Mansfield Town vs Stevenage Predictions

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Mansfield Town

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      Tip Reasoning

      It’s not been a great start to the campaign for the side that reached the play-offs last term. As things stand, Mansfield have just one win to their name, though they’ve only lost one of their opening five games, so there’s no need for fans of the Stags to panic just yet. A home match against a Stevenage side that has looked weak during the first few weeks of the season represents a good opportunity for Mansfield to pick up three points.

      After registering their first win of the campaign last weekend, John Dempster’s men would’ve gone into Tuesday’s game feeling confident, though such confidence didn’t pay dividends, as the Stags were beaten by three goals to two. Their efforts weren’t poor, as an expected goal difference of +0.13 suggests, they were unfortunate to lose, though they ultimately paid the price for giving too much away. While 2.04 expected goals for is pleasing, conceding 1.91 isn’t. By allowing their opponents to create, Mansfield left themselves open to attack, which in the end cost them dearly.

      From an attacking point of view, Dempster’s men have performed very well during the early weeks of the campaign. They’ve scored eight goals in four games, have scored twice in each of those four, while they’re averaging a pleasing 1.57 expected goals for. Going forward, all is well. However, at the back, things have gone awry, as Saturday’s hosts have shipped two or more in three of their four games and have surrendered a poor average of 1.73 expected goals for.

      Fortunately, Mansfield are up against a Stevenage side that has struggled over the last few weeks, though if they don’t tighten up at the back, the Stags could very easily become the first team to be hurt by Saturday’s visitors.

      It’s not been a pleasing start to the campaign for Stevenage, who’re without a win or a draw after four matches. Dino Maamria’s men came into the new season hoping to push for the coveted top-seven having narrowly missed out last term, though unless they improve significantly, finishing in the play-off places will be nothing more than a pipe dream.

      The main issue for Stevenage over the first few weeks has been a lack of both creativity and end-product. Not only are the Boro without a point, but they’re also yet to find the net, while they’re averaging just 0.7 expected goals for. Therein lies the problem.

      Having said that, as Mansfield’s expansive approach has allowed teams to create rather easily, Saturday could very easily be the day where Stevenage’s front-line come into their own.

      In the betting, ‘Both Teams to Score’ appeals at the prices. Mansfield have impressed from a forward point of view, so much so that they look a good bet to net against a struggling Stevenage side. However, for all the visitors have struggled, they are up against a side that has conceded an awful lot, both in terms of goals and chances. Add in the fact that Stevenage come into this game off the back of their best effort yet, whereby they created 1.39 expected goals for against a strong Bradford side, and backing the visitors to also register on the score-sheet makes sense.

      ‘Correct Score’ players can try a 1-1 draw. Mansfield have looked weak at the back, while the visitors, for all their problems, have done a reasonable job of staying in games, conceding no more than once in any of their last three.

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