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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Bookies Corner: City v Port Vale

In a new feature for The Exiled Robin, lifelong Bristol City fan and easyodds.com football tipster Ross Casey is previewing Bristol City’s matches from a betting angle.  He may have missed out on his main tip on Saturday thanks to a couple of shocking misses from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, but did highlight possible value in a Freddie Sears goal so where does he think your money should be going on Tuesday Night?!

City go into their League One clash with Port Vale on Tuesday after letting slip a comfortable 2-0 lead to Colchester on the weekend, we eventually drew 2-2 with our relegation rivals. That point meant we gained a place in the League One table, but many fans saw it as two points dropped after being in such a good position with 25 minutes left to play. We are now five points clear of the relegation zone in 15th, but Carlisle and Stevenage do have a game in hand on us, so by no means are we out of the woods yet.

We were 15/1 to be relegated before the Colchester match, but have shortened to a best price 14/1 now. Paddy Power don’t seem to rate our chances much however – they make us 9/1. What have we ever done to the Irish?! Port Vale come into this match in 10th position, eight points off the play-offs with 27 points left to play for. Steve Cotterill has said if he were Vale manager – he would still be looking at the play-offs, so they will be coming to the Gate looking for the win.

BRISTOL CITY – 21/20 (MarathonBet)
DRAW – 27/10 (BetVictor)
PORT VALE – 3/1 (SkyBet)

Bristol City are clear favourites to win the match but only with MarathonBet can you get an odds against price – showing the importance of comparing bookmaker odds. We are now on a run of one loss in nine in the league and despite the poor last 25 minutes at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, that sequence has instilled confidence in our side.

In particular, we are having very good first halves at the moment, as epitomised by last weekend. Since the awful opening 45 minutes against Coventry, we have only been losing at half-time twice in our last ten matches. Unfortunately we seem to struggle in the second period. The bookies have caught onto this and make us 6/4 to be winning at half-time and a ridiculously small 186/1000 in the first half double chance market.

Scott Wagstaff was back on the scoresheet last weekend and he also got our goal in the reverse fixture – which was a thunderous strike – and he is available at 10/3 to score in this one. On loan Burnley striker Martin Paterson started his first match for us and made an instant impact, scoring our opening goal. He is 7/4 to score against Vale.

Bristol City weren’t the only side to concede two late goals last weekend. Port Vale almost surrendered their 3-0 lead against Tranmere, but they beat the side from the Wirral 3-2 in the end. Manager Micky Adams was quick to lament his side’s defensive frailties, blaming the lack of coherence at the back for their failure to really challenge the play-offs this season.

They have conceded the most amount of goals away from home in the top half of League One, so we could see plenty of goals. Both teams to score is 8/13 and over 2.5 goals to be scored is slightly better value at 7/10. Three or more goals have been scored in five of the last six Vale matches and seven of the last eight City games also.

On the plus side for us as Bristol City fans, regular Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal is out so 21 year-old Sam Johnson will be between the sticks. He has made just seven career starts, keeping two clean sheets. Will the goals flow?

Of course it has to be said that this match will see the first return of Jennison Myrie-Williams. The Robins academy product only made 15 league starts for us but he looked impressive, if a little temperamental. His attitude fell foul of Gary Johnson and he was shipped out on loan to numerous sides before leaving on a free transfer. I am sure he will be desperate to prove a point and he is certainly capable of causing us problems with his pace and quick feet – as well as from set-plays. He is a best price 9/2 to score.

Believe it or not, we have never faced Port Vale in a cup competition. We are currently winning the head to heads, with 37 wins to 31. We are on an unbeaten run of six games against the Vale going back to 2004 when we suffered a 3-0 loss with big Steve Brooker netting against us – and impressing our scouts.

The last time we met at Ashton Gate, we came away with a 2-1 win thanks to Steve Brooker scoring against his former team and a strike from Super Scotty Murray. The reverse fixture ended 1-1 after a very good performance was undone by a blind Aden Flint backpass which was punished by Lee Hughes for a last minute equaliser. The 1-1 scoreline is available at a best price of 36/5 and is the most likely score according to the bookies.

Both teams to score @ 8/13 – BET NOW
Port Vale have conceded the most amount of goals in the top half of League One and we unfortunately know the statistic that we have kept just five clean sheets in 47 matches this season. Back both teams to score under the lights at Ashton Gate.

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

The Exiled Robin

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