Welcome to another week of Roker Riches action.
With the backlog of fixtures after the Covid deferrals, here we are again with another fixture only a few days after the last, albeit the mid week fixture this week was a Papa John’s Cup encounter rather than a league outing. The lads managed to secure a dominant 2-0 win versus Port Vale at the Stadium of Light to progress to the cup quarter finals, after missing out on all three points but sharing the spoils last weekend, in the rapidly rescheduled League One home tie against Hull.
While the Sky-televised point against Hull was a potential bonus we may well appreciate later (as it was a game we could well have lost with better opposition finishing), it was good to get back to winning ways on Tuesday. Many feel the changes in personnel that night may provide Johnson with some real selection dilemmas too, and having varying first XI options for the second tie against Wimbledon in just over a month will hopefully provide all three points on the road. We need to make up for the draw at home (and others), which on reflection should have been part of the Covid shut down spell.
In terms of form for the upcoming match, since the draw on 15/12 last year, AFC Wimbledon have lost at home to Lincoln and Crewe (both by 2-1) as well as losing away to Oxford, though they did manage a 1-0 away win on Tuesday night against Bristol Rovers in the league trophy. For their last league win you have to go back to December 2nd, when they arguably shocked themselves and the form book beating Peterborough 2-1 at home. Clearly on their day they can beat sides backed for auto promotion or playoff places, so let’s hope Sunderland don’t have a bad away day like Peterborough did.
The lads have not fared too well of late either, with only 6 points from the 5 league games since Johnson took over the dug out for the first time at home to Wigan, just over a month ago. For me, this is both a banana skin game which can be very typical for us to lose, but also a game we must win to get on a confidence boosting run, and to build points towards the playoff places. Teams all around us are (thankfully) failing to take the chance to pull away from the pack, with the gap from SAFC to second place only 8 points, and with a game in hand on the team we drew with last weekend in that second place slot.
All to play for then... so what do the Riches team think is worth a punt against AFC Wimbledon, and what other bets are they putting out there to climb the Riches table?
The Rolling Table : Season 2020-2021
Yellow card update...
All bets were in on time this week, and while a few acca’s were very near misses, no winning bets were claimed.
Here is the table as it stands before the Wimbledon away game to come:
As was the case last time out, Phil, Fletch and Matty have a pretty healthy lead over the rest of the pack, but much like the League One table there is very little between bottom and 4th.
Sunderland failed to score more than one against Hull so no bankers bonus bet this week. After scoring 2 in the cup and getting a win, maybe more goals will be scored soon...with the free header Wyke didn’t score, 2 goals versus Hull should have been the case but then a point each was probably a good point for all.
This weeks bonus... Aiden O’Brien played and scored in the Port Vale win, as well as playing the pass that earned us a penalty to seal the match. For many he gave himself a good chance of a start this weekend, hence if O’Brien plays more than 30 minutes this weekend, we will see evidence that the coach is backing players with present form, rather than historic goal tallies...sadly those past goals seem to mean for now Wyke cant hit a barn door with a shotgun, so my view is rest him and get him hungry again.
If O’Brien gets over 30 mins this weekend, all Riches players and the readers pot will get an extra tenner bet for next weekend. Come on Johnno, Charlie has done OK but he looks like he needs rotating out, and others deserve a go. Why not O’Brien?
This week’s bets:
Matty Crichton says...
Aiden McGeady to score first and Sunderland to win: Since the Irishman appears to have overthrown Grant Leadbitter from penalty duty and has scored in his last two games, I am backing him to convert once again against a struggling Wimbledon side. £5 returns £45.00.
EFL Fivefold: Portsmouth to beat managerless Fleetwood, Hull to beat Blackpool, Oxford to win away at Northampton, Boro to get one over their ex-boss Karanka and Bournemouth to beat Luton. £5 returns £136.28.
Gary Morris says...
Sunderland to win 3-0 - Gary quite fancies one goal more than against Port Vale in the cup, and this attracts decent odds of 14-1. Fiver returns £75.
4 way Prem acca - Gary also thinks Wolves, Leeds, West Ham and Leicester will all be too much for their opponents this weekend, which may well be the case with them all at home. Bit brave backing West Ham against Burnley, Moyes will surely start returning to previous form very soon? Fiver returns £52.21
Phil Butler says...
Lynden Gooch to score and Sunderland to win: The bookies have Lynden Gooch priced alongside fellow midfielders Aiden McGeady and Jack Diamond at 7/2, but with the American in line for a start up front he seems a good bet to score in a much needed win.£5 returns £22.50.
EFL Treble: Once again I’m going for a trio of teams I think are good value in an accumulator at roughly 10/1. Championship leaders Norwich face Cardiff City in the Welsh capital, Portsmouth face managerless Fleetwood and forth-placed Doncaster Rovers are up against Swindon who are down in 22nd. £5 returns £53.04.
Paul Fletcher says...
Sunderland to win 3-1. I did quite fancy 2-0 but the odds of 7/1 are a joke for a team that hardly ever scores more than once. So greedily, I’m going for the same winning margin but without the clean sheet as it pays 14/1. £5 returns £75
Double Chance Sixfold - I desperately need a win to get the ball rolling this year. For my acca, I’m not being greedy - all I want is for QPR, Accrington, Peterborough, Rochdale, Newport and Hibernian to avoid home defeats today. £5 returns £20.25
Malc Dugdale says...
SAFC to win 3-1 - I don’t think we will repeat the clean sheet from the Papa John’s game as we are presently working with a trial right back in Power, and having to vary the centre backs to allow for injury, Covid recovery and other factors. If the lads manage to get three goals for the first time since Lincoln and only let one in, this offers odds of 14-1, returning £75 if it comes in.
“Low risk” treble - I need to get something in the kitty so this week I am going conservative with the second bet. A fiver says Leeds, Chelsea and Norwich will all win, two of whom are away from home. This returns £34.60 if it comes in.
Danny Roberts says...
Sunderland to win - It’s time for Johnson and the team to start winning games now. The poor run needs to come to an end and hopefully that is this weekend. £5 returns £8.75.
Treble forecast - Leeds, West Ham and Forest Green all to win. Fiver returns £34.64
Riches Readers’ Random Pick...
Sunderland to win 2-1 - our random pick for this game is a 2-1 win to the lads. We scored more than one goal for the first time in some time on Tuesday in the cup so this feels like a decent option for the readers. Tenner returns £80.
Good luck to Sunderland and to all our betting buddies. We have a second cup win for “Streaky Lee” as our coach has been called in the past, hopefully this can be a league and cup streak from now on, and not a losing one!
Let us know what you will be betting on this weekend, on social media or by email. Cheers and Ha’way the Lads!