Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
Backing the first team to score in a game isn’t as popular as backing both to find the net, but it’s the perfect bet for a Saturday afternoon. As the goals fly in up and down the country each chance, change and update from the selected games matter. While a 0-0 late on in your typical goals acca ends your interest, with this bet all you need is a second for things to turn around.
The other benefit of an FTTS acca is there’s no shortage of statistics to look at when putting one together. We’ve cast our eye over the highest-scorers, the best defences and the sides who are quickest out of the gate to put together Saturday’s Flying Start Accumulator.
17/1 Flying Start Acca
Birmingham vs Huddersfield
Huddersfield to score first
The Terriers are on an unbeaten run as they head to Birmingham, while they boast the fifth-best away record in the league. Compare that to Birmingham – the sixth-worst home record – and you can see why Huddersfield should be strong from the start here.
The visitors have opened the scoring in 18 of their 34 Championship games this season, while they meet a Blues side who have conceded 10 goals across four home meetings with the top six this term.
Birmingham side who have failed to keep a clean sheet in eight of their last ten Championship games against Huddersfield, while the visitors come into this one on a high following wins over Cardiff and Fulham.
Birmingham have conceded 22 goals in the first half of games, scoring just 14 in return. Meanwhile, Huddersfield have outscored their opponents in both halves across the campaign. Given that, back the visitors to strike first.
Blackpool vs Reading
Blackpool to score first
While there have been signs of life from Reading recently, they face a difficult trip on Saturday. Blackpool have made the most of Bloomfield Road of late, having scored first in their last four Championship home games.
The Seasiders have also broken the deadlock in six of their last eight league matches. Reading head into this one having conceded first in their last three visits to Blackpool, while no team has shipped more goals in the Championship this season than the 63 goals the Royals have let in.
Reading have conceded first in 10 of their 16 away trips this term, while they’re likely to face stern opposition early on here. Blackpool have conceded only four first-half goals at home this season, while they’ve scored the majority of their home goals in the first 45 minutes. Back the hosts to get in front early in this clash.
Morecambe vs Ipswich
Ipswich to score first
Ipswich have turned their campaign around to make a late play-off surge, so they need to beat fourth-bottom Morecambe this weekend. The visitors have got a solid record of quick starts, having opened the scoring in 20 of their 34 League One games this season.
Ipswich have scored the opener in nine of their 17 away trips so far, while Morecambe have conceded the opening goal on eight occasions at home.
Another mark in the Tractor Boys’ favour is their defensive turnaround. Ipswich have kept five straight shutouts in League One, while they have kept out their opponents in six of their last seven league games.
The hosts have the second-worst defensive record in the third tier, so expect them to concede first considering Ipswich’s impressive turn at the back.
Plymouth vs Rotherham
Rotherham to score first
The League One leaders have a potentially tricky tie on Saturday, but some stellar early-game form should see them through. Rotherham broke the deadlock in eight of their last ten league matches, while they have grabbed the first goal in each of their last four away games.
Ten of Rotherham’s last 12 League One games have ended with at least one of the sides failing to score, as have 14 of their last 16. With seven clean sheets in their last nine, the Millers look good to be the only scorers in this one.
No third-tier team has opened the scoring in more matches than Rotherham have this season (24), while they’ve struck first in an impressive 12 of 16 on the road. Seven of their last eight games have seen them win to nil, so back the Millers to strike first here.
Rochdale vs Northampton
Northampton to score first
Finally, we’re backing one of the form sides in the fourth-tier to get ahead early on against Rochdale. Dale have scored 67% of their home goals in the second-half, so they’re always vulnerable to quick-starters.
No team has opened the scoring in more League Two matches than Northampton have this season (20), while they have also scored the opener in ten of their 16 trips.
This is another game where the defensive stats are also key. The visitors have kept out their opponents in seven of their last eight games, including five straight clean sheets. The same can’t be said for the hosts, who have conceded in their last five.
Northampton have conceded only six first-half goals all season, letting in only three before the break in their trips. The visitors have yet to concede away to a side in the bottom 10 of the table, while their great form should see them strike first in this clash.
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