GW 12 – Ones to Watch

Matt: There’s a very unwelcome and highly annoying pattern emerging here, as for the third week running we had one team having little trouble finding the net and another who, despite being strong favourites to win the match, failed miserably! I think being stung by a Scottish junior/part-time outfit is probably an all-time low in this section, but we’re nothing if not determined in this game and so it’s time to look ahead to a fresh gameweek and try to (belatedly) claw back as many of those lost points from the past three rounds as possible! Well done to the 39 of you who not only avoided Stranraer and any other non-scorers, but also cashed in on the abundance of goals to dine out at Club 100 – it’s about time the place did some decent business! Let’s cast an eye over a couple of this weekend’s potential picks:

  • Oxford Utd v Morecambe. This English League One fixture should provide ample entertainment, as both sides are scoring and conceding plenty of goals – indeed only Ipswich Town have a higher total amount of combined ‘for and against’ than Morecambe, whose supporters have already been treated to a huge 49 goals in their fixtures! They’re certainly getting value for money, even if 25 of those strikes have been against The Shrimps! On paper, that figure should probably increase here as Oxford are generally very strong on their own manor (a little nod to their former ground for those of you who remember it). Only current table-toppers Plymouth Argyle have turned The U’s over in the league at the Kassam Stadium so far this season, with Karl Robinson’s men winning five and drawing two of their other 7 games on home turf – including a 5-1 thrashing of Accrington Stanley and a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury Town either side of that rare loss. Most recently they beat the Tottenham Hotspur U21 team 3-2 in the EFL Trophy and with Morecambe in pretty awful form on the road recently, more goals should be in the offing here. The visitors will arrive in Oxfordshire having lost four consecutive away matches in all competitions and with just a solitary win to their name this season. Whilst scoring hasn’t been a problem, keeping the ball out of their own net has; in the past three away games, The Shrimps have lost 4-3, 3-2 and 3-1 to Wycombe Wanderers, Burton Albion and Cheltenham Town respectively. If that trend continues on Saturday, the goals should be flowing once more!
  •  Elgin City v Clydebank. One Scottish Cup replay that has caught me eye is this tie, with the first game being unavailable to us in GW 11 due to it not being played until Monday evening. That match finished in a 1-1 draw and League Two side Elgin will be keen to complete the job this time. Their recent solid home form may have deserted them in the past month or so, but The Black and Whites are usually reliable at Borough Briggs and this would be a very good time to get back to winning ways, with the lure of a potentially profitable Round Three draw at stake. Prior to this blip, City had been doing reasonably well, losing just three times in all competitions from the beginning of August to the start of October, including victories against higher ranked opponents – most notably a 3-0 beating of Dunfermline in the Challenge Cup, evidence that City are treating these competitions with full respect. Clydebank play in the West of Scotland Premier Division and currently occupy third place in the table, but interestingly they’ve conceded more goals than any of the other top six sides, so they do appear to be a little fragile in defence. The Bankies will have one eye on the next round too, which could be even more lucrative to a phoenix club of their nature, so I expect them to come out and give it a real go too. All things considered, this should be a fixture that produces some goals. Good luck to you all.