League One preview: Rely on Robins to respond

 

It's been a stop-start season for Swindon so far but they tend to operate like clockwork when it comes to bouncing back from a defeat and we can't resist the 13/8 available on Paolo Di Canio's men to pick up maximum points at faltering Notts County on Saturday.

The Robins went down 1-0 at home to Brentford in midweek, prompting a typically colourful response from their eccentric Italian manager who compared the act of winning football matches at this time of year to stocking up on wood for the fire during the cold winter months.

The analogy, presumably, is that the points acquired in November provide the fuel that drives players to go about their business with greater purpose when conditions are toughest in December and January. Either way, it's a shining example of Di Canio using his imagination and putting things into a context his players can relate to.

And this is primarily the reason why players tend not to get sick and tired with the frequency of his tantrums because his originality keeps them stimulated. All of which goes some way towards explaining a record of seven wins immediately following the last ten league defeats.

Indeed, you might argue that Di Canio provides a stark contrast to his opposite number Keith Curle in this respect. There's no doubt the former Mansfield, Chester and Torquay boss has come back into management with some bright ideas after spending most of the past five years as Neil Warnock's trusty assistant.

Notts County finished last season with a flourish, winning ten of their last 16, and they looked as though they might match Swindon stride for stride as genuine promotion contenders over the course of this campaign when they came away with creditable draws from trips to MK Dons and Sheffield United in September.

That stretched the overall sequence to just four defeats in 25 matches but now Curle appears to be running out of credit. Those early standards weren't sustainable and, without Di Canio's charisma to replenish the sense of purpose in the ranks, the goodwill of the players appears to be on the wane.

The Magpies have now failed to win any of their last five at Meadow Lane and a palpable edginess has crept into their play when the onus is on them to make the running in front of their own fans. All of which considered, we have to side with the visitors.

Meanwhile, Scunthorpe suffered their first defeat under Brian Laws against Bury in midweek but we're not about to desert a capable team that belongs further up the table on the back of one poor result. Therefore, we see some value in the 2/1 available on the resurgent Lincolnshire outfit in the draw-no-bet market for the short trip to Doncaster.

The Iron had the look of a top-half team for most of last season when Alan Knill was in charge but seldom could they convert their territorial dominance into goals. It was clearly a failing on Knill's part and it's come as no surprise to see Laws finding instant solutions.

The level of intensity seems to be biggest improvement from a tactical perspective and Laws expressed his disappointment at what he considered to be a drop in tempo against the Shakers, so expect normal service to be resumed at the Keepmoat.

Betting advice...

2pts Swindon to beat Notts County at 13/8
Magpies aren't creating much and Robins tend to bounce back from setbacks in fine style.

1pt Scunthorpe to beat Doncaster (draw no bet) at 2/1
Donny in good form, but we're not going to write off improving Scunny after one bad result.

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

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'