League One betting preview: No Day break for Rovers

 

They've come a long way in a short space of time but those who questioned whether Stevenage have what it takes to sustain their efforts of the past two years by holding their own at League One level should now have their answer.

Graham Westley's men head into Saturday's game against Tranmere backed-up by a ten-match unbeaten run but it's not the odds-on quotes about the home win that appeal to us. We much prefer the 8/5 you can get about Stevenage to keep a clean sheet with Coral.

A goalless stalemate at Preston last weekend was their third successive 0-0 in league action, which in itself should explain why we're turning our noses up at the 19/20 available on the home win, but more significantly, it was their ninth shut-out of the campaign, eight of which have arrived in those last ten outings.

It's a sure-fire indication that Boro have overcome the sense of uncertainty that comes with adapting to new surroundings and it also proves that Westley's unique and much-maligned tactical methods are scalable because he's hardly broken the bank to improve his squad since winning promotion from the basement via the play-offs last May, bringing in just two permanent additions.

Opponents at this level are finding the impervious Chris Day every bit as difficult to breach, and the groans from opposing managers are becoming every bit as frequent amid accusations of time-wasting and gamesmanship.

But until somebody comes up with a systematic way to outwit their uncompromising style and provide a template for others to follow, then credit must go to Westley and his backroom staff for finding an edge because their success over the past two-and-a-half years is no mean feat.

At full strength, Tranmere share many of the same qualities to their hosts - a fact best illustrated by their position at the top of the clean sheet table - and this match might not be pleasant viewing for the purists. But the visitors' best efforts were to be witnessed a couple of months ago and the season now appears to be tailing off somewhat alarmingly for Les Parry's men.

The Merseysiders have lost five of their last six matches as they face up to a period without goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams who is expected to be out for two months while he recovers from a broken hand.

The experienced Paul Rachubka has been brought in as a replacement but question marks remain over his confidence following his part in Leeds' 5-0 humiliation at home to Blackpool two months ago and his rehabilitation will hardly be helped by the absence of Ian Goodison and the concession of five goals in his first two matches.

At this point, we're in danger of talking ourselves into a bet on Stevenage but they lack the death-or-glory attitude to be trusted at such short prices and the value is definitely to be found on the shut-out.

Recommended bet:

2pts Stevenage to keep a clean sheet against Tranmere at 8/5 (Coral)

For more betting news and views, visit Bestofthebets.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering