League Two play-offs – Burton Albion 3/4 to avoid Bradford defeat
Burton head up to Valley Parade in a bid to avoid a third away defeat of the campaign against Phil Parkinson’s Bradford City, having lost 1-0 in Yorkshire in their penultimate regular-season game and they’ll struggle to win despite manager Gary Rowett’s incitement to “throw the kitchen sink” at the Bantams.
If League Two was based on away performances only, Burton would have ended up in twentieth place, but whilst they’ve won just twice in their 12 post-new-year road games they’ve only lost six times during that sequence.
Bradford only secured victory thanks to an Albion defensive error in their recent clash, yet they failed to punish the visitors further despite their skipper Lee Bell being red-carded early in the second period.
Having been within 10 minutes of a victory (before shipping three times) in their previous visit to Valley Parade there’s a sense that Rowett’s men are slowly working Bradford out, with the recent result seemingly representing a progression.
Bradford will be only too aware of Albion’s strength at the Pirelli Stadium – Burton have the division’s best home record – and the increased onus this will place on them garnering a positive first leg result means opportunities should come for the visitors. As such the 3/4 about Burton in Coral’s double chance market looks the bet, with the 13/10 about them to qualify a healthy price given their home record.
Much like Burton, Northampton’s form in reaching the play-offs is reflects home riches and away poverty, but the dichotomy in the Cobblers’ form is even more stark – Aidy Bothroyd’s squad are League Two’s second-best home side and second-worst away side.
After a miserable run of four games without a goal that put paid to their automatic promotion hopes, Northampton have rallied in their last two games drawing away at Port Vale before beating bogey side Barnet at Sixfields. 23/20 looks a decent price about victory for a side that have won 10 of their last 11 in front of their own support.