League One Play-Offs Betting: MacDonald's Swindon to take the advantage

3May 2013



Instead of watching 'The Voice', 'Britain's Got Talent' or the omnipresent 'Come Dine With Me', Alan Dudman will be viewing the second instalment of the League One  play-off semi-finals on Saturday evening between Swindon and Brentford...


Swindon Town v Brentford

League One play-offs semi-final first leg.

Saturday 17:20 BST, Live on Sky Sports 2


Match odds:


With a virtually identical market to Friday night's game, Brentford are available to back at 3.50 for a win at the County Ground, with Swindon (who finished behind the Bees in the table) set to be sent off the 2.26 favourites for the League One play-off semi-final first leg.


For those interested in the draw at 3.65, the stats are on your side. Brentford collected the second most number of stalemates on their travels during the regular season with 10, second only to Notts County (11). Similar to the game between Sheffield United and Yeovil, with two evenly matched teams, the draw always represents the best in-running trading option.


Head to head:


Swindon were defeated on home soil by the Londoners in November, when under the managership of Paolo Di Canio. Whilst the recent clash in March saw the Robins dominate  Brentford at Griffin Park for 70 minutes, and yet lost the game 2-1 with Clayton Donaldson scoring again for the Bees.


Town looked the better team recently but were hit by two breakaway goals. In truth, both sides are fairly similar in their play and set-up. But so far, 2-0 to  Brentford.


Can Brentford pick themselves up?:


Clearly the big problem here. Brentford's 1-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers blew their chance of automatic promotion, or should I say Marcello Trotta blew their chance.  The on-loan forward's actions in refusing to hand the penalty to club captain Kevin O'Connor were a disgrace, the fact it was on 94 minutes and Donny scored up the  other end was a cruel blow. The players looked shattered after that hammer setback(I know the feeling) and manager Uwe Rosler has a big job to regroup.


Rosler even showed his heartache by saying "It is very difficult to speak about".


The Londoners looked really nervous too during the 90 minutes of that final league game, with too many players looking frightened to get on the ball - the tell tale  sign of nerves. On the plus side, Rosler's men were pretty good on their travels during the campaign losing just six.


Opta Stats:


So often I have said this season (and much to my pocket's cost) that Brentford are the masters of the late strike. 20 of their goals this term have been in the final  15 minutes - a joint high with Yeovil. The Bees have also picked up 23 points from losing positions this term, which is a league best.


Marcello Trotta's dramatic miss from the spot on Saturday was their fifth missed penalty of the season (another League One high).


Under 2.5 goals:


Swindon have the best home defence by some margin, having conceded just 15 goals all season at the County Ground. Their centre-backs Aden Flint and Darren Ward are two  tough defenders, whilst midfielder Alan McCormack will sit deep in a protector role.


New boss Kevin MacDonald hasn't exactly fired up the Swindon fans since the departure of Paolo Di Canio, but following the maverick Italian must feel like stepping on  to the stage after Elvis Presley. MacDonald has certainly been pragmatic since his arrival by using a 4-5-1, whilst Brentford will be keen to give as little away as  possible for the away league to take them back to Griffin Park.




Brentford's Jonathan Douglas (a midfielder I described as a long-haired lower league version of David Pizzarro) has lost four play-offs with Leeds and Swindon  previously, whilst Town's winger Gary Roberts was a regular fixture in the end of season shindig with Huddersfield.


Historically Swindon have made six play-off appearances with three final wins, Brentford have the same number of appearances but sadly cannot match their opponents  number of final victories (zero).


Recommended bets:

Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.90

Back Swindon to win @ 2.20

Back HT draw @ 2.12



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Keywords: League One Play-Offs Betting, MacDonald, Swindon, advantage

Source: Betfair

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