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5 Pointers for this weekend's Football League action

Saturday 9th April 2016
As we lurch into the final throes of the Football League, there's plenty at stake for teams up and down the country and we've picked out five pointers if you're thinking of having a bet this weekend.

1. Don't expect a goal-fest at Stadium MK



It was a disastrous midweek for the Dons as they let a lead slip against Wolves. Not only did they fail to pick up any points, Fulham beat Preston and Bristol City and Rotherham shared the spoils. It leaves them six points adrift of sixth place Rotherham and if they fail to collect maximum points against the Millers this weekend, it's pretty much curtains for Karl Robinson's men. Love him or hate him (and most people fall into the latter camp) Neil Warnock can take enormous credit for the turnaround at the New York Stadium. With them seemingly on their way back to League One, he's got the best out of a limited squad and they finished March top of the form table. They are heard to beat, they don't concede many goals and they frustrate their opponents. There have been just five goals in their last four away matches and with MK Dons lacking up front this season, this is likely to be settled by a single goal. Under 2.5 or Both Teams to Score? No, seem like the sensible bets in this one.

2. Expect Derby to bag at least a couple



With Cardiff on their tail for the final play-off place, Derby County can not afford to slip up. This is the ideal fixture then surely? They host beleaguered Bolton, who could slip into League One by 5pm on Saturday. The Trotters have had a season to forget and have conceded 48 of their 72 goals away from home. Derby are in decent spirits after a morale-boosting 4-0 win over Hull City in midweek. They have the firepower to hurt any side in this division and poor old Ben Amos in the Bolton goal has seen 12 goals fly past him in the last four away matches. Derby's last four home results read 4-0, 1-0, 2-0 and 1-0 so the best bets appear to be Derby to keep a clean sheet & Derby to score over 1.5/over 2.5 team goals.

3. The Bantams to continue  Swindon's woes



Bradford are in good form and are sitting pretty in 5th place. As they look to secure their play-off place, the visit of out-of-form Swindon looks an enticing prospect. Bradford are very solid and Ben Williams has kept 18 clean sheets in the Bantams goal this season. They've lost just once in the last seven and that was to leaders Wigan (1-0). Phil Parkinson has his side in decent nick at just the right time, although he would prefer his side to score a few more goals. Despite their lofty league position, they've got the 5th lowest goal total with just 46 this season. However, with such a reliable back line, they can afford to be a little profligate up top. Swindon have been in dissarray in the last couple of weeks and Luke Williams says he should have spent more in the Transfer Window. They lost at Fleetwood in midweek (2-0) and it could be a similar scoreline here. The Robins have the 3rd worst defence in the league and have shipped 13 goals in the last 4. Bradford -1 on the Handicap and Bradford clean sheet are the best bets.

4. Entertainment should be the order of the day at Sixfields



Northampton could be promoted and crowned Champions on the same day if the results go their way. The Cobblers have had a sensational season and find themselves 14 points clear going into the last five matches. Chris Wilder's side have been a little shaky in defence of late though and although the boss appears calm, perhaps the nerves are just starting to creep in. They had to come back from a 2-0 deficit to eventually beat Stevenage and they scraped a draw against Mansfield after a Matt Green double put the Stags in front. Bristol Rovers have been scoring for fun and hit another three last weekend. Matty Taylor is surely destined for a higher level and Darrell Clarke has pocketed manager of the month for March. There have been 21 goals in Rover's last 6 matches whilst there have been 26 for Northampton. It should be a carnival atmosphere and a game to match. Over 2.5 goals, Both Teams to Score? Yes are the best bets, but Matty Taylor and Ricky Holmes are always good anytime goalscorer bets.

5. Oxford should continue their joy on the road



One of the many sides aiming to catch Northampton is Oxford. Michael Appleton's side are in 2nd and trailing the Cobblers by 13 points. They have had a decent season with the occasional blip at home and are looking to bounce back from their JPT disappointment at Wembley last weekend. They are away at Crawley, who have little to play for and have lost their last two matches. They haven't scored in either of those matches and Oxford should be able to wrap this up without too much trouble from the hosts. They've won 12 times on the road this season which is only bettered by the leaders Northampton. They've scored seven goals in their last four away matches and have netted 39 of their 69 goals on the road. Oxford win, Oxford -1 Handicap and Oxford to score over 1.5 team goals are the best bets here.
Jack Critchley
Blackpool fan who enjoys a spot of the football league. I follow Championship through to League Two.

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