Go for Goals at Ewood Park

  • By: Ben Coley and Matt Briggs
  • Last Updated: September 17 2012, 19:40 BST

Nuno Gomes: Has found his feet at Blackburn

1pt both teams to score in Blackburn v Barnsley at 11/10 (Boylesports).

2pts Torquay to beat AFC Wimbledon at 13/10 (General).

1pt double both teams to score in Carlisle v Crewe and Chesterfield v Accrington at 2.3/1 (Coral).


A typically competitive midweek npower Championship programme sees Blackburn priced up as the banker, but the league leaders don't rate much value at 1/2 to see off Barnsley, writes Ben Coley.

However, the game at Ewood Park does provide the best betting opportunity as I like the look of 11/10 about both teams to score.

Quite simply, although there does look a divide in class between these sides, who should be operating at opposite ends of the table for most of the season, the likelihood of both scoring looks bigger than 50 per cent.

Let's start with Blackburn, who will need to sit top for a good while yet before boss Steve Kean convinces the fans he's the man to take them forwards.

Paying £8million for Jordan Rhodes was seen by most of further evidence that Kean isn't up to the task, but while the price tag was excessive there's little doubt that Rhodes should score plenty for his new club.

Indeed, he served notice of that with a clinical brace on Saturday and with Nuno Gomes having scored in each of his last three, Rovers probably have the most potent attack in the Football League.

Remember, Colin Kazim-Richards was responsible for their first two goals this term, Ruben Rochina has a pair too, and the likes of Morten Gamst Pedersen, Danny Murphy and David Goodwillie should chip in along the way.

Quite simply, we'd expect them to find the net in at least 80 per cent of their home games - they managed 66 per cent in the Premier League last season and with goals in both home games so far this time, anything more than three failures to score would be an underachievement.

Certainly, Blackburn should be up to the challenge against Barnsley, who haven't kept an away clean sheet since August of last year, a run of some 24 games in all competitions.

The question is, can Blackburn keep a clean sheet of their own? On the evidence provided so far this season, the answer is it's more likely that they will concede.

Saturday saw Rovers let in three at Bristol City - a side who Barnsley themselves had previously kept at bay albeit at home - while prior to that they conceded three at Elland Road.

Even at home, their record is one clean sheet from a sample of just two games, and that came against a Hull side who typically struggle for goals.

In all competitions, both teams have scored in five of Blackburn's six games and five of Barnsley's seven, while over the last two decades these sides have met eight times and both teams have scored in seven of those meetings.

Ultimately, we feel the layers are making too much of Blackburn's class advantage here and while we fancy them to win, we feel they're more likely to do so despite conceding.

With that in mind, there's a temptation to take Coral's 2/1 about Blackburn winning without keeping a clean sheet, but the enhancement from 11/10 doesn't sufficiently account for the possibility of a score-draw.

Instead, we'll take that 11/10 about both teams scoring that's offered by Boylesports - all other firms go odds-on and that's a more accurate assessment.

Wimbledon look set for a season of struggle in the basement this season after collecting just four points from their first six games and Torquay look all set to pile on the agony on Tuesday night, writes Matt Briggs.

The Dons were beaten 2-1 at home to Rochdale on Saturday and boss Terry Brown is definitely feeling the heat.

Brown said: "There's enormous pressure on my shoulders, no doubt about that. What I needed was a performance but at the end of the day, if the results don't turn and change, I'll have to move on - that's a fact of the game."

It would be folly to suggest Brown has lost the dressing room, but he certainly vented his anger on Saturday and it was aimed at the referee after the home side were left with 10 men after the sending off of Jack Midson.

Brown raced on the pitch at the final whistle to remonstrate with the man in the middle, but in truth it was probably aimed at the wrong person as his own side were deserving of nothing from the clash with the Lancashire outfit.

In fact Wimbledon's only win of the season, against Chesterfield on the opening day, was somewhat fortuitous and they've been hit for five and six on the road this term.

Last season's top scorer Midson will be a big miss for the hosts against a Torquay side who have so far faced some difficult games away from home.

The Gulls have picked up just two points away from Plainmoor - against Fleetwood and Port Vale - while their other away trip was Saturday's 1-0 defeat at League Two favourites Rotherham.

To say they've had a tough set of road trips so far is an understatement, but they should get back on the winning trail at Kingsmeadow.

Torquay chief Martin Ling accused his men of losing with a 'whimper' in defeat at the New York Stadium and he will be looking for a big response.

The visitors - with Rene Howe, Billy Bodin and Danny Stevens in their ranks - should have enough firepower to sink Wimbledon and they are solid 13/10 shots to chalk up their second win of the campaign.

Nothing really stands out on the League One coupon, but the both teams to score market in the Carlisle v Crewe clash (8/11) and the Chesterfield v Accrington game (10/11) in League Two look worth a double wager.

The Cumbrians have failed to net in just two of their six league games and only one of those has been at home - against high-flying Tranmere.

They managed a 2-2 draw with Swindon at Brunton Park on Saturday while Crewe, who also drew 2-2 at Stevenage, have failed to score in only one of their six matches.

Alex have also bagged in all three of their away days and more goals look likely in Cumbria.

Another match that should see both teams score is the game between Chesterfield and Accrington and the 10/11 on offer looks too good to resist.

Both sides have failed to score in only one of their six games and all three of the Spireites' home games have seen both teams hit the net.

Stanley have also been impressive on road and managed a goal in each of their three away fixtures, so at over 2/1 a double is the advice.

  • Preview posted at 1940 BST on 17/09/2012.