League One preview: Bank on a Latics backlash

 

It's not often that a team managed by Paul Dickov puts in a performance doesn't meet the required standard for endeavour but when it happens, it's worth paying attention because you can usually be guaranteed a response in the next game.

Dickov has only been a manager for 29 months and he's only ever managed Oldham, but the sample - both in terms of time served and player turnover - is ample enough to make some cast-iron assumptions about dressing room behaviour, the main one in this instance being that the Latics look value to beat high-flying Tranmere at 17/10 on Saturday.

The Lancashire outfit went down 2-1 at home to local rivals Bury in midweek, complacency perhaps being a contributory factor on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run. In Dickov's own words: "They started the game brighter than us, they played with more energy. The standards we've set, with or without the ball, weren't there, esepcially in the first half."

The Latics did almost undo the damage of the opening 45 minutes, putting the lowly Shakers under the cosh after the break, during which time they had fair claims for a penalty waved away before Kevin Blackwell's men were awarded one at the other end to seal the points four minutes from time.

So that lacklustre first half proved costly and we should expect Dickov emphasise the debt to his players against Rovers, not that complacency should be an issue against the league leaders, while the home supporters will no doubt add an extra layer of importance to the contest with Ronnie Moore returning to the ground where he spent his unhappiest year in management.

The Merseysiders returned to the summit on Wednesday with victory over rock-bottom Hartlepool, doubling Oldham's tally of 17 points with a third of the season gone. So it might sound silly to suggest there's not a great deal between these two teams but that's the way we see it, once the early-season randomness has been accounted for.

Rovers started the season with 30 points from their first 12 matches and it could be many, many years until they ever complete a sequence like that again. However, they were distinctly second-best in three successive matches prior to the trip to Victoria Park and we see steady regression in the weeks and months to come.

Only two points separated the two clubs last term and while it's obvious that Moore has pulled a couple of rabbits out of the hat in Jake Cassidy and James Wallace, Dickov too has landed a couple of potential game-changers in Cristian Montaño and Jose Baxter, who Tranmere know well. Both sides have improved, but only at Tranmere have those improvements been recognised and, therefore, the value is with Oldham.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United continue to go about their business in a mourning, machine-like manner, channelling all of the hurt from last season's double promotion setback into a merciless tactical stranglehold on any team who cares to show a sense of creative ambition. As such, we think they will be too strong for MK Dons to overpower.

We've laboured the point repeatedly about the Dons and how they lack a certain cutting edge against the bigger teams under Karl Robinson. Ryan Lowe has been brought in to change all that and he proved to be the difference against Leyton Orient in midweek, but these are the games on which he, and Milton Keynes, will be judged.

The Blades withstood a barrage from Swindon in midweek and came away with a goalless draw, made all the more impressive by the fact it came just three days after Paolo Di Canio read the riot act to his players after their embarrassing FA Cup defeat to Macclesfield. Danny Wilson's clearly have the measure of this division, so back Sheffield United (+0.25) on the Asian handicap at a fraction short of even money.

Betting advice...

2pts Sheff Utd (+0.25) to beat MK Dons on the handicap at 49/50

Unbeaten Blades have the measure of this division and Dons lack the necessary bite.

2pts Oldham to beat Tranmere at 17/10 (Ladbrokes)

Latics were below par in midweek but we can trust Paul Dickov to trigger a response.

For more betting advice, visit Best of the Bets by clicking here.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence