Do Bury have quality to secure promotion to the Championship?
Nobody in League One can match Bury for form right now. The Shakers are stirring things up in the third tier, and find themselves in second spot, above pre-season promotion favourites Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United.
But are they a flash in the pan, or the real deal? Ladbrokes News investigates…
After coming back from 3-0 down to draw with Walsall on August 27, Bury have won five successive games in all competitions, and while it’s something of a cliché – commitment has been key.
That quality was in evidence again during Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Chesterfield, with centre-back pairing Niall Maher and Antony Kay tirelessly keeping out a talented Spireites side, though it was left-back Greg Leigh’s bravery which won the most plaudits from fans.
But they possess plenty of quality, too. Striker Tom Pope has made a career out of scoring well-taken goals at this level, with his headed winner against Chesterfield the 86th EFL goal of his career.
Once the Premier League’s youngest ever goalscorer, James Vaughan offers a classy touch and boundless energy from the bench, while few players in the league can match the crossing of summer signing Zeli Ismail.
The issue is that the Shakers are beginning to scrape wins, with late goals needed to win two of their last three League One outings – with Danny Mayor’s stunning 91st-minute strike needed to confirm victory over struggling Shrewsbury.
Flitcroft’s charges have also failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five league games. And while they’ve conceded just once in each of the last four games, they’ll need to toughen up defensively as their fixture list increases in difficulty – with Scunthorpe United and Bolton Wanderers visiting Gigg Lane in the next month.
With that in mind, finishing in the automatic spots is still a tough task for the Greater Manchester outfit – though at odds of 6/1, they’re well worth backing to end the season in the top two.
However, the best bet looks to be on a top-six finish at 13/5, with Bury surely possessing too much class and commitment to see their season crumble.
Meanwhile, with three goals in his last four league games, the 20/1 for James Vaughan to end the season as League One’s top scorer looks like excellent value.
Bury are next in action at MK Dons on Saturday, with 12/5 for Flitcroft’s charges to extend their winning run to six games.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing