9.5.2008. +24 units
LONG-TERM: Barrow to promote to Blue Square Premier (13.00 @Blue Square) 2 units (11/04/2008)
I really wrote a lot about Barrow lately, so I won't this time. Barrow have a very good chance for a play-off spot, they've hit some amazing form lately and they really could go all the way. Let's take a look at all the play-off candidates first, okay? Kettering are already promoted, they're the champions and will play in Blue Square Premier next season, hooray for them. Stalybridge, Telford, Harrogate, Nuneaton, Barrow and Southport will fight for four places. That means two teams won't make it. And this intro kinda sounds like 'Survivor', doesn't it? So, let's take a look at the numbers and facts.
Stalybridge (2nd, 39 matches, 73 points) Vauxhall (h), TELFORD (h), Redditch (h) estimation: 80-82 points
Telford (3rd, 39 matches, 71 point) HARROGATE (h), STALYBRIDGE (a), Burscough (a) estimation: 72-75 points
Harrogate (4th, 38 matches, 71 point) TELFORD (a), Hucknall (h), Tamworth (a), Workington (h) estimation: 77-81 points
Nuneaton (5th, 39 matches, 67 points) Hucknall (a), SOUTHPORT (h), Tamworth (h) estimation: 70-73 points
Barrow (6th, 38 matches, 66 points) Redditch (a), Kettering (h), Tamworth (h), Worcester (h) estimation: 73-78 points
Southport (7th, 37 matches, 65 points) Kettering (h), Alfreton (h), NUNEATON (a), Leigh RMI (h), Vauxhall (a) estimation: 72-77 points
Stalybridge shouldn't lose more than two points, between 80 and 82 points will be enough. I wouldn't be surprised if I don't see Telford in the play-offs though three very tough matches, I can't see them take more than four points (that's 75 max) and even that shouldn't be taken for granted. Harrogate should be alright especially if they take four points out of next two matches, at Telford and at home against struggling Hucknall who will bite two easier matches after that, so that should be between 77 and 81 point, it all depends on the next two matches really. Nuneaton is another team that I can't really see in the play-offs Hucknall away tomorrow will be a tough match, Southport at home also, so that's between 70 and 73 all together, I doubt they could have 74 at the end. Southport could be in, they have five matches left, but they've also been terrible lately and even lost a manager. They should still win at Vauxhall and at home vs Leigh RMI and if they manage to take at least a point against unmotivated champions Kettering tomorrow, that could be between 72 and, well, the sky's the limit as they have fifteen points to play for, but not more than 75 or maybe 77 if they win tomorrow.
So, Stalybridge and Harrogate should be alright and Barrow should be alright too I can see them taking at least a point against Kettering (it was 1:0 for Barrow before the match was abandoned in 55th minute back in February) and taking seven or even all nine points in the other three matches, including tomorrows' match at Redditch that you're already fimiliar with. 76 points should be enough and I think Barrow will be one of the four teams in the play-offs. The fourth team could be Telford after all, I doubt Nuneaton can make it and Southport have big problems right now and they have a lot of matches left in not so many days. Barrow are also a bit tired after a lot of midweek matches lately, but after this upcoming Tuesday's clash with unmotivated champions Kettering and next Saturday's home match against mid-table Tamworth, they'll finally have the whole week to rest a bit and recharge their batteries before the last match of the season (mid-table Worcester at home) and, hopefully, play-offs.
And then, in the play-offs, everything is possible. If we look at Barrow's results, it would probably be ideal to play against Telford in the semi-finals, but for that kind of scenario a lot of things should click. It's more realistic to expect Harrogate or Stalybridge in the semi-finals. It was 2:2 in both matches against Harrogate, also 2:2 away at Stalybridge, but Stalybridge managed to beat Barrow on their pitch 3:1. But, Barrow have been a different team since their uber-succesful management duo took over half a year ago and 1:0 against Kettering, 2:0 away at Telford, 4:0 at home vs Telford and all those stubborn little 1:0 and 2:1 wins tell a great story about a great comeback. They've been great away from home recently and that could help us a lot with this bet, because of the two matches in semifinals. I already said it reminds me of Maidenhead last season in Souther Premier. They got promoted in the end and Barrow could too and even if they don't, the odds for promotion will change a lot over the next few weeks and we could make some profit even if this bet fails. How? Well, for instance, Barrow could play in the play-off finals against, let's say, Stalybridge. The odds for promotion before the final match could be 1.80 for Stalybridge and 2.10 for Barrow that's just an example. In that case, we could stake 8 units on Stalybridge and relax. If Stalybridge get promoted, we make +4.4 units profit. If Barrow get promoted, we make +16 units profit. A whole bunch of other scenarios are possible, but I think we have a good long-term bet that gives us plenty of options in the near future. Let's see what happenes next...
(13.00 also at 888Sport no other bookie offers this bet currently...)
semi-finals: Barrow - Telford 2:0 FT, Telford - Barrow 0:2 FT / final: Barrow - Stalybridge 1:0 FT