everton to win to nil @ 2.5

      ——————————————-

      Nottingham Forest v Brighton
      Saturday, 15:00

      Nottingham Forest host Brighton at the City Ground fresh off the back of six successive victories in the Championship.

      Forest are flying under new manager Billy Davies, who has guided them to fifth place in the table and given the club a much needed confidence boost as they bid to sneak into the Premier League via the playoffs. During the Nottingham outfit’s recent purple patch they have conceded just three goals in six matches, registering 15 times at the other end. Midfielder Lewis McGugan has been a key factor in his side’s recent strong form, and could strike again against Brighton after netting in his last three outings.

      While their opponents are in rampant mood, Brighton only just ended a run of three games without victory by beating rivals Crystal Palace before the international break. Injuries to their forward line is working against the Seagulls playoff push, but the south coast club were given a boost when manager Gus Poyet turned down the Reading job. Brighton are level on points with sixth-place Leicester, but a trip to face in-form Forest may not prove fruitful.

      Despite playing out a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium in December, Both Teams To Score looks likely at 1.758/11 as they bid to keep their play-off hopes in tact. Forest have scored in their last seven outings while Brighton rushed three past Palace in their last encounter in the space of just seven minutes.

      Recommended Bets:
      Back Nottingham Forest at 2.15
      Back Both Teams To Score at 1.75
      Peterborough v Cardiff
      Saturday, 15:00

      League leaders Cardiff will still be smarting from their home defeat to Peterborough in December, which ended the Bluebirds exemplary record at the Cardiff City Stadium this season.

      Goals from Michael Bostwick and Dwight Gayle stunned the Welsh side last year and marred their dominant home record, which at the time was amongst the best in Europe. But Cardiff still remain on course for automatic promotion to the Premier League by sitting in top spot in the Championship, and can go another step closer to proving their doubters wrong with a win at relegation battlers Peterborough. The South Wales outfit won their last outing, away at Sheffield Wednesday by two goals to nil, and the Steel City club are one point better off than Posh.

      Peterborough are not in bad form – unbeaten in their last five – but remain in the division’s bottom three and could feel the vengeance of Cardiff this weekend. Posh have lost over half of their home matches, conceding 36 times in 19 games and have actually picked up more points on the road this season. London Road has therefore been anything but a fortress this season, and could be pillaged yet again if the likes of former top-flight stars Craig Bellamy, Fraizer Campbell and Heidar Helguson find their verve on Saturday.

      Cardiff are worth taking at a generous 2.25n/a to win outright, but given Peterborough’s recent resistance the Bluebirds should be considered in the Draw No Bet market at 1.608/13first.

      Recommended Bets:
      Back Cardiff to win at 2.25
      Back Cardiff in the Draw No Bet market at 1.60
      Watford v Burnley
      Friday, 15:00

      Watford have just suffered back-to-back Championship defeats but they have a great chance of returning to winning ways against free-falling Burnley.

      While Watford’s seven-game unbeaten streak came unstuck with successive losses against Blackpool and Barnsley, Gianfranco Zola’s side remain just two points from that crucial automatic promotion spot currently held by Hull in second. The Hornets need to make sure this recent spell is a blip and not an obstacle that could scupper their entire season’s work, and will no doubt look to newly-crowned Championship Player of the Year Matej Vydra to help them see off Burnley at Vicarage Road. Vydra has 20 goals for the season, but having failed to find the net in his last five games could be ready to prove his worth yet against for Watford.

      Burnley earned a draw at home to Watford earlier in the season, and with just one victory from their last 10 they would probably settle for another point this time around. But the trip south will not be an easy one, and they may struggle to find the target having scored only three goals from their last seven outings. Clarets striker Charlie Austin outshines Vydra in the goalscoring stakes with 23 league goals, and will also be aware he needs to contribute more having hit only two of those efforts in eight games.

      Watford will hope they can see off the challenge of Burnley with relative ease, and if Sean Dyche’s side fail to offer an attacking threat like they have in recent games then the hosts can achieve a Win To Nil priced at 3.309/4.

      Recommended Bets:
      Back Watford to win at 1.95
      Back Watford to Win To Nil at 3.30

      —————————————————————–

      Preston North End 1.70 v Portsmouth 5.70, the draw 3.95
      Although Portsmouth are much improved of late, Preston will be a hard side to beat on home soil this Good Friday given their fine defensive record under new boss Simon Grayson. I mentioned in last week’s column how I am drawn to any North End game at the moment – in particular the unders markets.

