League One weekend betting preview: Addicks all the way


The wobble - if you could call it that - has passed, and now it's difficult to envisage anybody stopping Charlton on their march to the League One title, so let's take odds of 8/5 about the leaders prevailing at misfiring Bournemouth on Saturday.

Draws against Bury, Tranmere and Rochdale last month suggested that Chris Powell's men were struggling to keep everything in order but something more alarming had to follow before we could class it as an outbreak of the jitters.

Instead, the Addicks have since breezed through a couple of thankless fixtures with aplomb, becoming the first team to land a handicap against Stevenage since September before sticking four goals past a much-improved Chesterfield in midweek.

Now it's clearly a case of when rather than if Charlton will complete the formality of a return to the Championship and with the bigger picture taking on a much more relaxed complexion, we should expect the Londoners to make a spirited dash for the line.

The Addicks have been outstanding on the road this season, winning 13 out of 17, and you suspect Bournemouth would have to pluck a stellar performance out of nowhere to upset those figures because they haven't been firing on all cylinders of late.

Hopes were high that Lee Bradbury's men might finish the season with a flourish following Russian investment and a late window spree coming on the back of a mid-season burst of eight wins in 12 league outings.

However, the foreign investment has merely cranked up the pressure around Dean Court, performances have dipped and the public antics of chairman Eddie Mitchell are bringing the sort of unwanted attention that is hardly going to restore a sense of composure.

We shouldn't read too much into idle speculation about the owner's wife giving a half-time team-talk during the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth but we can stare at three defeats on the bounce and rightfully ask the question of whether that's the sort of form you want to be taking into a game against such formidable opposition.

Meanwhile, Graham Westley hasn't made too many friends in his first few weeks at Deepdale but we shouldn't let that deter us from picking up the thread of what he does best and backing Preston to keep a clean sheet against Colchester at 7/2.

The Lilywhites have mustered just five points from six matches since Westley picked up the reins from Graham Alexander but they've managed three clean sheets during that sequence and the U's don't possess nearly enough guile to cut through a stubborn rearguard action if the visitors get them a foothold.

Scunthorpe, Chesterfield and Rochdale have all frustrated John Ward's men in recent weeks with Steven Gillespie the only man to have netted for the Essex outfit at the Weston Homes since the turn of the year. If North End can keep him quiet, then the shut-out might well be a formality.

Recommended bets:

2pts Charlton to beat Bournemouth at 13/8 (Bet Victor)

2pts Preston to keep a clean sheet against Colchester at 7/2 (Bet Victor)

For more betting news and views, please visit Bestofthebets.com. You can also follow Mike Holden on Twitter: @Miguel_BOTB

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas