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Friday, 11 April 2014

Bookies Corner: Walsall v Bristol City

In this new feature for The Exiled Robin, lifelong Bristol City fan and easyodds.com football tipster Ross Casey will preview Bristol City's matches from a betting angle. After correctly tipping a draw against Preston last week, where does he think your money should be going on Saturday??!

After picking up just one point from our last two games, these last five games of the season have become a nervy affair! Currently five points clear from the drop zone, another loss here will have Robins fans looking at the table in the coming weeks with beads of sweat on their heads and a calculator in hand.

The fixture list has handed us four back-to-back six pointers if we do fail to pick up the points in the Midlands - we face Notts County, Crewe, Stevenage and Crawley - who are all in a similar or worse predicament than ourselves. Can we get ourselves some way out of that mire by picking up three points on Saturday? For those of you who are interested - our best price for relegation is currently a surprisingly big 50/1. I'm sure a few Rovers fans will be putting a wager on that!

WALSALL - 11/10 (Various)
DRAW - 13/5 (Bet365)
BRISTOL CITY - 29/10 (Bet365)

Walsall are the clear favourites to win this match - but don't let the odds fool you. Walsall had gone seven matches without a win at home before their 1-0 victory over lowly Shrewsbury back in March. Considering we have lost just once in our last eight games I would suggest a better bet would be on us or if you are a more conservative gambler - I would take us in the draw no bet (13/8) or double chance market.

I must say though, that the ‘go to’ market in terms of probability has to be the both teams to score market. With three matches remaining of the season we are STILL YET TO KEEP A CLEAN SHEET AWAY FROM HOME in the league this season. The same old defensive frailties still haunt us game in and game out despite the introduction of new players and tactics - and with the statistic that we have only failed to score five times away from home also - odds of 4/5 look more than appealing.

Wade Elliott was our only goalscorer last weekend for the second match in a row and after joking that his career goals do come in patches many may be tempted to have a wager on him making it three from three. He is a tempting 13/2 to score on Saturday. It could have been oh so different last weekend against Preston if Tyrone Barnett had scored his excellent chance late on. However, it wasn't to be and he hit his shot over the bar. He is 3/1 to make amends here behind Sam Baldock (11/5), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (11/4) and Martin Paterson (11/4).

As noted previously in this piece Walsall have been on a pretty poor run in recent weeks - they have picked up five wins in their last 18 games and that has almost put paid to their promotion push. They currently sit in tenth place and are eight points behind sixth placed Peterborough with 15 points still to play for. Whilst most fans will still dream, it seems now a play-off spot is probably beyond them.

Interestingly Walsall have scored just 20 home goals this season, the second lowest in the whole of League One - behind Crawley and Shrewsbury who are joint worst with just 19. Does this mean we have a decent chance of keeping our very first away clean sheet - especially with 13 goal top-scorer Craig Westcarr out of this match through suspension? We have actually kept three clean sheets in a row against Walsall and we're currently a 31/10 best price to make history and keep our first away clean sheet of the season.

Unlike many away grounds (apart from the Ricoh Arena - in which we will forever be undefeated!!) we have a decent record at the Banks' Stadium. We are unbeaten in our last four visits gaining two wins and two draws.

The last time we met in Walsall was back in 2006 and we came away with a 3-0 win thanks to goals from David Cotterill, Alex Russell and Richard Keogh. We did well to keep a clean sheet that day as Walsall fielded a 40 year-old Steve Claridge up front! A 3-0 victory on Saturday is available at the big price of 55/1 - and rightly so.

Bristol City Draw No Bet @ 13/8

Walsall are struggling for points at home and are missing their most dangerous player whilst we have been on a decent run as of late and are playing some decent stuff. I like odds of 13/8 in the draw no bet market - meaning you get a full pay out for a win or your stake returned for a draw.

*All prices supplied by easyodds.com and prices all correct as of Fri 11th April 2014*

The Exiled Robin

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