Cheltenham v Torquay: Robins hold the momentum over injury-hit Gulls

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Sixth-placed Cheltenham welcome fifth-place Torquay in the first leg of the League Two play-off semi-finals on Sunday with the visitors sweating on the fitness of top scorer Rene Howe.

The former Peterborough striker has notched 15 goals for the Gulls this season but aggravated a groin strain during last week’s loss to Hereford and could prove a sore miss for Martin Ling’s side.

Torquay haven’t won in five games as their season petered out, ending hopes of an automatic promotion spot in the process.

It means that much of the momentum lies with Cheltenham, having recorded two wins in a row heading into this one, while boss Mark Yates has the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from, meaning it’s hard to see past the Robins (7/5 to win) in this opening encounter.

The sides have played each other three times this season already (once in the Football League Trophy in August), and it’s one win each and a draw, proving that it’s likely to be a tight affair.

Cheltenham top scorer Darly Duffy is 5/1 favourite to score first, despite currently enduring a drought of not scoring in his last eight games, having last notched against Morecambe on March 6th.

Instead Scottish forward Steve MacLean might be the man to back (7/1), with the man on-loan from Yeovil having opened his Cheltenham account last weekend in their 2-1 win at Plymouth.

Cheltenham’s last three home games have produced a goal average of 3.6 goals a game, while Torquay have failed to score away from home only once in their last four games, so backing both sides to score at 4/6 might be worth a punt, as might the odds of 10/11 for 2-3 goals in the game.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.