First Scorer Betting Preview

Each week we try and pick out the best value first scorer bets from the weekend fixtures

REGULAR readers will know that I love this time of year as teams that look to be struggling can get an injection of talent in the transfer window and transform their form immediately without the bookmakers having a clue what is going on.

Likewise, teams can lose players who have been stalwarts for the early part of the season and suddenly their form takes a dip.

This latter comment could start to apply to Berwick Rangers, who were stripped of on-loan Hearts stars Marcus Godhino and Andrew Irving.

Jambos boss Craig Levein has removed five on-loan players from their various clubs this week and taken them out to Valencia for a five-day warm-weather camp (nice work if you can get it).

While there is every chance players might return to their respective clubs after the camp, Berwick boss Robbie Horn could have done without losing two of his ever-present starters for their home game with Annan.

The Galabankies have lost one of their last 10 League Two matches and that was last weekend against second-placed Montrose.

Berwick, on the other hand, have lost five of their last 10 games and in fact lost four of their last six matches.

Annan probably should be odds on for their trip to a below-strength Berwick yet can be backed at 5/4.

Goals have been in fairly short supply for Annan this season, who have scored just 23 form their 20 league matches, but they also have the meanest defence in the division conceding just 17.

Annan have a great chance to get amongst the goals on Saturday as Berwick have the leakiest defence in League Two, shipping a massive 31 goals from their 18 matches.

Aidan Smith has been the main man for Annan this season in terms of league goals and his strike-rate of eight from 20 games is very respectable.

He is also on the pens and his odds of 9/2 to score the first goal of the game with McBookie look good.

Staying in League Two and Edinburgh City have assembled quite a squad of players over the last month or so and a strike force of Farid El Alagui and Scott Shepherd should provide them with plenty of goals between now and the end of the season.

Things have already started turning around for the former Lowlands League club and they have won their last two games scoring five goals without reply.

I suspect they could be a club to follow from now on and on Saturday we get a great chance to assess their new level with the visit of Montrose.

After taking 26 points from a possible 30, the Gable Endies were thrashed 6-2 at home to Peterhead before drawing with League Two whipping boys Cowdenbeath.

They steadied the ship with a 1-0 win over Annan last weekend, but I’d want a bit more than 11/10 against this strong Citizens forward line.

As a result, Edinburgh City can be backed at 11/4 which looks a great price.

On-loan Falkirk striker Shepherd has scored three goals in his last two games and McBookie make him 15/2 to net his fourth in three with the opening goal of the game. Too big.

Finally, in League One I fear Queens Park could be on the end of a hammering away to Arbroath.

The Smokies have already beaten the Spiders 2-0 twice this season and last weekend shocked Ayr United with a 2-1 win at Somerset Park.

Queens Park were my tip last weekend to beat a Stranraer side ripped of their best players in recent weeks due to financial difficulties.

But they failed to deliver the goods drawing 2-2 (their third Desmond in a row) after twice going behind and I fear Arbroath will run riot.

Smokies striker Leighton McIntosh has six goals from seven games this season and two of those appearances were as a sub.

He is 19/5 with McBookie to score the first goal on Saturday and his scoring might not end there.

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