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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?