Don’t Fall for the Salford Hype

Class of 92

Thanks to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Salford has become the best known non-league team in England so one is going to take a look at the current English Northern Premier League Premier Division to examine whether the Ammies are a good bet to win the seventh-tier championship this season.

More than three and a half million British viewers tuned in to watch Salford’s English FA Cup first round defeat of the world’s oldest professional side, Notts County, last weekend after the BBC profiled the Ammies in a two-part documentary. Salford captured the attention of the BBC because its owners are Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, who controls Spanish Primera Division team Valencia, and five former Manchester United greats – Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes – also known as the Class of ’92.

The Class of ’92 purchased Salford ahead of the 2014-2015 English Northern Premier League Division One North campaign and the Ammies, in spite of a mid-season sticky patch, won 30 of their 42 matches and finished four points clear of Darlington, one of non-league football’s phoenix clubs.

One of the quirks of non-league football is that rounds are not played simultaneously, which means that the 24 English Northern Premier League Premier Division sides have played as few as 15 games and as many as 21 games. Salford is the English Northern Premier League Premier Division team that has played only 15 matches because it has had to postpone league games because of its English FA Cup commitments.

Salford is fourth on the English Northern Premier League Premier Division ladder, nine points behind Blyth with three games in hand, seven points behind Nantwich with five games in hand and six points behind Darlington with three games in hand. Bet365 and BetVictor are accepting bets on the English Northern Premier League Premier Division, with the best odds being +225 Darlington (Bet365), +300 Blyth (Bet365), +350 Salford (BetVictor) and +900 Nantwich (Bet365). One thinks that BetVictor is right to be looking to lay Salford and that the English Northern Premier League Premier Division value lies away from the Ammies and their famous fans.

The English FA Cup is likely to take its toll on Salford, which has a good chance of reaching the third round after drawing English League Two side Hartlepool in the second round. English FA Cup matches mean that Salford will have to play a large number of its English Northern Premier League Premier Division games on midweek nights and, while the Ammies have billionaire and millionaire owners, their players have day jobs and it is a fact of non-league football life that playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, particularly away from home, is extremely difficult.

Salford’s squad includes a few players who have experience at a professional level but most of the Ammies regulars are not used to being the centre of attention and there has to be a chance that the media spotlight will impact negatively over the long term. Also, Salford is the English Northern Premier League Premier Division team that every one of the other 23 sides wants to beat – the Ammies are the giants.

Finally, Salford’s 15 completed English Northern Premier League Premier Division matches include just two games against fellow top-nine teams and both of those matches resulted in home defeats – 0-1 to Blyth and 0-1 to Hyde.

One can find many reasons to oppose Salford in the English Northern Premier League Premier Division title race so one likes the idea of dutching Blyth and Darlington, a wager that produces odds of close to -125 . One cannot see the English Northern Premier League Premier Division trophy ending up in the hands of any of the other 21 sides so dutching Blyth and Darlington makes more appeal than laying Salford on a betting exchange and effectively backing the field at odds of around -357

Tips Summary

Blyth/Darlington to win English Northern Premier League Premier Division
Odds: -125

Class of '92
English FA Cup
Gary Neville
Nicky Butt
Paul Scholes
Phil Neville
Ryan Giggs

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