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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Rotherham can rack up the corners against Ipswich

More words of wisdom from the Soccer Boffin

Paul Warne rallies his Rotherham troops
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Back Rotherham to take at least as many corners as Ipswich in the Championship game at the New York Stadium. Hills quote 6-5 about Rotherham on a corners handicap of +1. The bet will win if Rotherham take as many corners as Ipswich or more.

Neither team have anything to play for, which complicates attempts to anticipate what might happen. Whatever impact it does have, though, should arguably be similar for both sides.

Rotherham are bottom of the table and cannot finish higher. They will play next season in League One. Ipswich are 15th with 55 points, a total that means they can no longer leave the division at either end.

Rotherham have scored 39 per cent of the goals in their home games. There is, generally speaking, a relationship between goals and corners.

Typically a team who score 39 per cent of the goals in their home games will draw or win the corner count in about 50 per cent of those games. Odds of 6-5 imply less than a 46 per cent chance of a bet being successful.

Rotherham this season have drawn or won the corner count in 12 of 21 home games - 57 per cent - which is slightly more than we would have anticipated from the goals they have scored and conceded.

However, the number of times they have drawn or won the corner count is slightly better than we would have expected from the total number of corners they have taken and defended. So that evidence is mixed.

Ipswich this season appear to be fairly typical of the teams who have visited Rotherham. And the pattern of corners for and against in their games, home and away, has been consistent with goals for and against.

Managers Paul Warne and Mick McCarthy, who last month completed a quarter-century in management, may have half an eye on next season. In such fixtures there is more reason than usual to be cautious about bets in any market.

Rotherham today may not have much of the ball. In previous home games they averaged 41 per cent possession. But there are grounds for thinking that the chance of them taking at least as many corners as Ipswich may be better than 6-5.

Rotherham +1 corner
0.5pt 6-5 Hills

Thought for the day0

Is it better to have games in hand or points? After this weekend Arsenal and Southampton will have three games in hand on some Premier League teams. Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester and Sunderland will have two.

The question would be met with a puzzled expression in countries where football is better organised than in England. And there are an awful lot of those.

In Spain, Germany and Italy, for instance, games in hand are rare. When a fixture is postponed it is usually because of bad weather.

In the Premier League games in hand are common. By Monday 12 teams will have a total of 22 games in hand. And they accumulate mostly because fixtures for the FA Cup and EFL Cup are scheduled for the same day as fixtures for the Premier League.

This has gone on for so long it is accepted as normal. A normal thing can be silly, though. And unnecessary. This is.

Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal will not play in the Premier League this weekend because they are playing in FA Cup semi-finals.

When was there last a quartet so good? In 2012 Chelsea played Tottenham - they meet again on Saturday - and Liverpool played Everton.

In 2009 Chelsea played Arsenal while Manchester United played Everton. Those pairings were good, but they do not seem as good as these. I looked back 30 years then stopped because I could not find anything to compare.

It is still daft, though, for FA Cup ties - any FA Cup ties - to be scheduled for the same dates as Premier League games.

Rotherham this season have drawn or won the corner count in 12 out of 21 home games - 57 per cent
E.W. Terms
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