Blue Square Bet Premier – Live Match & Weekend Betting Preview

Alan Alger
12:48pm, Fri 21st Dec 2012
FRIDAY’S LIVE MATCH – Grimsby Town v Wrexham
Grimsby Town and Wrexham will battle it out in front of the Premier Sports cameras to go top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table on Friday night. A win for either club would take them to the summit, but a bigger prize could await the victors. The winners would guarantee themselves a place in the top two in the table come Christmas Day and the last twelve champions of the division were in one of those positions on that special date. With home advantage Grimsby are the 11/8 favourites to win the game, with Wrexham the 9/5 outsiders. The draw is priced at 23/10. The away side will kick-off the game as the 10/3 favourites to take the title but a home win could see The Mariners shorten past them to the head of the market from their current price of 4/1. Grimsby’s last ten league games feature three defeats, including two at home. Macclesfield and Dartford are recent winners at Blundell Park in games where the hosts failed to score. They have rectified that of late with wins in their last three home games with a goal-difference of 10 to 1. It’s hard to get an angle on their form as five matches against the bottom five in the table have produced no wins and just four points from a possible 15. In contrast four matches against their fellow top five have produced 8 points from a possible 12 and only one goal conceded. Those stats include the reverse of this fixture which ended goalless at The Racecourse Ground. Wrexham have similarly impressive figures against the better teams in the division so it’s right to call this a ‘title clash’ in every way. These two teams look like they will be around at the business end of the season. Wrexham boss Andy Morrell will be slightly concerned that three of their four defeats this league season have occurred in their last seven games in the division. The Red Dragons are also winless and goalless in games away to teams in the top half of the table. For that reason a home win looks the best bet tonight.

Grimsby Town have the best defence in the league with just 16 goals conceded, five ahead of the next best in the division and six ahead of Wrexham who had by far the best defence of the last campaign. Grimsby games average just 2.36 goals this season which is way off the average for the whole division which stands at a huge 3.06 per game. Wrexham have hit five goals at Braintree recently off the back of four goals in an away game at Southport. This is a much tougher test though and you’d feel that just one goal might settle this game either way. ‘Under 2.5’ goals at 10/11 looks a good value investment and the best ‘Correct Score’ could be a 1-0 home victory at 7/1. Positive team news for Wrexham suggests that Danny Wright could be in contention to return to the starting line-up. The striker is the top-scorer for last year’s runners-up. He is 9/1 to get the first goal of the game. Ross Hannah is the 9/2 favourite to break the deadlock for the home side. Grimsby’s management duo using the sensible option to rest the in-form striker for last week’s FA Trophy win over Havant & Waterlooville. With 16 players already on the scoresheet this season, Grimsby have been spreading the goals around more than any other team. Combined with their impressive defensive record they are certainly an outfit to take seriously in the title race for the coming months.

Saturday’s Matches
Newport County are the shortest priced favourites in Saturday’s eleven games in the Blue Square Bet Premier. The Exiles are priced at 1/2 to win at home to Braintree Town, a result which would make them the Christmas Day leaders of the division. A position occupied by a number of the last winners of the title. Justin Edinburgh’s team could be considered to be wobbling at the moment with just three wins in their last eight league games. Although a 5-2 thrashing of pre-season title favourites Luton in their last outing proves they should be taken seriously as contenders. Braintree are the 9/2 outsiders to follow up an excellent midweek home win over another promotion hopeful Forest Green Rovers by a 3-1 scoreline. That defeat saw Forest Green drift to 13/2 for the title and they need to get back on track with a win at Woking, priced at 5/4. The squad were called in for extra training on Wednesday as Dave Hockaday tried to get to the bottom of that defeat in Essex. If they fail to respond, Woking are 15/8 to take all three points. Luton Town visit an AFC Telford United side short of confidence after a defeat at lowly Kings Lynn Town in the FA Trophy last week. Boss Andy Sinton has called on fans to get behind the team for the visit of The Hatters who they managed to beat 1-0 at Kenilworth Road in brighter days earlier in the season. The home side haven’t won a league game since the 9th of October and are now looking likely to be dragged into a relegation fight in the second-half of the campaign.

With just three wins in their last ten league matches Dartford are struggling to keep up the early pace that put them in contention for the play-off positions. They travel to in-form Kidderminster off the back of three straight defeats and the hosts look a very good bet at 8/11 to extend that sequence to four. Steve Burr’s Harriers having won their last five league matches. Mansfield Town need to keep their minds off their valuable FA Cup clash with Liverpool and stay on target for a revival in their league fortunes. They are 13/10 to win away at Hyde. The home side hauling themselves out of the relegation zone with some impressive form which could see them extend their stay in the division. Scott McNiven overseeing a run of form which has seen them lose just three times in ten league games. They are now just 17/10 to beat one of the pre-season favourites on Saturday. Macclesfield Town slipped up last week as a goalless home draw with lowly Nuneaton prevented them from moving back into the top six. They are 11/10 favourites to beat Lincoln City, who’ve lost just one of their last eight league matches. The Imps are 9/4 to register an away win. Hereford United have lost just two of their last ten league games, but a number of draws in that period has prevented them from making a promotion push. They have managed to beat both Wrexham and Luton in their last four league matches though and take the eye at 5/4 to win at Ebbsfleet United. A repeat of a recent FA Trophy clash which The Bulls won at Stonebridge Road.

Cambridge United drew 1-1 at Alfreton in the last minute in midweek to extend their unbeaten run in the league to five matches. Richard Money’s team host Nuneaton Town on Saturday afternoon and they are priced at 4/6 to register a third successive home win. Nuneaton kept off the bottom of the table with a point at Macclesfield last week and are the 10/3 outsiders to win away from home for what would be only the second time this season. A winless run of four matches saw Ian Bogie depart the Gateshead hot-seat a few days ago and new boss Anth Smith achieved a morale boosting last-minute win in the FA Trophy at Cambridge in his first game last Saturday. His priorities will lie with getting his side back in contention for the play-offs and they are 10/11 favourites to beat an out of form Stockport County in his first home game. Tamworth are narrow 13/10 favourites to win at home to Southport. The visitors reeling from a home defeat at the hands of survival rivals Braintree are priced at 7/4 to make amends. Barrow haven’t won a league game since the 9th of October and travel to Alfreton Town propping up the rest of the table and 9/4 outsiders to come away with three points. Alfreton are the worthy Evens favourites.

Alan’s Best Bets for Grimsby Town v Wrexham:
Grimsby Town to beat Wrexham – Match Result
Under 2.5 Goals – Total Goals
Grimsby Town to win 1-0 – Correct Score

Alan’s Best Weekend Treble:
GATESHEAD to beat Stockport County
ALFRETON TOWN to beat Barrow

Grimsby Town v Wrexham is live on Premier Sports TV – Friday 21st December at 7.15pm (7.45pm kick-off) – visit www.premiersports.tv for subscription details.
You can play your part in the commentary for this game! Contact commentators Steve Bower and Ian Snodin during the action to give your thoughts – email: steveandsnods@premiersports.tv OR Twitter: @steveandsnodsps.

Remember you can earn money for your club when you register and place bets with Blue Square Bet – visit www.bluesq.com/fans for more details.

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