Hartlepool vs Gillingham Betting Preview – 21/11/2018

Hartlepool vs Gillingham Betting Preview – 21/11/2018

Hartlepool vs Gillingham

On Wednesday evening, Hartlepool and Gillingham play out an FA Cup replay to set up a away match in the second round – either Sutton United or Slough. National League Hartlepool held League One Gillingham to a goalless draw at Priestfield ten days ago and will be hoping to go one better at home.

Hartlepool enjoyed a reasonable start to the season, and were still in strong contention for a playoff place as recently as a month ago when they held league leaders Leyton Orient to a goalless draw. Matthew Bates men generally alternated between wins and draws up until recently, with their form falling off a cliff and any chances of promotion further slipping away as the weeks go by.

They’re still within six points of the seventh place, so the dream of returning to the Football League isn’t over just yet, but they will need to u-turn in form if they’re to catch those above them. With just one win in their last eight games, it’s also been four straight losses in the league, conceding 11 in that spell whilst scoring just three.

The FA Cup has actually provided them something of a respite in recent weeks, with the goalless draw at Gillingham following a preliminary round win over non-league Kidsgrove Athletic. Keeping a clean sheet in both, it served as a reminder to Pool fans that their team is capable of defending, just as they did when they held high-flying Leyton Orient just before their form fell off a cliff.

Victoria Park has been relatively good for them until recently, losing just one match there until the back-to-back home losses in the league to Sutton and Barnet. Both visiting sides outscored Hartlepool, with 2-3 and 1-3 wins respectively. Odds of 3/1 are available through Bet365 for both teams to score and Gillingham to win away.

Steve Lovell’s Gillingham have been getting used to home comforts recently, playing five straight matches in all competitions at Priestfield before Saturday’s disappointing trip to Oxford. The fellow strugglers beat Gillingham 1-0 to move level on points with them and leave them just one point above the League One relegation zone.

An unexpected, emphatic 3-0 win over Joey Barton’s Fleetwood, which followed a 4-0 win over hapless Bradford, helped alleviate the pressure. But they account for two-thirds of their total wins since the second weekend of the season, and back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Blackpool and Oxford have brought the misery flooding back.

In recent weeks, goals have been rare at both ends, with a total of two in their last three league and FA Cup games, although they did manage a 2-1 win in the EFL Trophy. Odds of 5/6 are available with BetVictor for there to be fewer than 2.5 goals, which given the last meeting between these two sides just over a week ago was a stalemate with little action at either end. That can be boosted to 12/5 for under 1.5 goals with the same bookmaker, while SkyBet offer long odds of 9/1 for another goalless draw.

For goals, Gillingham are heavily reliant on forward Tom Eaves, who has 11 goals from 18 appearances this season and is currently, remarkably, League One’s top scorer, which is very much in spite of his team’s poor performances. That’s eight more than anyone else in the squad. Eaves can be backed at 13/10 with Bet365 to score anytime or 4/1 to score first, which is likely considering the lack of competition from his own teammates.

Predictions:

Recommended Bet: Tom Eaves to score first at 4/1 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Recommended Bet: Under 2.5 goals at 5/6 with BetVictor – BET HERE