Under new boss Richie Wellens, who was officially appointed as the manager last week, Oldham have gone from League One laughing stocks, to a side who’re becoming a real nuisance to face. Not only has their form taken a positive turn, but Wellens’ men have started scoring goals on a regular basis. Considering that Latics’ fans rarely witnessed goals at the right end last season, the fact that their side scored no less than 12 in seven matches must be very pleasing indeed. This recent upturn in fortunes has seen Oldham rise out of the relegation zone, Wellens’ side will now be looking to kick on.
Unlike their opponents on Tuesday night, Bury are yet to lift themselves out of trouble as they currently in 21st position, three points behind Oldham. Lee Clark’s side have found life in the third tier of English football tough this season and have been blighted by inconsistency. Back-to-back defeats prior to this fixture certainly don’t bode well, especially since their hosts here have started to perform well of late.
Bury might come into this match in poor form having lost each of their last two matches; however, they’re probably not quite as bad as their league position suggests. In addition, Oldham, as good as their turnaround in form has been, probably haven’t improved their form as much or, perhaps more importantly, their price in the market suggests. Of the two, Oldham are the team who come into this fixture in better form, but nobody should be rushing out to back them to win at 6/5, even if they are at home against a side who’ve lost two on the spin. At 5/2, Bury make plenty of appeal.
For all they are without a win in two, Bury come into this match off a string of relatively respectable performances; they were unlucky to lose late on against Southend at the weekend, while their 2-1 defeat away to Blackpool the time before that wasn’t exactly the most embarrassing of results. Prior to those narrow defeats, Lee Clark’s men recorded two very positive wins against both Bradford (in the league) and Blackburn (in the EFL Trophy) – two sides who’re competing towards the top of the table.
The visitors, though they’ve scored just once in their last 180 minutes of football, with the likes of Chris Maguire and veteran goal-getter Jermaine Beckford, who has notched eight goals in League One this season, do offer a threat going forward and they ought to fancy themselves in the final third against an Oldham side who continue to look weak at the back. In terms of chances given away this season, Oldham have been up there with Gillingham as one of the worst in the division. The fact that they conceded four at MK Dons at the weekend suggest that any real defensive improvement is yet to occur.
The turnaround at Oldham under Richie Wellens is certainly well under way, but it’s still very much early days. The hosts still look anything but secure at the back, while they are massively reliant on Preston loanee Eoin Doyle at the other end. Their immediate form might make for better reading than Bury’s, but a price of 6/5 is a massive overestimation. As a result, it is worth siding with the visitors at a slightly generous 5/2.
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