      With Grayson in charge, Preston have only conceded three goals, whilst all of their last seven matches have been under 2.5 goals. They were held 0-0 at the weekend by Leyton Orient, but did create chances, and only met an inspired goalkeeping performance from Os shot stopper Jamie Jones.

      Opta stats reveal that Portsmouth have not won at Deepdale in nine attempts (losing six), however they are on their best run of the season, with just two defeats from their last nine. Maybe, just maybe, the great escape could be on?

      Pompey were 2-0 winners against Coventry on Saturday, and defensively looked so much better. Forward
      Pat Agyemang has been key to their recent run of form as an outlet and the ability to hold the ball up – as previously it was coming back too quickly.

      The bets here are to be based on Preston keeping a clean sheet, whilst Pompey’s improved form might get us up to half-time by trading on the 0-0.

      Recommended bets:
      Back Preston to win 1-0 @ 7.0 and 2-0 @ 8.0
      Back under 1.5 goals @ 3.0

      Brentford 1.90 v Notts County 4.50, the draw 3.60
      Brentford boast the best home record in the division this season in terms of most wins. The Bees have collected 12 victories on home soil, conceding just 18 goals in the process. I was most annoyed their game was snowed off recently at Sheffield United, as I really thought it would be a perfect unders bet.

      Their recent record of four wins from their last six includes four clean sheets, and their last outing was the 1-0 win over Preston thanks to a 96th minute goal from Sam Saunders – another youngster who has really been shining of late. I would however like to see more from Bradley Wright-Phillips, the loan striker who has yet to find the net in seven games at Griffin Park.

      Opta stats show eight of the last nine meetings between the sides have ended in a draw, and I do anticipate a close encounter, which would make that outright price a good trading option, especially considering Brentford’s knack of scoring late goals.

      Notts County have certainly tightened up under Chris Kiwomya, and 10 of their last 11 games have been under 2.5 goals. If you need any more proof of their defensive strength at the moment, five of their last six outings have been under 1.5 goals.

      The Magpies back four were outstanding on Saturday in holding Swindon 0-0, and they dealt with the opponents width really well. They seem to be much better organised under Kiwomya (who should be landing the job on a full-time basis), and will rely on the counter-attack this Friday. Overall, an outright bet for Brentford seems fairly sound at the price, considering the Opta stat that County have not won on the road in their last six games (their longest run).

      Recommended bets:
      Back Brentford to win @ 1.90
      Back Brentford to win 1-0 @ 8.0
      Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.80
      Back under 1.5 goals @ 3.5

      Bury 2.66 v Crewe Alexandra 2.85, the draw 3.50
      My project of laying Crewe before their Wembley JPT final once again will rear its head for Good Friday, and the chance to lay the Alex at short price. They are also showing the signs of a classic mid-table side at the moment, by winning just two of their last six matches.

      Crewe were beaten 2-0 on Tuesday, and lacked a finishing touch in the final third. Manager Steve Davis will welcome back Mathias Pogba from international duty, and Brad Inman might return too. Davis has hinted at changes, as his team are lacking a killer instinct.

      Bury are fighting for their lives with one of the thinnest squads around. They were thumped 4-1 against Bournemouth on Saturday but they played fairly well for a large part of the game and their attitude was praised by Cherries boss Eddie Howe. Their spirit is good, if the quality is lacking.

      The men from Gigg Lane created some chances last weekend and have beaten an out-of-sorts Stevenage this month. At least they are scrapping, which is why Bury could be a bet this Easter, with Crewe having one eye on their Wembley final.

      Recommended bets:
      Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.90
      Lay Crewe @ 2.66

      Colchester United 3.50 v Bournemouth 2.22, the draw 3.50
      Bournemouth are hopefully over their mini-wobble and look back on track for the title having won their last three games in League One. Forward Brett Pitman has scored in all of those clashes, and Cherries boss Eddie Howe has stressed how keen he is to boost their goal difference.

      For me, Bournemouth are improved due to some of their players returning from injury, allowing the best footballer in League One, Matt Ritchie, to play in a more advanced role (he was filling in at left-back). And with them in-form again, I make them a good bet this Friday.

