League One weekend betting preview: Four reasons to fancy Grecians

 

Time is running out for Paul Tisdale in his attempts to keep Exeter in League One and it seems desperate times call for desperate measures. The dapper dugout-dweller has cobbled together a collection of waifs and strays in the past couple of weeks to maintain lingering hopes and we should back him to guide them to victory over deflated Colchester on Saturday.

The Grecians are currently second from bottom, eight points adrift of safety, following a wretched seven-match sequence that has seen them pick up just one point from a possible 21. But fate might have lent them a helping hand in pairing them with John Ward's men this weekend and the Devon club can benefit from lowered expectations combined with having a week to prepare.

It's not normally Tisdale's style to seek short-term solutions from the loan market and unattached list but nobody will hold this final throw of the dice against him in the face of an injury crisis and he's picked up a fair amount of pedigree in Jonathan Fortune, Pat Baldwin, Jamie Cureton and Alan Gow.

They might all be players whose best days are behind them but they all have something to prove on a personal level and they should possess enough intelligence to implement the manager's game plan much better than the inexperienced bodies he was being forced to field prior to their arrival.

However, perhaps most crucially of all, is the return of David Noble who returned to the fold at Tranmere last week after a three-game absence through injury. He's the chief enforcer of Tisdale's ideas, setting the tempo in the centre of midfield, and he's liable to be more effective now that he has others around him operating on the same wavelength.

Together, they've had a full week to lick their wounds and regroup following a 2-0 reverse at Prenton Park, while Colchester have put themselves through the emotional wringer at Walsall, going down 3-1 after taking the lead in a much-anticipated game in hand that was considered pivotal to their play-off push.

The U's are now nine points adrift of the top six and while Ward is trying to take the disappointment of defeat at the Bescot in his stride, it's clear that all around him believe the dream has died. It was fun while it lasted but a nine-match unbeaten sequence through late February and March will ultimately lead to nothing.

Survival for the Grecians is looking increasingly unlikely but where there's life there's hope and they merit an interest at a shade over 2/1.

Recommended bet:

1pt Exeter to beat Colchester at 85/40 (Bet Victor)

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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game