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Roker Riches 20/21

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Roker Riches: Are our pundits tipping Sunderland to flip the play-offs on its head?

The hot picks and top tips from the Roker Report betting squad - what bets have you got on for what may be our final play-off game? Here are our weekly crop of top tips...

Welcome to the second special edition of Roker Riches, covering the League One play-off semis, and maybe the final. Our appearance in front of what may be 20,000 SAFC fans later this month now looks a daunting challenge, however, after a 2-0 away loss in the first leg.

Despite the form before the first match being slightly in our favour, many would say we failed to really “have a go” down at Sincil Bank, the location of one of our most comprehensive wins (4-0) just a number of months ago, and under the same boss.

The job now needs to be turned around at the SOL this afternoon, or our season will end and the major rebuild will begin.

Let’s take a look at how the Riches team’s bets are looking as we try to carry on this mini-cup-run to get us at least to the home of football, Wembley, and maybe even back to the Championship.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 1st Leg
Fans may have been the difference at Sincil Bank - can the SOL crowd do the same and more today?
Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

The Rolling Table: Season 2020-2021

Yellow card update...

No yellow cards this Saturday as was the case last game. These fixtures are so close together worries did exist, but all the lads got their bets in, so hopefully the squad of lads pulling on the shirt for our city will be as well-prepped for the critical second leg as our betting candidates have been.

No changes in the table after that 2-0 loss in the first leg, so the table still looks like this:

With our skint brethren granted another tenner for this second playoff leg to bet, and it remains possible they may get another betting round, but it isn’t only our betting lads who need to put some honour and pride out there for all to see.

As a minimum, the 10000 lads fans who were lucky enough to get tickets to stand in the wind and rain for the first time in a year today want to see the team give their all in this second semi final. Maybe they can turn it around, we will know by just after 5pm today.

One thing we can guarantee is the unpredictability of how we play. And on that unpredictability there will be an element of optimism, so let's see who is picking up on that vibe in the betting team.


Banker’s Bonus...

No bonus for the second playoff leg, as we failed to keep the back door shut away at the LNER, letting in two goals. Both were quite sloppy too - the first should have been cleared earlier as we had a number of chances to do that. The second was an opportunistic tap in, down to poor interplay between our defence and goalie, and a bit of a gamble by a promising looking young lad. Again, avoidable. Meanwhile, we hit the bar twice.

This time, the banker's bonus is all about qualifying, as if we don't do that it will be the end of the Riches run for this season. Win in any way possible, including in extra time or penalties, and we are all getting an extra 20 quid for Wembley weekend.

Lose, and we hang up our Roker Riches kitties until late summer, hopefully with a very refreshed and rebuilt squad to take this muppet of a league on next time.

Sunderland v Tranmere Rovers - Papa John’s Trophy - Final 2021 - Wembley Stadium
Penalties against Lincoln in the cup semi’s took us to Wembley, and we won. We would take that again no doubt in this second semi final leg...
Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

This Week’s Bets

Matty Crichton says...

Sunderland Bet Builder - I fancy us nicking this, and I think a return for Maguire may be a major part of that outcome. I also think it could be a bit niggly with so much at stake so yellow cards may be a factor.

My prediction is - Maguire to score any time in the match, more than 7 corners for both teams combined, Bridcutt to be booked, and the lads to prevail. Good odds of 40-1 if this all happens, giving me £410 back for my tenner bet.

Sunderland v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One
Will Chris get a chance of a final bow? Many think he should.
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Luke ‘Bomber’ Davies says...

The Fantasist’s Dream

If we don’t believe why should the players?! Like a scripted spin of ‘When Saturday Comes’, Saturday is going to have all the drama and romanticism any fan could need!

In a game to overshadow ‘Bristanbul’, Sunderland to blitz Lincoln; 2-0 up on the hour mark. Suddenly, a Tom Flanagan mistake gifts Lincoln a goal! WE NEED ANOTHER!

Fast forward to the 93rd minute, it’s all a bit desperate, Jack Diamond bursts into the box and is tripped… PENALTY! Up steps Mr Sunderland - Grant Leadbitter. Ice in his veins, he steps up and Bang…… 3-1! We go to extra time and get to Wembley on Penalties!!!

Sunderland to win 3-1 and Grant Leadbitter to score last

£10 returns £1590.12

Sunderland v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League One
Jack knows how to take on a back line and win a spot kick - will this premonition come off? Bomber the fantasist thinks so.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Phil Butler says...

Play-Off Treble

With all home sides for the second leg of the EFL play-off semi finals getting the chance to play in front of fans for the first time in over a year, I’m going to punt for a trio of wins for Brentford and Swansea in the championship, and Forest Green in League two.

£5 returns £63.38

Sunderland to win in normal time

To be honest I have little optimism going into today’s second leg but that isn’t going to stop be throwing a fiver at Lee Johnson’s red and white wizards. Sunderland to win with a 2-goal handicap would take us to Wembley. I can’t see it, but nor can I back against us.

£5 returns £45

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 1st Leg
Lee would not have been happy with the Wednesday performance or result. Can he and the lads turn it around?
Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Paul Fletcher says...

Sunderland to win 4-0:

The p*** taking party stops here. No sloppy goals conceded, all our chances taken, the Stadium of Light rocking and a trip to Wembley booked.

£10 returns £340


Malc Dugdale says...

Premier league “yes no” special - I’ve gone for the following 4 outcomes which give decent odds of 10-1 if they come in. Leicester to beat Spurs - yes; BTTS in Villa v Chelsea - no; Liverpool keep a clean sheet vs Palace - yes; Over 2.5 goals in Arsenal v Brighton - yes. Fiver returns £55.

Sunderland to win the tie in extra time - If we are going to Wembley this is going to be a challenge but one we may need more than 90mins to complete. We have a strong bench, and they may make the difference if we manage to take it into overtime. I almost went for the penalties option of this bet, but my fingernails couldn’t take that.

£5 returns £75.


Danny Roberts says...

Sunderland to qualify for the final in ET: Bugger it. Why not? Big odds and it’s not completely against the realms of possibility for the Lads to turn it around against a team we have beat 4-0 this season. It’ll be tough and I have no confidence it’ll happen, but an early goal and (hopefully) a loud Stadium of Light can push the team on to get to the final. £10 returns £170.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final
Will we see this again this season? It’s all down to today.
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Riches Readers’ Random Pick...

Sunderland to win the tie from the spot - We have a chequered history with penalty shoot outs, but we have already beaten Lincoln on pens this season to get to Wembley for the Papa John’s final, and if we manage to get the goals back, we can back ourselves to win again. Tenner for the readers returns £210 at 20-1 on Sky Bet.


Good luck to Sunderland and to all our fellow punters on what could be the last weekend of this season. Please remember to gamble responsibly, and enjoy your weekend.

However the lads fair, the future is bright, and the rebuild is coming whether we go up or not. Let us know what you will be betting on this weekend, on social media or by email.

Cheers, and ha’way the Lads!

FEATURES!

On This Day (23 Sep 2003): Grant Leadbitter makes his Sunderland debut in cup defeat

FAN LETTERS!

Fan Letters: “Sunderland’s future is looking exciting”

OPINION!

Cup progress secured - now it’s back to league business against Bolton & Cheltenham!