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Free football preview and betting tips: Notts County v Coventry City

Football
Marc McNulty will be hoping to fire Coventry City to Wembley
Marc McNulty will be hoping to fire Coventry City to Wembley

Tom Carnduff is going for goals after the break when Notts County host Coventry in the second leg of their Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final.


Notts County v Coventry City recommended bets

2pts Over 1.5 goals in the second half at 33/25

1pt Richard Duffy to be shown a card at 5/2

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Notts County v Coventry City (1945 BST, Sky Sports Football)

The Sky Bet EFL play-off semi-finals finish in the East Midlands on Friday night as Notts County host Coventry City in League Two.

The game is level heading into the second-leg, Marc McNulty converted a controversial late penalty for the Sky Blues which cancelled out Jonathan Forte's opener just after half-time.

Whilst the play-offs have typically been low-scoring affairs this season, I'm looking towards goals at Meadow Lane and a price of 33/25 looks decent on there to be two or more goals in the second half.

The first-leg was a scrappy affair at times, partly down to the conditions, but it saw six yellow cards shown and cards may be the route to explore here. Especially one player in Richard Duffy, who can be found at 5/2 to be booked.

These two sides met at the beginning of April here, a game which finished in Notts County's favour, a scoreline of 2-1 which would be good enough to progress here.

Coventry's games away from home tend to bring goals, with four of their last five seeing over 2.5 goals whilst Notts County have seen the same amount in a few of their home games in recent weeks.

Four of the five goals scored by Coventry against Notts County have come in the 80th minute or later, and there is a real possibility of more goals in the second 45 here.

When it comes to goals, McNulty is the obvious option to look at with his 25 goals for City this season. Although that is reflected in his 6/4 price to strike anytime, which comes with little shock.


Opta stats

  • This is the fourth time in succession that Notts County have drawn the first leg of their play-off semi-final away from home, with the Magpies reaching the final on each of three previous occasions.
  • Coventry haven’t won any of their last eight away games against Notts County in all competitions (D2 L6), since a 3-0 victory in August 1963.
  • The Magpies are unbeaten in their last nine home games in all competitions, winning five and drawing four.
  • The Sky Blues have lost just one of their last seven away games in all competitions (W4 D2), though that defeat did come at Meadow Lane in April (1-2).
  • Coventry haven’t been promoted from any division since winning the second tier in 1966-67.
  • Four of Coventry’s five goals against Notts County this season have been scored in the 80th minute or later.
  • Jonathan Forte has scored all three of Notts County’s goals against Coventry in all competitions this season.
  • Coventry scored with their only shot on target in the first leg – Marc McNulty’s 87th minute penalty.

Duffy has nine yellow cards this season, the joint-most in this Notts County side, and was shown a yellow card late on in the first-leg.

At 5/2, it is an attracting price given that Friday's referee, Darren Drysdale, has shown that he can be strict on more than one occasion this season.

He went on a run throughout March and into April of showing a minimum of six yellow cards a match, with the top of the League Two table clash between Luton and Accrington seeing eight.

Drysdale would go onto dish out 25 yellow cards and one red in his next four matches after that.

This should be another tight affair, and as time goes on and the situation potentially more desperate, more cards could be shown by the referee.

For me, backing Duffy to be shown a card makes sense in the circumstances, and 3/2 value strikes me as appealing.

Both of these teams boast good form heading into this one. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last eight at home, whilst Coventry have lost just one of their last six on the road, that being the defeat at Meadow Lane.

Coventry rounded off their regular away campaign by scoring six in a 6-1 victory over Cheltenham, with a win over Crawley Town before that.

This game is remarkable in the fact that the bookies simply can't split them. Most are offering identical odds on either to win, with the same applying to the team who go onto reach Wembley.

Coventry can be found at a best price of 17/10, and I'm leaning towards the Sky Blues to wrap up the victory and progress to the final.

Score prediction: Notts County 1-2 Coventry City (Sky Bet odds: 10/1)

Best bet: Over 1.5 goals in the second half at 33/25

Alternative bet: Richard Duffy to be shown a card at 5/2


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Odds correct at 1620 BST (17/05/18)

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