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Football betting tips: Salford can set up Wembley visit

Salford make the short trip to Stockport with a slender advantage after a 1-0 success at the Peninsular Stadium last Saturday.

Dan Childs' Stockport v Salford Tips

Salford or draw double chance @ 1/1 
Stockport to score under 1.5 goals @ 5/6 
Luke Bolton to score anytime @ 11/2

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…..

Stockport battled back from a slow start to the season to get into the League Two playoffs and they will be playing catch up once again in their semi-final, second leg against Salford. 

Dave Challinor's side were 19th after losing six of their first 11 games, but they sustained just five more defeats from the next 35 to finish in fourth place. 

The Hatters are used to battling back from adversity and must attempt to do so again after Matt Smith's goal gave Salford a 1-0 success last weekend.

Salford or draw double chance @ 1/1

Salford collected 13 points from their last five away fixtures in the regular season and their impressive away form can continue with either a draw or a victory at Edgeley Park. 

The Ammies simply need to avoid defeat to earn themselves a trip to Wembley and they would gladly settle for a repeat of the 1-1 draw they achieved away to Stockport at the end of March. 

Neil Wood's side were well worth their point on the day, having won the shot count eight to seven, and they have kicked on since the Easter period. 

Salford made the most of home advantage in the first leg with a well deserved 1-0 victory and they will be preparing themselves for a tough challenge in front of a much bigger crowd on Stockport soil. 

However, their away points tally (40) is five more than they managed at home and it included notable successes at Northampton (1-0), Stevenage (3-1) and Carlisle (3-2). 

Salford have shown that they can compete at any venue in the fourth tier and they shouldn't be too fearful of Stockport, who seem to have gone off the boil at a critical moment. 

Stockport finished the season with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to relegated Hartlepool despite going into that game with a mathematical chance of gaining automatic promotion. 

Dan Childs' Tip:

Challinor's side registered just one shot on target in last weekend's loss at Salford and they do not appear to be playing well enough to revive their promotion dream. A Salford or draw double chance is available at 1/1.

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Stockport to score under 1.5 goals @ 5/6

Stockport were unbeaten in 13 games going into the playoffs but they struggled to create chances in their first leg loss to Salford and might not fare much better in the return match. 

Challinor's side scored 65 goals during the league campaign but they were without their three leading scorers – Kyle Wootton, Will Collar and Paddy Madden - last weekend and there was a lack of quality from them in the final third. 

Wootton, their 14-goal leading marksman, is facing a long spell on the sidelines and there are ongoing doubts over the fitness of Collar and Madden, who have not started a match for four weeks. 

Collar and Madden, who have bagged ten goals each, appeared as second half substitutes in the 1-1 draw with Hartlepool in the final match of the league campaign, but both were absent last weekend, dealing a major blow to Stockport's promotion hopes. 

Amid the injury crisis January signing Jack Stretton is being asked to lead the line but his numbers are unconvincing with just two goals scored in 16 league appearances. 

The Hatters like to get on the front foot and put opposition defences under pressure. However, they have scored fewer than two goals in 12 of their last 15 fixtures and it appears unlikely that a goal rush is around the corner. 

Dan Childs' Tip:

Stockport are 5/6 to score less than 1.5 goals at home to Salford and that would appear to represent decent value.

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Luke Bolton to score anytime @ 11/2

While Stockport are struggling for offensive options, Salford look spoilt for choice with several of their attacking players looking capable of delivering a decisive moment. 

The Ammies have got three players into double figures this season with towering centre-forward Matt Smith on 10 league goals and fellow attackers Callum Hendry and Connor McAleny on 12 and 11. 

Smith bagged a scrappy goal in the first leg and is 3/1 to find the net at Edgeley Park, although he may find himself starved of aerial service if the game is played largely in Salford's half. 

The onus is on Stockport to push forward and they might have to take a few risks by pressing a lot higher up the pitch than they did last weekend. 

On the plus side this could force Salford into mistakes, but the big risk is that it could open up opportunities for swift counter-attacks. 

Salford are often at their most dangerous when teams come onto them and arguably their best weapon is the searing pace of winger James Bolton.

Dan Childs' Tip:

The 23-year-old has been a frustrating player at times due to a perceived lack of end product, but he has netted five times in his last 14 appearances and looks a tempting anytime scorer option at 11/2.

Dan Childs' Stockport v Salford Tips

Salford or draw double chance @ 1/1 
Stockport to score under 1.5 goals @ 5/6 
Luke Bolton to score anytime @ 11/2

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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