Flying wingers to keep Vale soaring
Port Vale v Oxford - 19:45 live on Sky Sports 1
The Monday Night Football clash comes from Vale Park as high flying Port Vale take on an Oxford side that look to be pulling things back together. The Valiants will be aiming to beat the manager and player of the month awards curse after Micky Adams and Tom Pope were given the respective awards.
Port Vale (10/11) are playing some stylish attacking football and have enjoyed a fantastic start to the season, one which got even better during the week as on Tuesday night they dumped local rivals Walsall out of the JPT on penalties and were handed the double awards by the Football League on Friday. The off field issues are still lingering strong around Vale Park but rather than get disheartened by it Micky Adams' men have been galvanised and it is showing in the results.
The key to Vale's success has been the incredible turn around in Tom Pope (3/1 First/Last, 8/11 Anytime) the local striker and Port Vale fan is leading the line following Mark Richards summer move to Chesterfield and has reaped the rewards from his extra off season work after bagging 12 goals to date. He is getting plenty of chances from the lively Ashley Vincent (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 Anytime) and Jennison Myrie-Williams (11/2 First/Last, 6/4 Anytime) on either wing and both have popped up on the score sheet themselves on more than one occasion this season. Tom Pope has already scored in 2 home wins for Vale and we have him at 7/4 to make it three times with our enhanced wincast.
Oxford (16/5, draw 9/4) look like they have turned the corner and their fans will certainly hope so with them sat 17th in League 2, a long way off the preseason ambitions of the playoffs. The speculation surrounding manager Chris Wilder seemed to unsettle his squad but since that ended they have beaten a terrible Wimbledon 3-2, picked up a more than credible 0-0 draw with leaders Gillingham and a 4-2 away win against Cheltenham in the JPT.
The pleasing news in the Cheltenham game for the U's was the fact that James Constable (7/1 First/Last, 2/1 Anytime) was finally able to find the net for the first time the season and his lack of goals have been a large reason for his sides struggles. One other player to keep an eye on is Sean Rigg (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 Anytime) the winger played for Vale last season before a summer move and he'll be eager to get one over his old club. He's also the subject of our enhanced wincast and for him to score in an Oxford win is 7/1.
Oxford have really struggled on their travels, the JPT win was their first away from the Kassam in five league and cup games and taking on Vale on their patch should prove a step to far in their recovery. Vale should run out winners with some to spare so a score of 3-0 (16/1) or 3-1 (14/1) to the Valiants holds the value. Vale are the top scorers in League 2 (just Tranmere have scored more in the Football League) while Oxford have been leaky at the back so over 2.5 goals looks pretty safe at 7/10 but for a bit of extra value there is a special double of Port Vale to win and over 2.5 goals @ 17/10.
Tom Pope anytime @ 8/11
Port Vale to win and over 2.5 goals @ 17/10
Worth a punt:
Port Vale 3-1 @ 14/1
Ashley Vincent first @ 8/1