Saturday Select #25

It was a week of shocks last Saturday in the Football League as nearly all the teams struggling near the bottom of the divisions seemed to raise their game in dramatic fashion against the higher sides. The form book was truly thrown out of the window and with the business end of the season closing in fast and teams now waking up to the reality of relegation it could well get harder on a more regular basis for outright bets. However this week we look to bounce back to winning ways with our selection of matches. Check out which teams have made the grade this time around.

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Chelsea v Burnley

Chelsea’s talismanic front man Diego Costa returns after completing a three-game domestic ban. The feisty Brazilian has netted six goals in his last seven Premier League appearances and will be a welcome boost for Mourinho as he looks to press on with Chelsea’s advantage at the top of the Premier League. Bradford City aside, The Blues have been majestic at home this campaign. They are unbeaten and have won 34 of a possible 36 points at home this season. Chelsea’s defence also looks watertight when on their own turf. They have kept 16 clean sheets in their last 20 top-flight home games, conceding just six goals in that period.

Burnley have played with a real fighting spirit in the last few of weeks against the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United but the Clarets have only registered a single point for their recent efforts. Burnley just need a win even if it is an ugly win but Stamford Bridge looks like an unlikely happy hunting ground for them. Danny Ings is Burnley’s biggest threat. He has scored in five of his last six league appearances for Burnley. However, Burnley only have one solitary away victory in 12 played this season so it doesn’t look great for them.

Swindon v Crawley

Swindon have only lost 2 games in 14 played at the County Ground giving them one of the best home records in the league. Swindon are though in a poor run of form at the moment having lost 3 out of their last 4 games. They have been pushed out of the automatic promotion spots into third place in the table by MK Dons. They are just 2 points behind them though and have a game in hand over them. This is a vital fixture for them they really cannot afford let this blip turn into something more prolonged and therefore they should be right up for the match.

Crawley have only won once on the road all season in 15 away matches. They unenviably boast the worst away record in the league bar none. They have lost over 66% with an average of just 0.47 points gained per game. Crawley hammered Barnsley 5-1 last time out just a few days after being smashed 5-0 themselves. Barnsley were managerless though and look like a club in a right mess at the minute so the result could prove to be something of a red herring.

Sheffield United v Coventry

Sheffield United have won their last 3 matches on the spin including a 3-1 win over league leaders Bristol City. They have climbed to 5th place in the league and although an automatic promotion spot looks unlikely, it is still a possibility for The Blades who are 9ts behind second placed MK Dons with 2 games in hand. Dramatic cup exploits seem to have taken the edge out of the Blades league campaigns in recent seasons but now they are out of the cup competitions they seem to be more focused and are building good momentum.

They host Coventry City at Bramall Lane who also have plenty to play for. They are just 1 point clear of the relegation zone. Coventry have only won 3 matches in 15 away games played so far this season meaning that they have one of the worst away records in the league. They are on a 6 game winless run at the moment.

Tranmere v Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury are top of the league but only on goal difference and they are gunning for the League Two championship. The shrews have won 5 of their last 6 games and are very much the form side in the division.

At this stage of the season this is a dangerous game for Shrewsbury though away against a Tranmere side that is in a relegation dogfight and has plenty to fight for. Tranmere sit just 1 point clear of the drop zone and are winless in their last 3 matches. They have lost to both key relegation rivals York and Carlisle who are both in the two spots immediately above them in the league. It’s hard to go against the what the form shows in this though.

Bristol Rovers v Altrincham

Bristol Rovers have not lost in their last 17 league matches. They last lost in a Conference Premier match back in October of 2014. Barnet have lead the league for a long, long time and looked as if they were going to romp the division earlier in the season when they opened up a double figure gap at the top. However second placed BristolRovers have cut their lead to just 4 points.

They take on 15th placed Altrincham who sit a comfortable 15 points clear of the relegation zone. They have only lost one game in their last 6 but Altrincham don’t really have much to play for this season now whereas Rovers are gunning for promotion and have home advantage.

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