THERE'S been a huge upturn in people playing the pools with virtually nothing else to bet on.

Over the past few weeks we've lost everything punting wise and even the matches I posted last weekend in Australia were postponed.

Racing was next to fall although the Irish carried on gamely for a bit longer.

I did the pools for the first time in decades last week and while I didn't come close to hitting the jackpot I picked four draws which wasn't too bad.

The Pools Panel will sit every weekend to pick the results of matches 1-49 so as well as trying to predict the results you have to get into their heads too.

Last week generally they picked the better-placed team to win but there were a couple of shocks including Forest Green to draw at Crewe. I'd have been strong on a home win.

It's tougher this weekend with no top-flight or English Championship games scheduled as it was meant to be an international weekend.

We'd have been going to games today with a smile on our faces after Scotland moved to within 90 minutes of Euro 2020 (now 2021) by beating Israel.

In the Scottish Championship, there are two games listed – Alloa vs Dunfermline and Dundee vs Queen of the South and the former is a draw candidate.

In League One Peterhead vs Montrose and Stranraer vs Dumbarton are decent candidates and in League, Two Edinburgh vs Cove Rangers would have been a cracker and a possible title decider. The Panel may see this is a stalemate between the two but I'd have sided with the champions-elect.

England's all about League One and League Two but the National League is in there to make up the numbers. I'm not a big follower of the non-league but Notts County vs Harrogate could be chosen by the Panel.

Your best eight selections count with 24pts the maximum. It's 3pts for a score draw, 2pts no-score draw and 1pt for a home or away.

Players with 23 or 22 points (and sometimes fewer) will win a share of the cash prize pool.

Ten Draws (pools number in brackets)

  • Accrington v Coventry (1)
  • Oxford v Portsmouth (6)
  • Shrewsbury v Wycombe (9)
  • Exeter v Bradford (14)
  • Forest Green v Cheltenham (15)
  • Port Vale v Crewe (20)
  • Alloa v Dunfermline (24)
  • Stranraer v Dumbarton (29)
  • Edinburgh v Cove (32)
  • Notts County v Harrogate (42)

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