It was raining goals in the two first legs in the League Two play-off semi-finals and with Wembley on the horizon and the fine line of success of failure even closer to the eye, it's a case of winner takes all in both ties as the two northern sides make the long trips south. Blackpool hold a slender advantage for their game at leafy Luton, whilst Carlisle's journey could be a smoother return leg should they overcome Exeter City at the other St James' Park...
The goals flew in at Bloomfield Road in the first leg and it was Pool striker Mark Cullen who came back to haunt his old club Luton last weekend with a great hat-trick. He makes a return to Kenilworth Road on Thursday night and back to a club who he score 21 goals for during a two-year spell.
The Hatters have failed in four previous play-off campaigns in the last 20 years but manager Nathan Jones wasn’t at the helm for any of those heartbreaks. Normally strong at the back, Luton were anything but that in Lancashire last week, but with a hostile atmosphere on the cards and a big crowd packed into their old school stadium, you wouldn’t put it past Jones’ troops to make it to Wembley.
What We Sayin’?
Blackpool have the slight advantage heading into this one, but Luton have beaten them in six of the last seven meetings (the seventh being the game last week). A draw won’t be enough. Luton need to win and we’re backing them to get the job done. It’ll be a nervy 2-1 for our money, at 15/2.
It was a b*tch of a journey for City fans on Saturday for the long trek north to Cumbria, and it will be even longer for United’s trip to Devon on a ‘school night’. And it will feel even longer if Keith Curle’s Cumbrians miss out on the chance of going to the national stadium for the Final, especially following their exploits at Brunton Park in the first leg to get back in the tie and earn a draw.
This is a replica of the last game of the season down in Devon, which saw the Blues sneak into the play-offs thanks to a Jamie Proctor winner. Carlisle do have the upper hand when it comes to their most recent results against Exeter and are unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Grecians, which may push you towards backing them again, or, on the flip side, you could also look at it that Exeter are due some fortune against the Cumbrians.
What We Sayin’?
We’re going to dodge a prediction, but both sides have scored in the last four meetings between these two (3-3, 2-3, 3-2, 2-2), so perhaps a logical bet would be for BTTS and Over 2.5 Goals for this one at 5/6. That looks pretty safe, so perhaps getting more value for a fast start and BTTS in the first half at 11/4 would be an edgier yet more profitable pick, if it comes in, of course!
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