League Two weekend betting preview: Clean up with classy Swindon
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 24 February 2012
Some managers have so much charisma they can get away with almost anything. Paolo Di Canio breaks all the rules when it comes to setting his team up for a fall but beneath the bravado is genuine, unshakeable belief and the 11/8 available on Swindon to win to nil against Accrington on Saturday is worth playing.
Di Canio shocked many pundits a few weeks back by claiming his team would win the title whether he was banned from the touchline every week or not. Swindon were fifth at the time and it seemed like he was heaping undue pressure on his players by talking in such bold terms.
However, the Robins finally his the summit after seven months of trying in midweek and now Di Canio says it's time to relax, take it easy and say bye-bye to the rest of the division. In his very words: "We're going to Barbados."
Given the English leaning towards complacency, that in-built weakness for switching off the moment achievement is assumed, it's a risky remark to come out with. However, the Swindon players won't have forgotten how they were berated when they switched off late on with victory in the bag at Bristol Rovers. That nearly cost them Christmas.
And therein lies the key, because this season isn't about what Di Canio says, it's about what he does. And what he has done is instil some very solid core values within his group, not least the desire to win the battle and earn the right to play football later on in matches.
When Shrewsbury grabbed a first-half lead at the County Ground on Tuesday, it was the first goal Swindon had conceded at home for more than 11 hours. Di Canio was said to be furious at the interval and Swindon were a different team after the break, coming back to win 2-1.
It was only the second time in 11 home victories this season that the opposition have scored and we see normal service being resumed when Accrington rock up in Wiltshire this weekend.
The Lancashire minnows have named Paul Cook as the man to replace John Coleman and we'll admit to knowing very little about him at this point but we do know that Stanley have lost their way in recent weeks and it could take some time for the new man to make his mark.
Save for a bonkers 45 minutes against Gillingham when Accrington netted four times in a show of defiance to Coleman's departure, they have failed to find the net in over six-and-a-half hours, a stat that becomes only more alarming when you consider that Barnet, Aldershot, Plymouth and Crewe have provided the opposition.
Therefore, we see nothing other than a straightforward win-to-nil victory for the Robins here and if the Swindon players do take their eye off the ball thinking of Barbados, we can always console ourselves with the entertainment that will no doubt be provided by Di Canio's press conference afterwards.
2pts Swindon to beat Accrington to nil at 11/8 (Skybet)
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