League One weekend betting preview: All on guard at the Galpharm


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The Independent Football

Slowly but surely, a strategical shift is taking place at Huddersfield and we think the new focus on defensive discipline points towards a low-scoring encounter when top-of-the-table Charlton visit the Galpharm on Saturday.

The Terriers remain unbeaten in seven matches under Simon Grayson, but the honeymoon period hasn't been without it's hiccups with squandered leads against Stevenage (2-0 up), Bury (3-0 up) and Rochdale (ahead twice).

That bizarre sequence of collapses cost Town six points but it might be a small price to pay if subsequent tactical work on the training ground prevents those problems from returning over the next two months. Given the raw quality at their disposal, Huddersfield really ought to be matching the Addicks stride for stride in the title race.

Indeed, had they closed out just seven of the 13 leads surrendered in total this term, the Terriers would be leading the way themselves instead of wondering how a victory in this game might compound the jitters that Charlton have experienced lately, while simultaneously sending out a message of intent to the Steel City duo who also sit above them.

It's too early to say how effective Grayson's tweaks are going to be but work has focused around the defensive shape and regaining possession as quickly as possible, particularly in the engine room, which has long been considered the soft centre responsible for most of their shortcomings.

Tuesday's 2-0 win at Chesterfield was certainly a step in the right direction, notable for the professional manner in which the Terriers closed the game out, but it was also a convenient exercise against a team propping up the table with a trip to Wembley on the horizon this weekend.

As such, we'll ignore the question marks about Charlton's current state of mind and overlook the 7/5 available on the home win in favour of the standout quotes to be found on under 1.5 goals and under 2.5 goals, mindful of how frequently Chris Powell's men have landed these bets, particularly on the road and especially in games of this magnitude.

Eight of the Addicks' last ten away matches have triggered the under 2.5 goals marker, five of which have been settled by a solitary strike, and you only have to cast your mind back to those 1-0 wins over the two Sheffield clubs on successive weekends in January to understand how the Londoners are liable to go about their business in west Yorkshire this weekend.

Charlton have dropped eight points in their last four matches, raising suspicions that a young squad might struggle to get across the finishing line, so Powell might be pinning his hopes on a clean sheet, knowing that a point will be more than satisfactory in keeping the Terriers at arm's length and the demons at bay.

Recommended bets:

1pt Under 1.5 goals Huddersfield v Charlton at 11/4 (Stan James)

1.5pts Under 2.5 goals Huddersfield v Charlton at 5/6 (Stan James)

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