Sunderland are 8/11 to beat Shrewsbury at the Stadium of Plodge.
The Shrews are a tempting 18/5. There's value in that one. Even the draw at 5/2 looks a bet. Sunderland love a draw.
Save your money - don't back Sunderland
There’s precious little to justify putting any money on the possible paltry return should Sunderland emerge victorious. And plenty reason not to back ‘em.
SAFC are the 15th best team at home in the whole of League One, averaging a measly goal a game.
Just think of those mighty fortresses up and down the land who have a better third division home record this season than the empty heads and seats at the SOL.
Blame Parky-ball if you must, but there’s nothing much been shown yet to suggest Lee Johnson can get any more tune out of this rank average Sunderland squad than his predecessor.
There’s been no win in the cavernous empty hole on the banks of the Wear since Grant Leadbitter bagged a late penalty against a 10-man Ipswich side.
That was a few days after Boris announced Lockdown 2.0. Now weeks into version 3 that feels like an awfully long time ago. And it was.
Sunderland have 6 points from the last six home outings and might as well play out the season at the AOL which at least can’t have a worse playing surface than the SOL.
It was tempting to write Sunderland’s season off after the dismal defeat to Plymouth midweek.
Another nil points today against Shrewsbury will have us on the run to those dreaded three words which haunt mid table also rans - “Faint Playoff Hopes” or FPH for short.
Aside from a trip to MK Dons, February’s fixtures look like they’ll usher in precious few points.
Come March those words above will be joined to the sentence “Sunderland head to….looking for a win to keep their FPH alive”. We know how this plays out. Admit it.
Fancy a Shrew? You should, you might like it
Last time out, Shrewsbury battled out of the FA Cup without any disgrace with a two-nil reverse to Southampton. They haven’t played in the league for ages like.
Our old mate Steve Cotterill missed the cup match thanks to Covid-19. Amazingly, he’s still way shy of being in any coronavirus “at risk age group". It’s like 18 years since he was with Howard up here.
But his team had been in good form before their pandemic halt, taking points of sides better than *cough* Sunderland. 13 points from their last 5 league outings - including Hull and Lincoln - says this isn’t a bad squad.
SAFC v STFC - where to put your money
Pop Shrewsbury or the draw at evens (2 units) in one of your Saturday accas. Decent value and will plump up your odds.
BTTS and Shrewsbury to win (1 unit) is teetering at a tasty 10/1 on SkyBet just now. Fancy that one.
If you must back something Sunderland-related, then you’re probably going to have to take Charlie Wyke (to a darkened location of your choice with a hood on his head) at better than 3/1 to be first goalscorer (0.5 units)..
You can find some of my FA Cup tips and thoughts here.