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Friday, 24 October 2014

Bookies Corner: Barnsley v Bristol City

I'm delighted to say that after a short break, Easyodds.com football tipster and Bristol City fan Ross Casey is back this week with a betting column on City’s trip to Oakwell to face Danny Wilson’s Barnsley. After the late slip-up preventing us of three points at Ashton Gate in midweek, can we take the win at Barnsley like we have in three of our last four visits?  Keep reading below for Ross’ full betting preview including his most pertinent trends and oddities…

BRISTOL CITY – 11/10 (Multiple)
BARNSLEY – 59/20 (MarathonBet)
DRAW – 13/5 (Multiple)

It doesn’t take a genius to see a trend in Bristol City’s matches that we score goals. In sixteen matches this term we have only failed to hit the net once and that was against Orient when Baldock’s goal was disallowed for no reason at all.

It is not just the fact we are scoring that is so pleasing – 14 of our 20 outfield players to play first team football this season have hit the net. The wide range of goal threats we have is brilliant for keeping opposition teams on their toes.

With all of these goals flying in it is of little surprise that there are some interesting betting trends regarding goals. If you live to bet on the over/under line you can pretty much guarantee a winning bet on a Bristol City fixture going over 2.5 goals – in eight of our last nine matches three or more goals have been scored! Over 2.5 is available at 3/4.

I find the first goal brackets interesting in our matches too – four of our last six fixtures have had an opening goal scored in the opening 10 minutes. The bookies haven’t seemed to latch on to this trend as yet as the best price available is a tempting 16/5.

Unfortunately we have lost the ability to keep clean sheets in our most recent matches. After a run of three shut-outs in a row stopping at Port Vale we have now conceded at least one goal in each of our last seven matches. Both teams to score is the option here at 13/20. If you were to choose between this and over 2.5 goals I would go with overs as that has slightly better profit margins.

An interesting statistic about Danny Wilson’s Barnsley this season is that they are do or die at home. In eight matches on home soil they are yet to draw a match. Considering we have drawn just one of our last 10 fixtures at Oakwell it is perhaps unsurprising that the draw is the least likely outcome in the full-time result market at 13/5.

Encouragingly for Steve Cotterill is the really embarrassing statistic that Barnsley have conceded a huge 12 goals in their last four at Oakwell. For a defence featuring Lewin Nyatanga I find this hard to believe! With this in mind take your pick from the starting line-up on Saturday and back some Robins players to hit the back of the net. Easyodds.com offers all of our stars from Aaron Wilbraham at 6/4 all the way down to Derrick Williams at 12/1.

Speaking of former players, I love backing ex –players to score as they seem to have that extra spring in their step when playing former clubs. Look at the proof of Leroy Lita’s hat-trick for Middlesbrough at Ashton Gate for proof of that!

He is 11/5 to score against us again and Lewin Nyatanga is 20/1. The way we defended set plays on Tuesday night may well prove that to be a whacky but wonderful wager! Andy Cole’s son Devante is on-loan at Barnsley from Manchester City and has impressed with his pace and willing running so far. He will give Aden Flint all sorts of problems if he plays on the shoulder of our line. He has scored 5 in 13 this season and has scored in his last two matches – his best price to score against our defence is 13/5.

We are pretty successful against Barnsley in terms of our win/loss record. We have 41 wins to their 30 but the last time these sides met at Oakwell we lost 1-0 to a Tykes side that had 10 men for the last 40 minutes. Oh how I don’t miss those Championship years of depressing losses after hard fought draws!

I genuinely do think that Devante Cole has a bright future ahead of him and using our price comparison service I have found some good value on him scoring two or more goals in this match. With back-to-back goals for the young forward and our no clean sheet in seven, he looks a good bet at 16/1 to score two or more. Most bookies are around 9/1 on this bet but Bet365 are offering almost double that at 16/1.

First Goal Between 1-10 Minutes @ 16/5 – BET NOW

I like this trend that I have sniffed out and whilst it may be over within 11 minutes I think the bookies have underestimated how keen Barnsley are to concede and us Robins to score! 4 in 6 is a decent trend plus Joe Bryan missed out JUST with his 11th minute strike at Walsall. Here’s hoping for another quick start!

*All prices supplied by www.easyodds.com and prices all correct as of Fri 24th October 2014*

The Exiled Robin

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Inside Line: Barnsley v Bristol City (25/10/2014)

“If you wanna be the best, if you wanna beat the best, oh-oh dedication’s what you need”

The Bristol City class of 2014-15 wrote their own piece of history on Tuesday night when their draw against Bradford meant that a club record that had lasted exactly sixty years had been broken, and we had gone 14 matches unbeaten from the start of a season.  To put that in context, it’s nearly one-third of the way through the season – a quite remarkable achievement which glossed over some of the disappointment in ‘only’ gaining a point on a windy night in BS3.

