It was meant to be the reverse fixtures of the opening day of the season in Sky Bet League 1 on Saturday afternoon but with a number of third tier clubs in FA Cup action the card has been reduced to just three matches.
Although the schedule has been littered with cancellations, we still have a huge match in the division and a couple of big games for a pair of other sides as the division moves quickly into the second half of the campaign.
Charlton Athletic vs Sunderland
Sunderland have the chance to move into the top two of the League One table on Saturday afternoon when they make the trip to London to take on a Charlton Athletic side who will move up to fourth and within three points of the automatic promotion spots if they can come out on top.
These two drew 1-1 earlier in the season in a high profile opening game of the campaign and it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if they cancel each other out and end up all-square once again. I’m not sure I’d want to be on Sunderland with it being up in the air about what they will do with Josh Maja but at the same time I probably wouldn’t want to be against them anyway. I’ll leave this one alone.
Rochdale vs Burton Albion
Two sides in the wrong half of the table for their liking meet at Spotland when Rochdale take on Burton Albion in a match where the winners will move into the top half of the ladder or onto the fringes of it.
Burton had a decent Christmas after an expected defeat at Luton. They beat Wycombe Wanderers and have drawn with Plymouth Argyle and Bristol Rovers since then but looming large on the horizon is a massive Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Tuesday evening. Rochdale go into this match off the back of a couple of brutal beatings by Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City but they did pick up wins over Blackpool and Southend United prior to that.
I’ll chance Rochdale in this match. Burton have gone four matches on the road without scoring and it will be only natural for them to have more than half an eye on their big match on Tuesday evening. Rochdale can be tough to beat at home and while they have taken two heavy beatings that should only motivate them to get something from this game. With a good amount of draw cover they are the bet.
Scunthorpe United vs Coventry City
Two sides who have hit some decent form over the turn of the year meet at Glanford Park when Scunthorpe United take on Coventry City with three big points up for grabs. A Scunthorpe win could move them up four places while Coventry will go closer to the play-off places if they come out on top.
Scunthorpe have won their last two matches with wins over Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United and have already strengthened their stock in the transfer window. Coventry have gone one better and won their last three matches with Wycombe, Southend and Charlton their victims. In truth nothing really stands out here. Coventry are probably the better side but Scunthorpe are likely to come good when Stuart McCall addresses his injuries and gets players back. I can sit this one out.
Back Rochdale (0AH) to beat Burton Albion for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with BetVictor