Blackpool v Luton Town Betting Tips: Bloomfield Road set for a slow-burner
Both of these teams come into this tie in very good form having each won three of their last four matches so we should be in for an interesting match-up at Bloomfield Road in this first leg.
Blackpool managed to secure the final play-off spot in their final with a vital win over already-relegated Leyton Orient in the final regular game of the season. People will say that it was almost a guarantee before the match started such was nature of the opposition, however, given the fact that five other teams below them could have stolen that final play-off place on that afternoon, Blackpool dealt with the pressure immensely, standing them in good stead for this game.
The Tangerines’ strength this campaign has been their defensive resilience. Their Goals Against record of 46 is the second-best of the play-off teams whilst they have also kept three clean sheets in their last five and 15 in total this season – the third-best in the division. Blackpool have also been reasonably good in the final third in recent weeks with an average of two goals per game in their last three outings.
Bloomfield Road has been the scene of mass protests for a long time, however, it has been a fortress for Gary Bowyer’s side recently with five wins from their last seven matches whilst they have also lost just one league match on home soil since 2nd January. Furthermore, their home record against the top six is excellent, coming out on top in half of their home matches against them.
Luton come into this match in fine form having won their last three matches and not losing any of their last seven.
Much like Blackpool, Luton have been fantastic at the back this season and their record of just 43 goals conceded is the second-best in the division. However, this defensive record could have been even better if they had not slipped up a bit in recent weeks as they have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five outings. Having said that, although they are conceding a few more goals these days, they are also finding the back of the net a bit more with 12 goals in those aforementioned five matches. This improvement in the final third brought their final goal tally to 70 – the second-best of the play-off teams.
The Hatters have been very good on their travels in 2017, losing just twice in 12 league matches away from Kenilworth Road and just once since 2nd January. Nathan Jones’s men may have scored in each of their last five away matches, however, it must also be said that they have scored at least twice on their travels once in their last six. A very good omen for Luton going into this match though is the fact that they have lost just one away match to a top seven side this season – against champions Portsmouth back in January.
Blackpool are the favourites here and Luton have been given a pretty big price at 2/1. Backing the visitors, at such an inflated price, certainly wouldn’t be the worst price, but there’s another way to go. Both of these sides are decent at the back and I think this could be a tense affair, especially early on as the two sides just test the waters. ‘0-0 at Half-Time’ catches the eye at an almost doubling 15/8. Luton have kept clean sheets in four away matches against the top seven whilst 43.5% of their half-time away scores have been 0-0 this season. In addition, the last time these two met was a particularly tight affair with no goals until the 90th minute.
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