1.50 Newbury - Friday
Horse Racing analyst Will Smith has had a good look at all this weekend's ante-post markets, and provides a 7/1 EW selection in the Grade 2 novices' chase at Newbury on Friday.
In this highly anticipated League One encounter, Blackpool will welcome Stevenage to Bloomfield Road with their sights set on closing the gap between them and their opponents in the league standings. Meanwhile, for Stevenage, this presents a golden opportunity to stake their claim for a playoff spot, surprising many with their strong performance this season.
|Blackpool vs Stevenage Betting Tips|
With Neil Critchley at the helm and the ambition of ascending the divisions, expectations were sky-high for Blackpool at the start of this season. Unfortunately, the reality has fallen short, as they’ve managed to amass just 16 points from their 11 matches. A mere three wins in their last ten league outings have left them trailing in 10th place. Despite holding a game in hand over some of their competitors, Critchley must be disappointed with their current position.
Blackpool did show promise with consecutive wins against Reading and Barnsley, but that momentum was shattered by a 3-1 defeat to Derby County and a two-goal lead blown against Charlton Athletic, resulting in a draw. Their early-season struggles, marked by a four-game goal drought, have somewhat subsided, with the team finding the back of the net in five of their subsequent six matches. However, the overall consensus is that Blackpool have underperformed, especially considering their pre-season status as promotion favourites.
In stark contrast, Stevenage find themselves overachieving in their first appearance in the third tier in a decade. Their campaign kicked off impressively, winning four of their first six matches. However, their form wavered, with just two victories in the subsequent six games. A win over Cheltenham Town provided some respite, and they followed that with a victory against Wigan Athletic, breaking a mini-slump.
Yet, despite these triumphs, Stevenage now sit six points adrift of the automatic promotion places. It’s clear that they must recapture their early-season ruthlessness to maintain their upward trajectory.
For Blackpool, Karamoko Dembele is expected to lead the attack in place of Shayne Lavery, who’s been excluded from Northern Ireland’s selection. Youngster Kylian Kouassi, despite a hat-trick against Liverpool Under-21s, will likely remain on the substitutes’ bench. The trio of Jordan Gabriel, Matty Virtue, and Kyle Joseph remains sidelined due to injury.
Stevenage will be without Alexander MacDonald, who was sent off in their last outing. Dan Butler’s suspension, due to accumulating five yellow cards, will see Reece Hannam filling in at left-back. Luther James-Wildin’s availability hinges on his recovery from a head injury suffered in the match against Wigan.
Blackpool: Grimshaw; Pennington, Casey, Husband; Hamilton, Dougall, Norburn, Carey, Thompson; Rhodes, Dembele
Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond; Wildin, Sweeney, Piergianni, Hannam; Thompson, Vancooten, Forster-Caskey; Roberts; List, Pressley
Although it’s still early in the season, this is a pivotal game for Blackpool, and they’ll be eager to secure a win. However, considering their recent inconsistencies, we predict a 1-1 draw, which would keep Stevenage comfortably in mid-table.
Prediction: Blackpool 1-1 Stevenage