Do we have to play tonight?
The problem with international breaks is that, in the interim, we end up writing about nonsense like the Johnstones Paint Trophy, with such potential thrillers as Sheffield United’s hammering of Bradford to excite us.
November 8th, 2011
But there are opportunities to make a few quid so let’s not have a complete downer on the tournament that everybody sees as a huge inconvenience, starting with the aforementioned Yorkshire derby.
For this preview, we have consulted the official Football Scores Bradford mole (AKA, this columnists Bradford supporting flatmate), who informs us that the Bantams are “absolutely woeful”. In fact, phrases like “soul-destroying” and “so bad, I left the game early to do some housework” were used to describe their defeat at home to Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
So what Phil Parkinson’s relegation threatened team don’t need right now is a trip to League One promotion contenders Sheffield United.
The Blades looked to be stringing some form together before going down to Stevenage at the weekend and Danny Wilson fielded a strong side in the previous round against Rotherham last month.
Bradford, on the other hand, haven’t won away from home this season (although they did win on penalties at Huddersfield in the previous round have won just three games all season. There’s little value to be had on a Blades win but with City really struggling, we expect them to practically forget any pretence of winning this one in favour of a focus on the league. The Blades -2 on the Asian handicap is at 21/10 with Bet365 and we think they’ll cover it.
Elsewhere, in the Southern section, we like the look of the even money that’s generally available on a Brentford win as they host fellow League One side Bournemouth.
A cursory glance at the form suggests a relatively even tussle between these two, with Bournemouth recently turning around something of an early-season crisis in the league with two wins in the last two outings – one at home to Scunthorpe and another at struggling Preston.
Brentford on the other hand have not lost in seven and stunned Charlton 3-0 in the previous round. They might have only won once in the last six, but four of those were against sides that currently stand above them in the league.
In really simplistic terms, this is ninth in League Two at home to 16th in League Two and for us, even money on a home win seems worthy of our attention.
Sheffield United vs Bradford City: Sheffield United -2 (Asian handicap) – 21/10 (Bet365)
Brentford vs Bournemouth: Brentford – evens (Bet365)
Double at approx. 5.2/1