Football Tips

Sutton’s Acca: 5/1 EFL Bet

It’s the penultimate weekend of the season and EFL pundit Gab Sutton picks his best bets as fates are set to be decided!

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Coventry to beat Birmingham – 4/9

Coventry started April by dropping four points off the top six, having played a game more than their competitors, but a five-game unbeaten run has elevated Mark Robins’ side to fifth.

The Championship Play-Off scramble is weaker than it has been in previous seasons, perhaps a knock-on effect of usual suspects like West Brom, Norwich and Watford not being as reliable as usual, and the Sky Blues have every chance.

Cov boast a goalscorer in Viktor Gyokeres, who has scored 20 league goals this season and will surely be in demand come summer, as will midfield maestro Gus Hamer.

The 25-year-old was recruited for just £1M from PEC Zwolle in 2020, and the Sky Blues stand to gain a huge amount in return for their smart investment, as Hamer refines the rough edges in his game.

The Brazil-born midfielder used to have a nasty streak on top of his stunning vision, but he’s now toned that down, despite still having the aggression required to press for the ball, steal it and create.

If Gyokeres and Hamer play to their best, they should beat a Birmingham side that already have the points they need.

Oxford to win at Forest Green – 4/7

Forest Green’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in March has been the only saving grace of their troubled season, and accounts for three of the seven points they’ve taken from their previous 23 games.

The Green Devils have had a heavily disrupted campaign of change, on and off the field, which was always going to be far from ideal at a level the club was scaling for the first time.

Attentions now turn to the rebuild in League Two, as the Nailsworth outfit plans a busy summer, adding physicality and athleticism to a group that’s been too much of a soft touch this season.

While Duncan Ferguson’s side know their fate, Oxford are playing to secure their League One status, after a midweek 4-0 win over Cheltenham – their first victory since January – boosted their chances.

The Yellows had a tough start, fixtures wise, to life under Liam Manning, facing top eight opposition five times in his first six encounters, but there was tangible improvement in performance and organisation.

With Cameron Brannagan and Marcus McGuane protecting a steady back-four of Sam Long, Elliott Moore, Stuart Findlay and Ciaron Brown, the U’s have a defensive base that has allowed the likes of Marcus Browne and Kyle Joseph to flourish in attack.

That formula should be enough for Oxford to take another giant stride towards safety at the New Lawn, leaving Manning’s old club MK Dons to battle it out with Morecambe, Cambridge and Accrington Stanley for a single spot of safety.

Ipswich to beat Exeter – 2/11

The one remaining question mark over Ipswich’s automatic promotion credentials, a week ago, was the fixtures.

The Tractor Boys had to go to in-form Play-Off candidates Peterborough, then an excellent Barnsley side that still had a faint sniff of the top two, and stuttering rivals Sheffield Wednesday would have hoped they could drop points.

Instead, Kieran McKenna’s side won both games 3-0, to go four points clear of the Owls, and knowing automatic promotion could be mathematically rubber-stamped on Saturday.

Town are up if they can match or better Sheffield Wednesday’s result at Shrewsbury, and with a vastly superior goal difference to the Owls, they’re effectively promoted if their rivals win and they draw with Exeter.

By virtue of that superior goal difference, Ipswich can also go up if they draw on Saturday and do the same at Fleetwood on the final day.

The complexity of the permutations shouldn’t matter, ultimately, though, because McKenna’s side have won a whopping 11 of their previous 12 league games, scoring a stunning 37 goals in that time, and conceding just two – TWO - in 13.

Exeter are not to be written off entirely – they beat promotion-chasers Barnsley 3-1 at St James’s Park earlier in the month – but Gary Caldwell’s midtable side have since lost five on the spin.

Plymouth Argyle to beat Burton – 2/5

The noughties is remembered as a great time for Plymouth Argyle, when they graced the second-tier with some great players like Akos Buzsaky and Peter Halmosi, but it followed a sharp decline through financial troubles that saw the club fearing for it’s Football League future.

Over the last decade, though, the Devonians have healed, rebuilt, and risen again thanks to the work, initially, of James Brent and Derek Adams, then, more recently, of Simon Hallett, Ryan Lowe and Steven Schumacher.

When Adams was in charge, he had a big say in the club’s internal processes, but now the running is more streamlined, as owner Hallett employed an excellent Chief Executive in Andy Parkinson, Director of Football in Neil Dewsnip, and Head of Recruitment Jimmy Dickinson.

Their work, among others, has made Argyle one of the smartest clubs in the EFL, capable of emulating Luton’s successes – or even Brentford and Brighton in the Premier League.

It could all come to fruition on Saturday, as victory over Burton will mathematically guarantee the club a place in the Championship next season, while the mission will also be complete if Sheffield Wednesday fail to win at Shrewsbury.

It’ll be a fantastic atmosphere at Home Park, and the assignment is favourable: the Brewers have made great strides under Dino Maamria, but they completed their own mission in midweek, securing survival with a 2-0 victory at Lincoln.

Stevenage to beat Grimsby – 13/20

As recently as 2019-20, Stevenage kept their place in the EFL by sheer chance, as ownership issues at other clubs saved their bacon in unfortunate circumstances.

The Boro heeded the warning, though, and two years later, chairman Phil Wallace appointed the man in Steve Evans to turn their fortunes on it’s head.

The demanding Scot overhauled the squad with 13 summer signings, and it was an instant transformation, as the club that only stayed up on slim margins last season is now in pole position to secure it’s first ever automatic promotion in the EFL.

After a memorable campaign, which included a stunning FA Cup victory at Aston Villa, Stevenage are four points clear with two to play.

The Hertfordshire outfit can finish the job regardless of results elsewhere if they beat Grimsby, or if they match or better the results of both Stockport and Carlisle.

The Mariners, who have enjoyed plenty of FA Cup magic themselves this season, are not to be underestimated, after soaring to 11th with three wins in five – but surely the day, and the glory, belongs to the hosts.

PaddyPower Acca

  • Coventry to beat Birmingham – 4/9
  • Oxford to win at Forest Green – 4/7
  • Ipswich to beat Exeter – 2/11
  • Plymouth Argyle to beat Burton – 2/5
  • Stevenage to beat Grimsby – 13/20

£10 bet returns £61.97!

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EFL Acca

EFL Acca Tips

Gab Sutton's Top Predictions For Saturday Matches

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Gab Sutton

Gab Sutton

EFL expert Gab Sutton brings you Sutton's Acca every Friday for Freebets