      Recommended bet:
      Back Bournemouth to win @ 2.22

      ——————————————————

      Bradford 2.12, v Southend 3.75; The Draw 3.55 Friday 15:00

      Truth really is stranger than fiction: Shakespeare would have struggled to better the script at Southend.

      Chairman Ron Martin explained, via a long statement on Sunday, that Paul Sturrock was to be replaced on Monday, yet lead out the team for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final on April 7.

      Sturrock had failed to earn promotion, he said, leading to the conclusion they had given up on the play-offs. “Not so!” protesteth new manager Phil Brown (a great choice), who says bridging the six-point gap to seventh is his aim.

      It’s only natural for a new man to show ambition. But, also oddly, the chairman indicated he felt appointing someone in the summer would be too late to impact on next season: well, leaders Gillingham might beg to differ.

      So, we shrug our shoulders and assess whether League Two’s 12th new permanent manager since the season began can win his first game (which would be a rarity) or at least stop the rot.

      Bradford fans have been clinging to slim play-off hopes, too. They have played a game fewer and are only a point behind the Shrimpers. Captain Gary Jones, who missed out on League Two player of the Year, wants to stay whatever the Bantams achieve this season.

      Boss Phil Parkinson may want to do likewise after gaining the Football League’s outstanding achievement award for reaching the League Cup Final.

      Bradford have one defeat in seven (but four draws) since their Wembley appearance, with four clean sheets – in mostly tight games. The first thing Brown will do is try to tighten a Southend defence that Opta emphasise has conceded 16 times in 10 games with no clean sheets.

      Bradford will prove stubborn. But with Southend playing for a new boss and their Wembley places, laying the hosts seems a calculated risk worth taking.

      Recommended Bet
      Lay Bradford @ 2.12

      Port Vale 2.2, v Cheltenham 3.6; The Draw 3.5

      Thwarted by Saturday’s weather, here is another chance of a much-loved 0-0 via a Port Vale home game. The Valiants have stuttered at Vale Park lately with one point from four games. Two wins in nine overall hardly inspires confidence, either.

      The Robins were the last visiting team to win at Northampton (nine straight home wins), but have since only won once from nine on the road, drawing four and losing four. They have lost just one of the last five away, however, so will fancy reward here. Laying Port Vale seems sensible, covering the draw, while chancing an exact score bet.

      Recommended Bets
      Lay Port Vale @ 2.2
      Back 0-0 and 1-1 half a point each at 11.0 and 6.8

      Wycombe 2.1, v Accrington 3.75; Draw 3.5

      Wycombe faced a winding up petition from HMRC for a tax bill recently and, according to one report, believed they should have the ability to settle it with a packed house against Stanley.

      Newsflash: Accrington have the lowest average gates in the Football League and therefore probably the fewest travelling fans, even if they need every voice to maintain their League Two status.

      Leam Richardson’s men have lost eight of their last nine away games. Wycombe, therefore, begin to look generously-priced, until one factors in Stanley’s grateful new face Francis Jeffers teaming up with another former England striker James Beattie. Mind you, Lee Molyneux seems more of a danger with three goals in three games.

      Wanderers supporters will perk up at one Opta stat: Accrington have failed to score in 15 league games (nine away). Only York (16) have done worse.

      Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth wants one more win to reach 52 points and this should provide it.

      Recommended Bet
      Back Wycombe @ 2.11

      Burton 2.1, v Chesterfield 4.0; The draw 3.5, Saturday 15:00

      The Brewers have nine straight wins at the Pirelli while Chesterfield have pretty much underperformed this season all round.

      Clearly it takes a more fashionable side than Gary Rowett’s side to go odds-on, for how else can one justify the long price on a side placed third with a strong chance of automatic promotion against mid-table also-rans? Perhaps the Spireites’ win at in-form Oxford – somewhat fortunate by all accounts – lives strong in the memory of layers.

      With more at stake for the hosts, their desire will surely be stronger. Even if they go behind, they have, say Opta, claimed 19 points from losing positions. Only Southend have done better (20).

      Recommended Bet
      Back Burton @ 2.1

      ——————————————————————-

      LAYS
      —–

      Lay Leicester to beat Millwall @ 1.8
      After spending nearly the entire season (32 from 38 games) occupying the Championship play-off spots, the Foxes are in grave danger of slipping out of the promotion hunt altogether. From their lofty position of second at the start of February, Nigel Pearson’s men have since embarked on a steady descent, winning just one game in their last nine and losing five of those. Goals have dried up for Leicester, especially for the man whom they prised off Millwall in January, Chris Wood, who was supposed to fire them into the Premier League. The Lions beat Leicester in the return fixture, making it three straight wins over Friday’s opponents after completing the double last season.

