Many will dispute that the infancy of the season makes it hard to make selections with confidence, however with a degree of assurance we’ve trawled through the offerings and made our top choices.
We think that Brighton will be too strong for Doncaster; Gus Poyet’s side in effect finished 4 league placings behind their opponents as they won League 1 amassing an impressive 95 points. Brighton’s Falmer Stadium finally hosts a competitive match some nine years after they were granted planning permission, we’re not ones to agree that a team takes time to settle into a new stadium and tend to be of the opinion that the Seagulls will want to put on a show for their fans. Poyet and Brighton’s ambitious owners have strengthened the squad with a plethora of signings including 2010/11’s League 1 top scorer Craig Mackail-Smith from Peterborough, Watford’s exciting winger Will Buckley along with loanee Kazenga Lua Lua and Dutch import Roland Bergkamp. Doncaster shipped 50 league goals away from home last term, defender Richard Naylor has joined from Leeds to add some much needed experience however we still this they look vulnerable. Brighton are available at 10/11 to win this one.
In League 1 Colchester visit Deepdale where Phil Brown’s Preston will be looking for 3 points at the first time of asking as they attempt to bounce straight back up to the Championship. Phil Brown has lost a variety of his better players including Irish international Sean St Ledger, Billy Jones to West Brom and Scottish Veteran Callum Davidson and replaced the departed player with just two players, one of which is Clarke Carlisle on loan from Burnley who will fill the void of St Ledger. Colchester have also been fairly quiet in the transfer market bringing in three players, after losing seven. Last season Colchester finished 10th in League 1 however the vast majority of their points came at home, in their 13 games away from the Weston Homes Community Stadium in the second half of the season they recorded 1 victory (5 points from a possible 39). We think that Brown will have his players right up for this one, we’re backing a Preston victory.
Swindon play Crewe Alexandra in League 2 and are best priced at 21/20, the club are at the beginning at a new era under Paulo Di Canio, Crewe have lost top scorer Clayton Donaldson to Brentford and promising youngsters John Brayford and James Bailey have been sold to Derby. Only Alan Martin has joined the Gresty Road outfit from Ayr. Crewe would do well to come away from The County Ground with any points. The Robins’ new six-figure signing Alan Connell will want to impress the home crowd and we fancy him to open the scoring.
Brighton to beat Doncaster at 10/11Preston to beat Colchester 5/6
Swindon to beat Crewe Alexandra 21/20 and Alan Connell first scorer at 5/1
Treble on the above teams pays 6/1+