League One Play-Offs Betting: Few goals in store at Bramall Lane

3May 2013



As the League One play-offs begin on Friday evening, Alan Dudman is hoping to get off to a good start at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United entertain Yeovil Town.


Sheffield United v Yeovil Town

Friday 19:45 BST, Live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD



Match Odds:


Sheffield United are 2.06 favourites for Friday's first leg of the League One semi-final play-offs, but

have hit a ropey run of form at the wrong time. Since Danny Wilson's sacking, caretaker boss Chris Morgan has tinkered with players and formations, but the bottom line  is seven points taken from their last 24 possible in the division doesn't exactly inspire.


Yeovil trade at 3.85 for victory at Bramall Lane and have been the surprise package this season, gaining 77 points and finishing a club best fourth place.  The Glovers picked up 34 points on the road during the regular campaign and head into the play-offs as underdogs.


Backers of the draw at 3.65 should have a good chance to trade in-running. The Blades collected far too many stalemates on home soil in 2012-2013 with 11,  whilst Yeovil will be keen to take the game to the second leg at Huish Park. This should be a classic case of trying to minimise risk in Yorkshire and to keep the home  team quiet for as long as possible - as they have all the pressure on them.


Promotion odds:


Chris Morgan's side are second favourites to gain promotion at 3.70, which might possibly be out of my price remit to take on sides. I mentioned on  Saturday how I thought they could be the type to grind out a game or victory, and at juicier prices I would be more inclined to back them via penalties and few goals -  which would be a second-leg bet.


United have choked before in the play-offs, notably in the Wembley final last year against Huddersfield.


Yeovil are 4.75 for promotion and are the outsiders of the four, simply because of their name. Manager Gary Johnson has built an excellent team that  really play for their boss, his message will be that they have nothing to lose.



Opta Stats:


The Blades are without a win in four games (drawn two and lost two), and over the final 10 matches of the League One season, only Stevenage (8) and Tranmere (7) picked  up fewer points than United (10).


Those seeking the under 2.5 goals bets, Opta reveal that Sheffield United have failed to score in three successive matches and have failed to find the net in five of  their last eight outings.


The League's top scorer with 23 - Paddy Madden - will be the starting point for any first goalscorer bet, but Opta state the Irishman has failed to find the net in his  last four games. Yeovil's James Hayter is in better form, hitting three goals in his last five.




One each here, Gary Johnson's side were 2-0 winners at Bramall Lane thanks to a brace from Madden, although Sheffield United were woeful under then boss Danny Wilson.  Town played well at Huish Park in September in their first meeting, but were seen off 1-0 by the Blades.


Under 2.5 goals:


With both meetings hitting this market during the season, I see this as a perfect game for under 2.5 goals, and even the under 1.5 goals. Yeovil boss Gary Johnson used  a 4-5-1 earlier in the campaign against United and revealed it's tough to go with a 4-4-2 against such a strong and disciplined side.


The home team can use the strong-arm tactics and certainly have experience. They are usually difficult to break down but do have a chronic lack of goals. They seemed  best under Wilson when using the flanks and whipping in crosses to Dave Kitson, so I am sure width will be at a minimum.


First goalscorer:


Paddy Madden will be popular at 6.20, and his chances will have to come via the counter-attack but he is an expert finisher with a killer instinct. Fellow  forward James Hayter is 8.0 to strike first. The no goalscorer price of 9.20 is surely a trading option if the match pans out how I think.


Sheffield United's Dave Kitson is outright favourite at 5.70, which might be a little short considering the hosts' lack of goals. Neil Collins scored from  a corner during the Yorkshire side's 1-0 win at Huish Park, and it might be worth looking at set-piece scoring options for the centre-backs, with Collins a massive  price at 36.0


Recommended bets:

Back under 1.5 goals @ 3.85

Back under 2.5 goals @ 2.0

Back 0-0 @ 10.0 and 1-0 @ 8.0

Back HT draw @ 2.12

Back Neil Collins as first goalscorer @ 36.0



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Keywords: League One, Play-Offs Betting, Bramall Lane

Source: Betfair

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