(Can Notts County's new man in charge Keith Curle continue his winning start?)
In League One, Notts County entertain Chesterfield United at Meadow Lane. Notts County are 10th just five points off the play-off places whilst Chesterfield are 23rd & in a relegation battle. Keith Curle, new manager of the Magpies, won his first game in charge on Wednesday night against one of the league's real form sides in Stevenage & their current form is good with three wins in their last four & only one defeat in their last six league games - at home this season they have won eight out of 15 games & only been beaten twice. Opposition Chesterfield have struggled all season especially on the road where they have suffered ten defeats in their 16 away matches, only once in these games have they stopped the opposition scoring and they have conceded on average over two goals per game. Notts County can prove too strong for a struggling Chesterfield side at a best price of 10/11 with Coral.
(Loanee Alex Macdonald has 3 in 3 for Plymouth)
In League Two, Plymouth Argyle host Dagenham & Redbridge at Home Park, Plymouth are in 21st position & Dagenham are rock bottom so three points for either side will be huge. The Pilgrims have had a tough season off the pitch so far but seem to be putting together a run of points of late & last weekend they won away at Accrington Stanley 4-0, in their last six league matches they have won two, drawn three & suffered only one defeat. At home Plymouth are unbeaten in their last four matches; beating Burton & drawing against promotion hopefuls Crawley Town & Southend United as well as Barnet. Visitors Dagenham have suffered five defeats in their last six league games & their latest game saw them thrashed 5-0 by Cheltenham Town, on the road they have lost ten of their fourteen games; conceding 25 goals in the process. We expect Plymouth to continue their recent good form at the expense of Dagenham at a best price of 11/10 with Boylesports.
(We might be relying on Paul Robinson having a good game v City - oh dear)
Manchester City take on Blackburn Rovers at the Etihad where they have won all 12 games that they've played in the league so far this season, it therefore might seem fanciful to think that Blackburn a team just two points off of the bottom of the league could come here & end that streak but there are reasons to believe they're a value bet in this one. City haven't dropped points in the league at home but a 1-0 loss to Liverpool in the Carling Cup here last month has made them realise they aren't impervious & their form since Christmas hasn't been quite up to the very high standards they set before. Of course now Yaya & Kolo Toure are back from the Africa Cup of Nations that gives the home side a boost as will the outstanding Carlos Tevez if & when he makes his return & that may see them get back to some high quality play that has been missing in games against West Brom, Sunderland, Liverpool, Everton & Villa since 25th December. For the most part City have still got the results needed & that's seen them stay two points clear in the title race but Blackburn are a team capable of causing an upset as seen when winning 3-2 at Old Trafford. Rovers score goals & plenty of them with 37 in 25 so far but they've also conceded more than any other side & with Chris Samba likely to leave soon he won't be involved & they've missed the departed Phil Jones too. At the other end of the pitch for Rovers Yakubu offers obvious quality as does Junior Hoilett & Gamst Pedersen & they'll look to give City's defence problems. Blackburn have had a two week rest since last playing whereas City have impressively taken care of Porto over two legs in the Europa League, that means they have momentum but Blackburn will be resolute & rested here & Steve Kean has had time to develop a plan to shock the league leaders. Of course the most likely result is a City win & if they score early it could be a rout, but as we saw against United Blackburn have the physical game to unsettle classier sides & at a huge 18/1 are worth taking a risk on to win here.
Notts County to beat Chesterfield United at 10/11 (Coral)
Plymouth Argyle to beat Dagenham & Redbridge at 11/10 (Boylesports)
Blackburn Rovers to beat Manchester City at 18/1 (BetVictor)