GW 1 – Ones to Watch

Matt: Wow, it barely seems five minutes since I was typing out my final tips of last season! The summer lull always passes by much quicker when we have a World Cup or European Championship to help bridge the gap and this one had us on the edge of our seats (those of an English persuasion anyway!), as the Three Lions came as close to winning a major tournament as they’ve been in 55 years! It’s all about club football here at TUG though and we’re delighted to welcome you back for another season of action, in the game that will have you holding your head in your hands one moment and jumping for joy the next!

Many of you will have played before and you’ll be well aware that the first few rounds of the season can be tricky, with little by the way of form to help narrow your list down to the seven teams who are going to rake in the points and give you a shot at winning the Perfect 7 jackpot prize, with a whopping £7777 once again up for grabs every single gameweek. This devilish start to the campaign has been perfectly illustrated in Scotland, where reigning Premiership champions Rangers have already lost three games (in all competitions) – that’s as many as they lost in the entirety of last season!! This unpredictability is one of the reasons TUG is such a great leveller though and it undoubtedly adds an extra level of entertainment. And for those of you new to this section, we do our utmost to avoid the more ‘obvious’ teams – nobody needs us to suggest that the consistently free-scoring Manchester City might be a good pick most weeks!

So then GW 1, let’s try and get off to a solid start……….mind you I’ve seen easier weeks to open up with!

  • Rochdale. Recently relegated Rochdale host a Scunthorpe United side who very nearly slipped through the trapdoor themselves……into the National League! The new season may be young, but The Iron’s form has shown absolutely no sign of improving, with two defeats from two (including a Carabao Cup loss at AFC Barrow). The Dale had a wobbly start themselves, with a 3-2 defeat away at Harrogate Town in their opening League Two match, but with their midweek game against the same opposition called off due to Covid, the Greater Manchester club have had a full week’s rest and recuperation in preparation for this fixture. Rochdale are generally good for a goal or two on home soil and with Scunthorpe failing to register a win on their travels since way back on the 2nd of March, I think Robbie Stockdale and his men will be targeting the three points to get their campaign up and running, as they bid to return to League One at the first attempt.
  • Queen’s Park. This Scottish League One fixture has plenty of potential on the goals front. The matches north of the border have been coming thick and fast in the lower divisions, with regular League Cup ties taking place since early July. These two sides have both made good starts to their league campaign, with four points from a possible six, and visitors Dumbarton sitting top of a four-way pile courtesy of goal difference (and alphabetical order – it all counts!!) Last weekend The Spiders recorded an impressive 2-0 victory against highly fancied Cove Rangers, so they’ll be looking to repeat the trick against a Dumbarton outfit who are notoriously poor on the road; The Sons have managed just four wins away from home in the last 18 months! However, one of those was as recently as a fortnight ago, an excellent 3-0 win at Clyde, so they won’t be travelling to the Firhill Stadium simply to make up the numbers. Queen’s Park are new to this league, having secured a famous promotion last season, but the early signs are that they’re ready to mix it with the more established teams in this division. Hopefully both teams will continue to adopt an attack minded approach and we see plenty of goalmouth action in this match.

Good luck to you all, enjoy having The Ultimate Goals back as part of your weekend schedule!