Carlisle vs. Stockport County Tips: Back Garner to be carded in Play-Off Final
Carlisle face Stockport County in the League Two Play-Off Final on Sunday with a place in England's tier on the line for the winners. We've got James Cantrill on hand with his best bets including a 15/1 poke.
If you watched the semi-finals, unaware of the context, you would not have guessed Stockport were the favourites to win League Two’s play-offs.
They were laborious against Salford, and ultimately very fortunate to prevail. Injuries meant Dave Challinor’s hands were tied for the first leg. The supremo went for a 5-4-1, in the shape of a midfield diamond, and a low-block. His side could only muster one shot on target and that came a matter of seconds before Matt Smith nodded home the only goal of the game.
County should have been bolstered by the return of Paddy Madden for the second leg but they certainly did not start like they were.
If Smith would have taken either of his headed chances within the first 40 minutes, his side would have been out of sight. He did not, Isaac Olaofe took the game to extra time, and then after the Lions equalised on the night, Jack Stretton took the game to penalties. This is where Salford lost their nerve.
Based on those two legs, Stockport's price of 8/11 to gain promotion seems short and I certainly would not be in a rush to back them.
Carlisle vs Stockport County Tips
Veteran frontman, Joe Garner, has play-off pedigree. He won promotion to the Championship with Preston in 2015, scoring a decent goal in the semi-final stage. It is well worth a watch if you have not seen it, it’s the video titled ‘Joe garner - The best Goal EVER scored’.
At 35-years-old, he’s lost a yard of pace but kept his edge. He was booked in both legs against Bradford despite being hooked around the hour mark in both fixtures.
Those cards took his tally to eight for the season, an impressive haul considering he has played 1,371 domestic minutes.
That is a cards per 90 average of 0.52, if you were to base his price for a card at Wembley purely off that, Garner would be odds on.
It's speculative, but combining a Garner card with him to have three shots provides some interest. It is a bet that clicked in Carlisle's last game after all.
The striker has averaged 1.11 shots per 90 this campaign, hitting the line of three in three of his eight starts.
Stockport only shipped an average nine shots per game across this season but Salford racked up 32 across the two semi-final legs.