Don Stop Believing!

By BoroGuide

GleeUnless we’re mistaken, there is the hint of a feel good factor back in the air among Boro’s supporters courtesy of last week’s win at Crewe Alexandra. Now we contemplate our first home game of the New Year, and Doncaster Rovers’ first appearance at Broadhall Way in nearly nine years. Recent events in South Yorkshire ensure that Donny come down south sans manager, after Dean Saunders decided he was going to jump ship and join Wolverhampton Wanderers. But they still fly high in League One and warrant a fair degree of respect for that.

For us, it won’t come as any surprise that we’ll be looking to build on last week with a win and an accomplished display on home territory – such a showing hasn’t been forthcoming in recent outings at the Lamex. With a new-found preference (we think) for the 4-4-2 that we saw at Crewe and new faces Sam Hoskins and Steve Belek at the manager’s disposal, it is a glass-half full scenario and we can genuinely kick on.

Doncaster sit joint top of the division and being a manager down does not make them any less of a threat. Apart from being thrashed at home by Coventry last month (sound a little familiar?), Donny are on a meaty run. Our rudimentary analysis of their form indicates an astonishing fact – they have lost just once away from home in the league, against Yeovil on 1 September. We could be wrong, but we did double check…

The good people of Opta give us two nuggets from which to formulate which way this may be going or, more likely, where it could be won and lost. Our 2-0 win up at Hartlepool last month is our only clean sheet in 12 league games. And on the flip side, Donny have scored in all of their last 10 league games. Prolific! (Mind you, Walsall was the only time over the same period that Stevenage have failed to score. Nearly Prolific!)

So, what have we learned. Well, Boro’ are good for a goal but need to stop a potent Donny from continuing their goalscoring run. A win could propel us back into the top six if every result goes our way tomorrow. And with that boundless optimism, we’re off to watch Glee and sing Journey until the sun comes up…

FIFA 13 Verdict:
Not this week we’re afraid.

Bookmakers’ Verdict:
We think we’re being somewhat underestimated in the current running with the bookies; Donny are ranked as slight favourites and a best price of 7/4 can be found with Totesport and Betfred. Boro’ aren’t too far back in the stakes; the longest you’ll find at present is the 15/8 offered by Bet365. Incidentally, Bet365 are also one of three offering 12/5 on a draw – Ladbrokes and SkyBet being the other two.

Given the respective goalscoring records of both teams recently, you may be interested in going with Over 2.5 Goals – Bet365, William Hill, 32Bet, 188Bet Betfair and Betdaq are all offering better than Evens. Both Teams To Score can be found at 4/5 with Stan James and Betway, if you’d prefer to go with that punt. And if you are set on a scoreline, then you can get 2-1 (either way) at a tasty looking 10/1. Everything correct when written…

Last Season Meeting:
Stevenage Borough 2-3 Doncaster Rovers (Nationwide Conference, 2002/3)

Team Tarot (4-4-2):
Arsenal GifArnold
Roberts (c)