The record-breakers take their status on the road again this weekend to Oakwell, home of Barnsley, who have the son of an ex-City striking legend and an ex-City manager looking to put one over on the Robins.

Stu Radnedge spoke to Andy White  of the ‘Love Barnsley, Hate Football’ blog to find out more:

“My beloved Barnsley FC. Relegated last season, currently hovering above another relegation zone and shipping goals for fun - I shouldn't really be enjoying all this. But I am. Obviously, the losing games bit and conceding goals part I don't take much pleasure from, but I genuinely am enjoying season 2014-15. 

You see, it's been an absolute chore for large parts of the last eight years in the Championship. Most seasons merging into each other, such was the similarity of events. Lose your star players on the cheap, good form goes out the (January) window with them, recruit short term loanees, limp to safety by a few points. Repeat over the next 12 months and so on. Not to forget the changing of managers or indeed, the odd FA Cup run. It wasn't all bad. Just 90% of it. Probably. 

After the almost Roy of the Rovers style 'Great Escape' of 2012-13, masterminded by cliché ridden young manager David Flitcroft, we went into last term with rare optimism. We assumed we'd stumbled upon a good manager at last. Ok, he talked a lot of nonsense, but his record since taking charge was phenomenal. Perhaps we'd finally push on in the second tier and reclaim our status as something better than perennial relegation battlers? 

Perhaps not. I think we won just one of our first 18 games and the team didn't resemble anything like the one 'Flicker' guided to safety just a few months before. He was sacked, and after a month of deliberation we got the second coming of club legend, one Danny Wilson. The original miracle worker. If anybody could transform our fortunes it was 'r Danny'.... 

He did improve us. But hardly. His January loan and free transfer recruits were on paper exciting, a touch risky but gambling had to be done. Unfortunately, we backed the wrong horses. In fact, a horse would have made a better impact than the likes of Brek Shea, Martin Woods and Emmanuel Frimpong.

But, I welcomed the eventual relegation. We could hopefully get shot of the deadwood letting us down, allow Danny to assemble his own squad and look forward to finally competing in a division which is less about how much money you've got and more about team spirit. And if any Barnsley manager has ever cobbled together a squad brimming with enthusiasm and pride in the red shirt, it's 'r Danny'.

Unfortunately, getting shot of the deadwood might have been easy, but we soon realised that a few of our best players would have to be flogged too. And it took so long to get both Luke Steele and Chris O'Grady off the wage bill that our own recruitment drive didn't really kick into gear until a week or so before the big kick off. Our pre-season 'tour' of Italy comprised of about 18 academy lads. We just didn't have the players. 

And so it's no surprise what has happened so far this season. We're up and down like a yo-yo. No consistency. Fair to middling.

We've definitely signed a few promising young players though. Conor Hourihane is some player. Scored seven goals, created another seven and involved in all the rest. Probably. Luke Berry, signed from Cambridge, a little midfield dynamo, he's impressed me. And despite the goals not quite arriving for him, Sam Winnall has been a great addition up front. 

The revelation though at present, is his strike partner, the son of Andy - Devante Cole. On loan from Manchester City and far too good for this division. He's very green, very raw, but has explosive pace and an eye for goal. His father is at every game, home and away, and so keep your eyes out (Robins fans travelling up on Saturday) for your former hero.

Andy Cole (here wearing the now-famous #PurpleandLime) struck up a 
fantastic, exciting partnership with cult hero 'Jacki' Dziekanowski (below) in 
the early 90's before moving to Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United

As I say, we're inconsistent. So I couldn't begin to tell you what to look out for or our strengths and weaknesses. But in a nutshell, we're a threat going forward and wide open defensively. 

I have Bristol City down to win the title, and so far it's looking likely. It seems Mr Lansdown has spent a few pennies again. But it's nailed on that Leroy Lita will finally get off his lazy backside and come back to haunt his former side. Isn't it? Probably. 

Danny Wilson got City to the play-off final in Cardiff in 2004, but famously 
left Leroy Lita out and we lost 1-0 to a Leon Knight goal, for Brighton

Unless you beat us comfortably. Like everybody else at Oakwell. Probably.”

My thanks to Andy and to Stu for setting up the response.

Slightly ironic that we face a team managed by Danny Wilson who might have Leroy Lita to call on, given events in Cardiff http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_2/3750777.stm a decade ago!

Here’s to 15. COYR!

The Exiled Robin

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