League One preview: Trust long arm of Brian Laws
Michael Holden is one of the UK's leading football betting tipsters. A former casino croupier with a deep-rooted curiosity in statistics and probabilities, his passion for betting on the beautiful game stretches back more than two decades. Since graduating as a journalist from the University of Central Lancashire in 2005, he has delivered consistent profits for his legion of followers on Sportinglife.com and produced many groundbreaking feature articles on the application of social science in a football betting context. He is now the editor of Bestofthebets.com having orchestrated the design, build and launch of the new sports betting website for Gaming Media Group during the summer of 2011.
Friday 16 November 2012
After two years in the managerial wilderness, Brian Laws isn't hanging about in his bid to turn things around at Scunthorpe and we think there's some value to be found in the 19/10 quotes about the resurgent Iron taking maximum points against high-flying Notts County in League One on Saturday.
Laws replaced Alan Knill at Glanford Park a fortnight ago and was given a quick dose of reality when basement leaders Gillingham dished out a four-goal hiding in the FA Cup first round for his first game, all of which was a far cry from the standards he left behind for Nigel Adkins six years ago.
It wasn't the baptism Laws would have wanted but it was probably a blessing in disguise judging by the last two performances. The former Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley boss quickly identified the root causes behind the collapse at Priestfield and vowed to take things back to basics on the training ground.
Since then, Walsall and Coventry have been put to the sword on successive trips to the West Midlands and now Laws is urging his new troops to carry those standards into this game against East Midlands opposition, citing the importance of rebuilding a rapport with home fans after a prolonged barren spell under the previous regime.
The stats provide little encouragement. Scunthorpe have the worst home record in the division with just a solitary success in eight attempts and the Magpies currently boast a club-record 16-match unbeaten away run. But the short-term evidence is begging for the tide to turn on both fronts.
From a psychological perspective, the slate has been wiped clean for Scunny. Laws' return provides a fresh start and we should bank on the players embracing the olive branch being handed out by a crowd that has heckled them for the most part. It also helps that Laws has now got them focused on the process from a tactical standpoint.
Meanwhile, we sense that County could be on shaky ground in the winter months as minds begin to tire because Keith Curle's blueprint for success seems to rely heavily on concentration levels and defensive discipline rather than any innate quality among those he has brought to the club.
The Magpies put in one of their better performances at home to Crawley last weekend but could only manage a point, stretching their winless home sequence to five games, and their inability to take control of matches at Meadow Lane is putting strain on them to maintain this fabulous away record.
Curle is convinced that the home wins will come but you can bet your bottom dollar that something will have been compromised on the road by the time they turn it around and that breaking point could arrive this weekend.
2pts Scunthorpe to beat Notts County at 19/10 (Boylesports)
Iron have a renewed sense of purpose and County's great away record could be on the brink.
For more betting advice, visit Best of the Bets by clicking here.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United teased by Monaco after claims they could have signed 'Luis Suarez of Neymar' instead or £58m Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United star Karel Poborsky goes full hipster
Manchester United hit back at Real Madrid by claiming they let David De Gea 'slip through their fingers into the back of the net'
Premier League Power Rankings: Eden Hazard and Harry Kane continue to slip but Wayne Rooney has to perform against rivals
Serie B introduces 'green cards' to promote good behaviour, fair play and sportsmanship
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 4 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be