      Lay Yeovil to beat Walsall @ 2.4
      This is the time of the season where those tired minds get really tested and that buzz-word momentum gets bandied about more readily than political sound bites. League One side Yeovil are one such side in the midst of a battle against mother momentum having timed their eight-match winning run just a little too early. That majestic streak had catapulted the Glovers right up to third, but since then a serious dose of stage fright has ensured that they have only picked seven points from the next available 21 to leave them seventh and sliding. Now they face a Walsall side unbeaten in their last ten games and vying for the play-offs themselves, just one place behind and in superior form.

      Lay Bradford to beat Southend @ 2.18
      Since their Capital One Cup dreams were ruthlessly swept away by Swansea at Wembley, Bradford’s promotion push has been hampered by a series of damaging draws. A 4-1 chastening down at Exeter didn’t do Phil Parkinson’s men any favours either. Southend’s less glamorous Wembley charge – which sees them compete in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final next Sunday – seems to have induced a similarly choking effect on their promotion drive. The result has been the installation of ex-Hull boss Phil Brown as the Shrimpers new manager, and the ‘new manager effect’ should spur them on to reignite their campaign at Valley Parade.

      Milesey ( betfair )

  7. Stevie H 8 years ago

    Usefull info there…cheers :-)

  8. Ross 8 years ago

    Partick
    Dumbarton
    QOS
    Macclesfield

    Perm Trebles and 4 Fold

  9. Craig alves 8 years ago

    thi k it’s safe to QoS is up, 5-0 at ht and gt them 4/5 :), partick 2-0 up and Falkirk 1-0 at ht so looking good as it stands, no even gt any money to cover Dunfermline double chance, c’mon falkirk get a 2nd and put this game to bed

  10. Rory's 8 years ago

    Mr fixit would mind having a look at some anytime scores from round the leagues For this weekend i remember a few weeks back you got close with your picks. Only if you have time obviously

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Rory, time is obviously the issue. As I’ve said before it would be handy if there were 36 hours in a Friday. I’ve got to focus on my Daily Record columns that pay the wages and do everything people expect to see at the weekend too. But if we can find more folk as good as Bounty Punter that could be the way to go for us.

  11. MUZZA 8 years ago

    Nice tip with Falkirk Mr F cheers. Was already on Partick and QOS so this made it a nice treble. Added to a nice double from Milesey earlier on the horses it has been a nice profitable day.

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Muzza, good to see you back on form. Remember to keep an eye on the site at the weekend for news on the tipster contest that will affect you.

    • MUZZA 8 years ago

      OK will do cheers Mr F

  12. steve 8 years ago

    I don,t know why this week there are games on good friday and saturday. Is it for the bookies benefit, or are they expecting bigger attendances? As for my team chesterfield, as milesy once said don.t back or against your own team. i can,t see us comeing away from burton with anything. Hope i.m wrong.Anyway i look forward to seeing your tips on friday. Your usually there or there about,s with them. keep up the good work.

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Steve, Good Friday’s a holiday so clubs will expect better attendances.

  13. Dave 8 years ago

    i had another cracking bet today QOS over 2.5 goals in that game, but yeah you guessed it I didn’t put it on. Last night I lumped on Columbia game to have over 1.5 goals after Venezuela scored doh.

    Guido you got any south American tips for tonight?

  14. Tim 8 years ago

    I just want to say thanks for the awesome picks yesterday. You turned my overall loss into an overall winning. Thank you.

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Tim, Greg, etc well done with the winnings. The four SFL games that were played went the way I predicted but as I said in these leagues every team can beat another so it’s worth being a bit cautious.

  15. Chris 8 years ago

    The beath let me down, only needed 1 goal! Fortunately made a profit from Dumbarton (had them on last weekend as well, very similar game) so still a good night! Had a pound on 3-2 at 28-1 but that’s how it goes :)

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Chris, two good wins for the Sons and a good price at Hamilton on Saturday.

  16. Chris 8 years ago

    Aye went with them again! Hopefully not pushing my luck lol :)

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