The League Two play-offs get underway this Thursday with sixth-placed Colchester hosting fifth-placed Exeter in the opening leg.
Four weeks before the season came to a halt, Exeter were firmly in the race not only for automatic promotion but also the League Two title. Matt Taylor’s side were joint-top of the table following their 3-2 away win over Macclesfield – a victory which would turn out to be their last.
Their next four games produced two defeats and two draws as the team slipped out of the automatic promotion places. Despite sitting in fourth place, the team was dealt a further blow when it was revealed that the ‘Point Per Game’ system would determine the final placings.
This saw Cheltenham leapfrog Exeter in the standings meaning the Grecians had to prepare for a play-off meeting with Colchester; a side they failed to beat twice this season.
Before the season’s suspension, Colchester didn’t exactly enjoy great form themselves. A run of four wins and four defeats from eight league games portrays just how inconsistent they were.
However, as is often the case in play-off football, the formbook doesn’t tell us anything – especially after a three month lay-off.
The one thing that is interesting though, is the past few encounters between these two teams. Both clubs have met twice this season and both times the game had ended in a draw.
Looking further back, it is Exeter who have been the better side in this fixture winning four of the previous eight encounters. At the same time, Colchester have only managed one win which came all the way back in 2017.
From a betting perspective, the recommendation is to back the draw in this game. As we have seen with football around the continent, the first games after the extended lay-off tend to be scrappy affairs as both sides show their rustiness. With that in mind, the 21/10 price on the draw doesn’t look too bad at all.
*All prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change