Something for the weekend

  • By: Matt Briggs
  • Last Updated: February 28 2014, 16:20 GMT

In his regular Monday column, Matt Briggs seeks out the early football value - with Crystal Palace already looking tasty.

Glenn Murray's return is a bonus for Crystal Palace
Glenn Murray's return is a bonus for Crystal Palace

Crewe v Swindon

Crewe might be struggling at the wrong end of the League 1 table but they have a front two who can cause anyone in the division problems and the 2/1 about them beating Swindon looks a play.

In Chuks Aneke and Mathias Pogba Crewe boss Steve Davis has a pairing who are a handful to say the least. Aneke has four in four, including one against third-placed Brentford, while Pogba has two in three and the deadly duo should pose poor travellers Swindon some problems.

Take out the home reverse to Brentford and the Alex have scored three in each of their last three games and have chalked up three wins from their last five on home soil. They look a side on the up and moved out of the relegation zone with last weekend's impressive 3-1 win at Port Vale. Six home wins from 16 makes the 2/1 quote a decent proposition against a Swindon side who do their best work at the County Ground.

The Robins were rolled over by Orient last time out, no disgrace I know, but 10 defeats away from home already for a side looking for the play-offs is far too many. The 6/4 about Mark Cooper's men is far too short and Crewe are good enough to make them pay at a value price, which will only shorten up.

Nottingham Forest v Wigan

Two away wins (Accrington 12/5) and Peterborough (6/5) had us well in profit last week and another away pick looks ripe in the Championship.

Wigan are on the up in the second tier with four wins from five and they have got some real momentum going ahead of their trip to Nottingham Forest.

Uwe Rosler's men are 11/5 shots to condemn Forest to another defeat after they were sunk at Burnley last weekend. Wigan meanwhile were winning at Brighton meaning just six points separate the two sides ahead of the City Ground clash. With that in mind you might expect a closer betting heat but the bookies have Wigan at 12/5 and with six away wins already under their belt they look worth siding with.

Forest's 14-match unbeaten run was ended by the Clarets as they were beaten 3-1, and they've now conceded eight goals in their last three games.

Boss Billy Davies admitted Burnley had got them at the right time with injuries denting Forest's promotion hopes. Andy Reid is the latest casualty to a lengthy list and Wigan have got the firepower with Nicky Maynard and Martyn Waghorn to make them pay. But be quick to grab the 12/5, which is likely to shorten when the punters cotton on to Forest's crippling treatment room.

Swansea v Crystal Palace

I've doffed my cap to Palace boss Tonly Pulis on several occasions in this column previously and they look decent value to upset Swansea next Sunday.

The Londoners are 11/4 draw no bet to do the business in South Wales and considering the Swans face a tough trip to Naples on Thursday to take on Rafa Benitez's Napoli they might not be geared up for a battle with the well-prepared visitors.

Palace looked beyond help when TP took charge, but the former Stoke boss has breathed new life into them and they look to have a real chance of survival. They have only collected two wins on the road but their cause recently hasn't been helped by trips to Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea. Palace haven't been shown up and their recent win at Villa shows they can mix it with the Premier League's also-rans.

Pulis, who has added some quality to his squad with Tom Ince and Joe Ledley, also has last season's talisman Glenn Murray back after a long-term injury. He started last weekend's 2-0 reverse to Man Utd and while Pulis was disappointed with his side's display, he will surely recognise that a trip to Europa League contenders Swansea presents a real chance to give themselves a huge shot in the arm.

The Swans, who lost at Liverpool on Sunday, face a daunting trip to Italy and with just a few days rest before Palace turn up they might well have to juggle their squad around.

Garry Monk is in charge at The Liberty and his men have had a gruelling run of six games in three weeks and that might well catch up with them in the next week or so.

The best price of 4/5 on the hosts, who have only won four of their 13 home games, is surely too short and with the safety net of the draw Palace look too big at 11/4.

  • Selections given in order of preference.

  • Posted at 0955 GMT on 23/02/2014.