Portsmouth V Southend
Looming now is the League One tips & predictions for Saturday 8th December. Portsmouth sit top of League One after 19 starts as the club aim to continue their quest back through the divisions to the peak of English football. Will we once again see Premier League fixtures taking place at Fratton Park? The beautiful thing about this game is their fate is in their own hands. Although everyone involved would’ve learned a few lessons on the way, it would make for a wonderful story if they could bring back the glory years. Time will tell.
In the present there’s no doubt they are playing attractive football and winning matches; their stats read 13 victories and five draws against just one defeat. It’s a concrete basis on which to launch their campaign in 2019; however, nothing has been achieved yet in terms of promotion and they must continue with their level of consistency if they are to reach their goals. The locals have won each of their last three, beating Bradford and Scunthorpe away from home before handing out a 2-0 defeat to Walsall at this venue in their last league match. Confidence is high in the camp.
Southend continue to struggle
The same can’t be said for their opponents as they continue to struggle; so far they’ve found reasons to cheer thin on the ground during the first-half of the schedule. They start the week down in 14th; however, they do have a nine-point advantage over Bristol Rovers and the relegation zone. Charlton and the promotion places are eight points ahead at last count, proving they have arrived at an important junction in their season. Results achieved in winter will decide if they’re battling the drop of pushing for promotion.
Southend have lost four of their last five with each of those defeats coming on the bounce. They managed to stop the rot last time when beating Scunthorpe United at home to appease fans. That went down as a bit of a surprise result, given their form in autumn, but it was a win that was made to feel most welcome by everyone connected to the club. Dieng had the ball in the net inside eight minutes and that set the pace for the afternoon. Perch was sent off for the beaten side on 38 and Southend took full advantage; Mantom added a second near the end to make sure.
One for your accas
Portsmouth are favourites for the home win and that’s what most punters would’ve expected to find. The 4/6 available at Ladbrokes looks about fair; although it won’t make you rich on its own, we do expect to see it in a fair share of weekend accumulators where it will do a job in boosting your returns. If Pompey play to the best of their abilities, there’s no doubt they will add another three points to their tally, and without much fuss.
Bookmakers have the draw priced as the next most likely result and those stuck on the fence can get their hands on 11/4 with Bet365, an away win written off at 4/1 with most firms, including Coral. The latter is an eye-catching price; however, Southend’s form – losing four of their last five – means it isn’t quite big enough, especially against top of the league.
Accrington V Sunderland
The next of our League One tips & predictions is Accrington V Sunderland. Accrington can often be found pushing for promotion; however, their season is yet to catch light and they are down in 11th place. Not a terrible start and the club are within two wins of the play-off places, but their autumn form has been dreadful. Clearly, unless they can turn around their fortunes, and fast, they will continue to slip down the rankings, passed by more consistent sides. Stanley’s last five show two draws followed by three defeats.
That drought started with a loss at home to Barnsley in a result that would’ve caught a few off-guard; however, it was to get worse as Rochdale piled on the pressure with a 1-0 reverse last month. Accy finished what was a miserable November with a 2-1 at this venue when hosting Wycombe on Tuesday 27 November. McConville gave his employers the lead that day; however, Kashket fired back on 77 minutes to level the scores before Samuel struck in stoppage time at the end of the fixture to win it for the visitors. Cruel, but there could be no real arguments.
Sunderland finding their feet
Sunderland, like the one side above them in League One, are a former big-gun of English football who appear to have found their level and are beginning the fightback. The Black Cats have won 11 of their first 19, drawing seven and losing one; that has them within four points of Portsmouth with plenty of football still to be played. They are on a stunning run of form, given their problems over the last couple of years, and have won three and drawn two of their last five.
A couple of draws against Wycombe and Walsall threatened to hamper their progress but Sunderland fired back with a win to put themselves on track. They beat Barnsley 4-2 at the Stadium of Light to end November on a high. McGeady scored from the penalty spot on 19 minutes, Maja added a second less than 60 seconds later, before Gooch and O’Nien helped themselves to goal bonuses. A Moore double for the beaten side helped keep things interesting but it was a match Sunderland never looked like losing.
Back the away day
Sunderland have been picked by traders and those looking to support the away day can do so at 11/10 with Bet365. They are on their travels but that’s a better price than we expected to find and it’s good enough to have as a single or to stick in with three of four others to make a handy multiple.
Accrington go 23/10 with the same firm, 12/5 says it’ll be a draw. We are more than happy to put our trust in the market and have our stake money down on the form side of the two, backing Sunderland to strengthen their promotion push.