League Two weekend betting preview: Robins ready to take revenge

 

Paolo Di Canio is many things, but he's also a man of real substance and when he describes losing a local derby at home to Oxford as one of his lowest moments in life, you can rest assured he will be doing everything in his power to put that result right when the reverse fixture is played at the Kassam this weekend.

The Italian has a tendency to be a little melodramatic at times but we shouldn't mistake his wild interpretation of mild occurrences for insincerity, we should instead take them as an indication of where his priorities lie and punt them accordingly.

And when you consider that his Swindon team are head and shoulders above the rest of League Two on current form, then odds of 7/5 about them overcoming average opposition have standout appeal.

One can only presume that the layers are reading too much into formbook-out-of-the-window theory when pricing up this clash because the Robins were odds-on in their last away match and have since stretched a six-match winning streak to ten matches.

But if any manager is going to play the bragging-rights card better and get his players to go that extra mile on Saturday, our money would be on Di Canio long before his opposite number Chris Wilder.

The Oxford boss isn't bad at setting teams up to avoid defeat - as five clean sheets in the last six matches would testify - but the U's sit seventh for the simple fact that they don't seize the initiative enough.

And it's a weakness that always comes back to haunt them against quality opposition. Until the end of October, they were in the frame for automatic promotion but a run of defeats against Southend (twice), Cheltenham and Crawley soon put them in their place and they've never really looked the same team since.

The U's have only lost one of their 13 matches since a 4-1 hiding at the Broadfield Stadium but that sequence has only produced five wins and four of those have been against bottom eight opposition, the sort of teams where you don't have to take too many risks because they will hand you points on a plate.

Oxford will probably set out to frustrate the leaders with their usual level of uncertainty avoidance and play this game like the away side but Swindon have enough quality and conviction to push United's resistance to breaking point. Indeed, if the visitors get their noses in front early, it could turn out to be an extremely humbling occasion for the hosts.

Those favouring Oxford at around 2/1 will no doubt cite their success at the County Ground six months ago but you might wish to recall how that game came in the midst of four straight defeats before Di Canio had chance to make his mark and stamp his authority.

The Swindon team that will line up against the U's at the Kassam on Saturday will bear little resemblance, but it will be hell-bent on putting right the wrongs of the experimental team responsible for Di Canio's worst moment in management to date.

The Oxford team will be minus skipper Jake Wright and midfielder Peter Leven.

Recommended bet:

2pts Swindon to beat Oxford at 7/5 (Stan James)

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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power