Friday, 16 September 2016

unofficial long-term pick



DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE to be promoted  (min. odds: 4.00) 1 point
http://www.oddschecker.com/football/english/non-league/national-league/promotion

The Daggers have been doing great lately considering all of their injury woes. They're still without a couple of important, but injury prone players - first-choice right-back Williams (hamstring) and first-choice midfielder Guttridge (knee) - but now that the first-choice defensive midfielder Boucaud, first-choice centre-back Robson (who's failed a fitness test on Tuesday, but should be back in the team for either tomorrow's or next weekend's game) and versatile midfielder Howell are all back from their respective injuries, Dagenham & Redbridge shouldn't be @6.00 to bounce back to League Two straight away. Even with first-choice right-back Williams and first-choice centre-back Robson both sidelined (along with midfielder Guttridge), Dagenham managed to thrash Solihull 5:2 away from home on Saturday and then score twice and keep a clean sheet at home against a very solid Dover outfit who had just beaten bookies' favorites Forest Green a few days earlier. Versatile defender/midfielder Staunton who had started three consecutive games following Williams' injury at right-back moved to centre-back, first-choice left-back Widdowson moved to right-back, central midfielder Raymond moved to left-back and there you have a completely unexpected, but very organized back four that even keeps a clean sheet against Dover (btw it was Justham's fifth clean sheet in ten games so far) who had scored at least once (and up to four - on two occasions) in each game since the opening day. Anyway, with first-choice centre-back Robson back from his injury, Staunton will probably return to right-back and Widdowson will probably return to left-back, but it's good to know the Daggers can improvise very well when defensive injuries kick in, even when they find themselves with only one of the four defenders playing in his usual position like in the last couple of games, both wins (update: Daggers have now also signed versatile full-back/midfielder Ling until New Year, just in case). Then we have the two defensive midfielders, Robinson (who Still signed from Luton, which was the club he managed before his return to Dagenham) and Boucaud, who have both been excellent at anchoring the midfield so far this season, with Howell and Raymond ready to fill in if necessary. And finally, behind the league's top scorer Hawkins (eight goals in nine games he's played so far, including two hattricks), we have an excellent trio of Maguire-Drew (on loan from Brighton & Hove at least until January) who's already scored four goals this season, Whitely (who's only recently signed from Ishtmian Premier outfit Enfield where he scored 57 goals in 144 games) and Okenabirhie (who's already scored thrice after joining from Harrow Borough in the summer), with the likes of veteran striker Benson (who's scored 70 goals during his previous spell with the Daggers) and versatile forward Assombalonga waiting for their respective chance from the bench. And, last but not least, you have a legendary manager in John Still, who's already won this league with Maidstone (1989), the very same Dagenham & Redbridge (2007) and Luton (2014). He's also won more than a couple of lower-league promotions, made more than a couple of League Two play-offs (twice with Barnet and once with the Daggers) and holds the record for most games in all competitions (more than 1700) managed by an Englishman. He got his first managerial job more than 40 years ago. If there wasn't for the neverending takeover saga (Dave Bennett has now stepped down as Chairman as he's involved with one of the consortiums bidding to invest in the club), this bet would look even better (the min. odds would be even shorter), but even though the likes of Forest Green, Tranmere, Lincoln and Eastleigh all look like excellent teams this season, these odds are simply too big - anything better than 4.00 for the Daggers to bounce back to League Two straight away, either by winning the league or through play-offs, looks great to me.

current odds:

6.00 with Marathon...
5.50 with Bet365, Betway...
5.00 with 188bet, Skybet...
4.50 with BetVictor, Coral...

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