Championship title favourites Fulham thumped Huddersfield at the weekend but face a tough London derby on Tuesday night, according to our previewer.
Mark O’Haire says: “Millwall haven’t relished recent skirmishes with London rivals Fulham. The Lions have tasted victory just once in their last nine head-to-head meetings with the Cottagers across all competitions (W1-D2-L6), back in August 2014. In fact, the Bermondsey club are winless in seven home fixtures against the Whites dating back to 1982 (W0-D4-L3).
“Millwall 3.4012/5 will feel they deserve more than just the two points they have to show from their opening outings against QPR and Blackburn. The Lions have allowed only 0.58 Expected Goals (xG) in those two contests, facing just four shots from inside the box, with Gary Rowett’s supremely organised outfit impressing in both boxes without reward.
“Fulham 2.3411/8 followed a similar path against Middlesbrough in their curtain-raiser, although Marco Silva’s men clicked into gear at the weekend, putting a weak Huddersfield side away with consummate ease. The Cottagers have fired in a league-high 14 on-target attempts thus far, as well as topping the Shots In The Box charts (22).”
Mark’s bet: Back Under 2.5 Goals at 1.738/11
The Terriers are smarting after their defeat to Fulham and 3.1511/5 for relegation. But can under fire Carlos Corberan’s men bounce back against their pointless Lancastrian opponents on Tuesday?
Mark O’Haire says: “Huddersfield 2.486/4 come into Tuesday night’s contest with just three Championship victories to their name in 2021 (W3-D10-L12). No second-tier side has collected fewer league points this calendar year and calls for Carlos Corberan’s dismissal have grown stronger since Saturday’s thrashing. This is a hugely important game for the Town boss.
“Preston 2.942/1 finished 2020/21 with a flourish under Frankie McAvoy’s caretaker charge but North End have found things much tougher this term. The Lilywhites have returned back-to-back defeats under the now permanent boss to prop up the division, although the visitors arguably did deserve a share of the spoils at Reading on Saturday.”
Mark’s bet: Back Both Teams To Score at 1.9210/11
Both sides come into Tuesday match at London Road off the back of victories at the weekend but our previewer is confident that the away side will come out on top.
Jack Critchley says: “Posh were exceptionally poor on the opening weekend, however, they were much improved in front of a buoyant home crowd to Derby just seven days later. Despite falling behind, the newly promoted outfit displayed a never-say-die attitude and they were duly rewarded deep into stoppage time. Harrison Burrows put in a man-of-the-match performance, and alongside newcomer Ollie Norburn, he helped turn the tide in the second half.
“Cardiff were far too streetwise for newly promoted Blackpool on Saturday as the Seasiders struggled to cope with their opponent’s Championship experience… Although, this is a quick turnaround, Mick McCarthy will be confident that his side can get the better of another Championship newcomer on Tuesday evening.
“McCarthy’s sides are incredibly tough to beat, and although the hosts are likely to approach this tie with plenty of confidence, the Welshmen should be able to leave Cambridgeshire with maximum points. Cardiff allowed the Seasiders just two shots on target at the weekend.”
Jack’s bet: Back Cardiff to beat Peterborough @ 2.3211/8
Our third tier expert looks at the pick of Tuesday’s round of fixtures in League One, starting with second placed Portsmouth who are 3.02/1 for promotion after starting with two wins out of two.
Alan Dudman says: “Pompey have lost just one of their last six against Tuesday’s opponents, and Shrewsbury themselves are woeful historically – losing 10 of their last 14. It’s all fairly emphatic here.
“We can back the hosts with some confidence as Shrewsbury have a thin squad, very thin. Manager Steve Cotterill battled Covid over the spring and has galvanised the club, but they are so short on numbers that it’s impossible to even consider them. They fell apart in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Morecambe, and backing a blank again is the way to go here.
“This is Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley’s third match against Shrewsbury Town and he has won his previous two, a 1-0 win in the 2018 Football League Trophy final at Wembley with Lincoln and 2-1 with Portsmouth last season.”
Alan’s bet: Back Portsmouth to beat Shrewsbury @ 1.768/11
Nigel Clough’s Mansfield are League Two title favourites winning their first two matches against decent opponents and our fourth tier expert is impressed by their forwards.
Ian Lamont says: “Clough set his stall out high by recruiting Leyton Orient’s top scorer last season, Danny Johnson, and Ipswich’s Oliver Hawkins, both in their sporting prime, in their late 20s. He has been rewarded. Both scored on the opening day.
“Could they win at Colchester, who have one point from two games? A striker seems a priority for Hayden Mullins to recruit. Michael Folivi sustained an injury when about to turn a loan from last season into a permanent deal. Freddie Sears, 31, once free scoring on loan at Crystal Palace in the Championship under Neil Warnock, has yet to land a goal, while established performer Frank Nouble has also had opportunities to score this season.
“It might just be a matter of time before one of the strikers converts a chance created by Mullins’ new “bright spark” Sylvester Jasper, on loan from Fulham. However, the visitors have shown they can score twice in a game and have some confidence now, on which to build a sustained promotion campaign rather than traverse through a season that peters out before it has really got going. Clough will hope they can continue to overcome the club’s penchant for draws.”
Ian’s bet: Back Mansfield to beat Colchester 2.77/4