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Mark Langdon's best weekend football bets and accumulators

EFL, La Liga & Serie A tips & accas

Freddie Ladapo of Plymouth Argyle has been in great form
1 of 1

Plymouth v Scunthorpe  

5.30pm Saturday

You know it's a crazy time in the football betting season when Barcelona are 12-5 to win away to Celta Vigo and your first thought is to consider whether backing the hosts at 11-10 is value.

There is a lot to weigh up at this stage of the campaign and many different theories float around. 

Some teams who need the points will be going off at artificially short prices and there will be occasions this weekend when that desire is rewarded. It could also be argued that playing under intense pressure is no good and some will crumble.

Teams with nothing but pride to play for will, in some circumstances, revel in the freedom but for others attention will begin to turn towards the holidays. A few may well have had the flip-flops on for weeks, others could well be playing for new contracts and it's difficult to be sure of motivational aspects in many of the fixtures.

One game with everything on the line is at Home Park where at least one of Plymouth or Scunthorpe will be relegated and the hosts look a nice bet at odds-against for a match which isn't quite must-win but it would give them a much better chance of Sky Bet League One survival.

Plymouth had no option other than to sack manager Derek Adams following Saturday's shambolic 5-1 defeat at Accrington with the boss seemingly having lost the dressing room, months after the fanbase lost faith in him.

Adams appeared to have fallen out with top goalscorer Freddie Ladapo and the exciting Ruben Lameiras, who is being linked with Bordeaux in Ligue 1. Both were on the bench at Accy but they should return and with Graham Carey's creative influences there is enough in Kevin Nancekivell's ranks to claim maximum points.

A virtual capacity crowd is expected at Home Park and Plymouth have been decent at home against teams outside of the top ten with seven wins and four draws from 12 games.

Scunthorpe have collected two points from the last 24 available and last week's defeat to relegated Bradford appears to be a terminal blow with the Iron needing a victory just to stand a chance of survival. 

Recommendation
Plymouth
1pt 6-5 general

Bet on these games at Soccerbase.com

Grimsby v Crewe 

3pm Saturday

Blundell Park plays host to a Sky Bet League Two dead rubber which can go the way of visitors Crewe. 

Grimsby, with one win in 12 and just six goals scored during that period, are finishing poorly with injuries hampering Michael Jolley's outfit.

Jolley is certainly not happy with the current situation, ruling Ahkeem Rose, Jordan Cook and Ludvig Ohman out of their final fixture to join Kristian Dennis, Elliot Embleton and Elliott Whitehouse on the sidelines.

"We have seven senior or important players out," Jolley told the Grimsby Telegraph this week. "If I was a betting man, I would say the team that starts next season will look different to the team that is finishing this."

Crewe have won four in a row and six of their last eight, so they appeal as outsiders.

Recommendation
Crewe draw no bet
1pt 6-5 Betfair, Paddy Power

Premier League standings

Sky Bet Championship standings

Sky Bet League One standings

Sky Bet League Two standings

Sheffield Wednesday v QPR  

12.30pm Sunday

It's a case of what might have been for Sheffield Wednesday, who have looked a different side in recent months with just two defeats - against Leeds and Aston Villa - in their last 18 matches.

Steve Bruce's side had too much ground to make up on the playoff chasers but showed their appetite to keep going when earning a point having been 3-1 down at Preston.

QPR have lost three on the bounce and appear to be looking towards next season judging by the first start handed to Lewis Walker, son of Des, in last week's 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest.

Recommendation
Sheffield Wednesday
1pt 10-13 RedZone

Lazio v Atalanta 

Premier Sports 1, 2pm Sunday

Four points separate Atalanta and Lazio in the race for Champions League qualification and this Coppa Italia warm-up can go the way of the visitors in a titanic tussle involving five teams for one spot.

Atalanta, with two defeats since Christmas, play some scintillating stuff and their recent results include a draw at Inter and win at Napoli. Even the 0-0 draw with Empoli was astonishing with 47 shots to 3 and on target it was 18-1, while the expected goals was close to 6-0.

Recommendation
Atalanta draw no bet
1pt 13-10 RedZone

Serie A standings

La Liga standings

Genoa v Roma 

Premier Sports 1, 5pm Sunday

Roma cannot believe their luck in getting back in the top-four mix and Claudio Ranieri's men can make it four wins in five at Genoa.

They were 1-0 winners in Genoa last month, beating Sampdoria 1-0, and on paper this is an easier contest.

Recommendation
Roma
1pt 19-20 general

Weekend football accumulators

Banker
Sheffield Wednesday 10-13
Sheffield United and Aston Villa are the only teams since the start of March to avoid defeat at Hillsborough and Wednesday look ready to finish the season in style against QPR.

Blowout
Luton 2-5
The title is up for grabs for Luton, who have conceded at least twice in four of their last five matches. The Hatters make little appeal against an Oxford outfit with just one defeat in their last 12 matches.

Accumulator
Barnsley 11-17, Sheff Wed 10-13, Montpellier 14-19, Roma 19-20. £1 acca returns £9.87 with RedZone.

Both teams to score
Games at Peterborough 4-6, Blackburn 8-15, Brentford 6-10. £1 treble returns £4.09 with Hills.

Thought for the week

If you say something often enough it must be true and Jonathan Greening was by no means the first to say when analysing the title race on the BBC's football podcast this week: "Nobody remembers the runners-up."

Try telling that to anyone who still waxes lyrical about the Holland side who were World Cup runners-up of 1974 and 1978. People remember them more than the winners and the Dutch influence from over 40 years ago can still be seen in this season's Champions League with Barcelona and Ajax odds-on to reach the final.

Or what about Newcastle's great entertainers of 1995-96. Flawed? Yes. Remembered? Most definitely, and their 4-3 loss to Liverpool is arguably the most iconic game in Premier League history.

Kevin Keegan's "love it" rant will never be forgotten and many fans think of them with more warmth than a whole stack of champions.

The idea that first is first and second is nowhere is just untrue.


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Some teams who need the points will be going off at artificially short prices and there will be occasions this weekend when that desire is rewarded
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