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Recommended bets

1pt Semi Ajayi to score anytime in Derby v Rotherham at 17/2

1pt Doncaster to win on -1 handicap v Walsall at 15/8

1pt Morecambe to beat Crawley and over 1.5 goals in the match at 2/1

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


Derby v Rotherham

Semi Ajayi scores for Rotherham
Semi Ajayi scores for Rotherham

Two teams with contrasting aims this season meet at Pride Park as play-off chasing Derby welcome relegation-threatened Rotherham.

The Rams are suffering from recent poor form and have won just one of their last seven league games. They failed to secure victory over Stoke and Sheffield Wednesday in recent home games, although they did beat Wigan the week before.

Remarkably, this is Derby's fourth home game in a row. That should have given them the advantage in the battle for the top-six but Frank Lampard's side didn't capitalise as well as they could have.

Rotherham are the outsiders here, but they are capable of finding the net given the fact that Derby have conceded in all-but-one of their last seven games in the Championship.

The Millers have only failed to score in one of their last eight games. When looking at the betting, the one price that stood out was the huge 17/2 available on Semi Ajayi to score anytime.

During the last round of Championship games, Ajayi provided a 14/1 anytime goalscorer winning tip and I'm more than willing to put my faith in the Rotherham man to do it again.

The centre-back has relished his permanent move into midfield and has found himself on a prolific run in front of goal.

The 25-year-old has scored six goals in his last five games, seven in ten since that game against Leeds in January where he featured in his new role.

Since that move to midfield, he's posted shots in all games but one (the defeat to Sheffield United). It shows that he is now given the freedom to get forward more and join the attack and it's reflected in the goals he's scoring.

He's a player in-form too, not just down to the goals. He's starting to prove himself as a key player if Rotherham are to stay up this season and a permanent positional move has benefited both the player and his team.

Due to his defensive nature, he also provides an aerial presence on set-pieces and does grab goals from there. The ability to strike from distance is the most eye-catching though, a part of his game that we didn't get to see much before.

Derby would be fancied for victory here - but the stats show how they have had luck on their side in the current position. Based on goals expected and performance statistics, only four places should separate the two teams.

The Rams would be in 18th as opposed to eighth based on chance creation and chances conceded. Mixed fortunes have dominated the pattern for these two sides in recent weeks, but I wouldn't completely dismiss the 13/10 available on a Rotherham win or draw in the double chance market.

Best bet: Semi Ajayi to score anytime at 17/2

Opta facts

  • Derby are unbeaten in their last 12 home league games against Rotherham (W11 D1), winning each of the last seven in a row.
  • Rotherham are looking to record a league double over Derby for the first time since the 1965-66 campaign (also in the second tier).
  • This is Derby’s fourth consecutive home league game, the first time they’ve played four in a row at home since February 1993.
  • Only five players have scored more Championship goals in 2019 than Rotherham’s Semi Ajayi (seven goals) – the Nigerian has scored with his last six shots on target.
  • No player has hit the woodwork in the Championship more often this season than Derby County’s Harry Wilson (6).
  • Rotherham United are looking to win consecutive away Championship games for the first time since March 2016.

Doncaster v Walsall

Mallik Wilks finds the net for Doncaster
Mallik Wilks finds the net for Doncaster

Rovers managed to snap a seven-game winless run with a convincing 4-1 victory over Bristol Rovers in midweek.

Despite that torrid patch of form, Doncaster are still in the play-off positions. They currently sit two points clear of Peterborough with seven games remaining for both.

It would have been a huge relief for Grant McCann. His side have to be thankful for Peterborough's three consecutive losses before the weekend as they prevented them from running away into the top-six.

It feels like there is only the final play-off spot left to play for. Charlton, who sit in fifth, are nine points clear of Posh in seventh with a game in-hand. It's now the business end of the season (excuse the cliche) and Rovers have to be winning games such as this.

They are playing at home against a relegation-threatened side who have struggled for results in recent months. The Saddlers have now lost their last three, although it should be said that they were against sides in the top-four of the division.

Equally, two of those games were at home. They've got a poor record on the road with just one win from their last 13 league away games. Recent trips to Coventry and Blackpool, two of the sides chasing the play-offs, ended with defeat by at least a two-goal margin.

With the hosts odds-on for victory here, the handicap market is where the value lies and it's worth a small stake on the 15/8 available for Doncaster to win on -1.

Their last three victories at home have been by at least two goals - alongside the fact that only Sunderland and Luton have scored more goals at home in England's third tier this season.

Best bet: Doncaster to win on -1 handicap at 15/8

Opta facts

  • Doncaster haven’t drawn any of the last 13 league games they’ve hosted against Walsall in the league, with the home side winning four and losing nine.
  • Walsall have won each of their five league trips to the Keepmoat since Doncaster moved to the stadium in 2007, scoring 2+ goals in each encounter.
  • Doncaster are looking to complete their first league double over Walsall since the 1993-94 campaign, having won the reverse fixture 4-1 in September.
  • Walsall have lost eight of their last 11 league games (W2 D1), including each of the last three in a row.
  • Five of Walsall’s last six away league goals have been scored by Andy Cook, though he hasn’t netted since the end of January.

Morecambe v Crawley

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley

A battle between two sides towards the bottom of the Sky Bet League Two table, but two sides who should avoid relegation this season.

Crawley's away from has been a large factor into why they are currently flirting with the drop. They've won just three of their 19 games on the road, with 12 points from a possible 39 the worst return in League Two.

They were hammered 6-1 by Crewe on their last trip and travel to face a Morecambe side who won their last two in front of their own supporters.

It's not just the points gained from those games, but it's the manner of the victories that has made it all the more impressive. They beat automatic promotion hopefuls MK Dons 4-2, that's after beating a Forest Green side 3-0 who are currently inside the play-offs.

Analysing the statistics behind this game, Crawley are expected to concede over two goals per game. They're actually the third-worst team in the division when it comes to probability for victory - only the current bottom-two have worse.

There's a best price of 13/10 available on a Morecambe victory, but taking into account the expected goals conceded, it's worth taking the 2/1 price on a Morecambe win with over 1.5 goals in the match.

Crawley have clearly demonstrated the problems they have playing away from home - which is why it's worth backing a Morecambe side who have picked up results when it mattered in front of their own supporters.

Best bet: Morecambe to win and over 1.5 goals in the match at 2/1

Opta facts

  • After winning their first two home Football League meetings with Crawley by a 9-1 aggregate score between September 2011 and October 2015, Morecambe have since lost both of their last two.
  • Crawley Town have only lost one of their last six league games against Morecambe (W3 D2) and are looking to do a Football League double over the Shrimps for the first time.
  • Morecambe have won back-to-back home league games, having won just two of their previous 12 at the Globe Arena (W2 D3 L7).
  • Crawley have won just one of their last nine league games (D4 L4), losing the last two by an aggregate score of 1-9.
  • Morecambe have scored a league-high share 66% of their League Two goals in the second half of games this season (29/44).

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Ahead of a busy Easter weekend, the Sporting Life team provide their best bets for Saturday across a range of sports.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

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