Johnstone`s Paint Trophy Betting

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The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, or Football League Trophy, is an annual knockout competition for teams in the third and fourth tiers of the English Football League System.

Running throughout the football season from months August to March/April, the tournament has been operating since the 1983/1984 campaign under a variety of different sponsors, with the final taking place at Wembley Stadium, apart from in the early 00’s when it was held at the Millennium Stadium due to the new Wembley being built.

Over the course of the competition’s 27 year history to date, Carlisle United have proved to be the most successful side, lifting the trophy on two occasions (most recently in 2011) whilst narrowly missing out as runners-up four times.

Bristol City are the only other team to have won the competition twice with their last success coming in 2003.

The tournament has always maintained the feature of a North/South split during all rounds up until the final, with the presumable aim of creating a number of potential derbies whilst also making travel for both teams and fans easier on the whole amongst the season’s hectic fixture schedule.

Currently, out of the 48 participating clubs (24 from League One, 24 from League Two) 16 receive an automatic bye past the preliminary stage, leaving 32 remaining teams in two separate regional sectors of 16.

Play is based on 90 minutes with matches heading immediately to a penalty shoot-out in the result of a draw.

The jury is still very much out on the Football League Trophy in terms of whether it is valued on the main by clubs and supporters – and this should be taken into account from a betting perspective in terms of the outright winner and also individual fixtures.

With all participating clubs also involved in the League, F.A. Cup and Carling Cup, the Football League Trophy is widely considered as the least important.

If an important League fixture is on the horizon for a certain club who is chasing promotion, it is unlikely that they will focus their efforts on a midweek Football League Trophy tie – and this is often why decent odds can be available for such teams even if they are for instance playing the tie at home against a supposedly much weaker side.

Likewise, if supporters only have a limited amount of money available to them for watching their team, it is likely to be spent on a League fixture instead – and this has shown for a number of years with Football League Trophy attendances substantially lower than those of League or F.A. Cup fixtures for the majority of clubs.

Nevertheless, certain clubs may choose to pursue glory in this competition as it is their only real hope of attaining silverware – and depending on the circumstances, these teams should be followed closely should you choose to have a bet.

This can also include many League Two clubs, who will of course be available at much better odds both for the outright win and also fixtures against club’s from the division above who may not be taking matters too seriously.

It really is crucial to study team line-ups before every potential bet in order to establish who is taking the game and competition seriously.

As of 2007, the FA introduced a legislation whereby clubs must play their six most regular starters, in an attempt to boost the tournament’s competitiveness.

This has worked to some degree; however it is still fairly transparent and easy to identify which sides are fully up for the cup.

On an entertainment front, this cannot always be a good thing; however with a decent amount of research and time invested in advance, the Football League Trophy can be a very profitable tournament for shrewd, intelligent football punters.

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