GW 12 – Ones to Watch

Matt: After cashing in last weekend, thanks in no small part to the Scottish Challenge Cup fixtures being available, GW 12 could well prove to be somewhat more difficult! Let’s see what we can come up with…….

I’m dipping into the third tier of English football for my opening selection, where third placed Sunderland face ninth placed Southend United at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats have made an impressive start in their bid to return straight back to the Championship and they are hot on the heels of leaders Portsmouth and Peterborough United. They head into this fixture off the back of four consecutive wins, with their previous three home games producing 9 goals. The Shrimpers’ away record is actually quite decent, they’ve won four of their last seven matches on the road, but consistency is not a friend of theirs as they’ve lost the other three. They do seem to be very hit and miss, but definitely not the sort of team who travel anywhere looking to take a point. Hopefully this will be a game between two sides committed to attacking one another.

Heading North over the border, i’m backing Scottish Championship leaders Ross County in their match against Greenock Morton at Victoria Park. Like Sunderland, The Dingwall side have also won four games on the spin, scoring 12 goals in the process and making a real statement of intent by recently going away to Dundee United and thrashing them 5-1! County have only failed to score once at home this season, a 0-0 draw with Inverness CT in September, so they’ll be looking to further cement their place at the summit of the table here. Morton, fondly known as ‘The Ton’ by their followers, did beat Falkirk last weekend, but it was their first victory in six and their first clean sheet since early August. Well i’m hoping that ‘The Ton’ is exactly what i’m heading for in GW 12 and that Morton’s leaky defence helps me get there!! Good luck.

Ally: On first glance this looks a tough week with few standout ‘bankers’, particularly for home teams! I’m delving into the National League for my first tip this weekend, where fourth placed Harrogate Town are away at struggling Dagenham & Redbridge. Until a midweek 2-0 defeat at second placed Wrexham, Harrogate had won four successive away games, scoring 11 goals in the process, while hosts Dagenham have lost their last three home games, are without a clean sheet in their previous eight matches and have just three to their name all season.

My next tip comes from Scottish League One, featuring another away side in the shape of East Fife, who visit Dumbarton. The Fifers are absolutely flying on the back of an eight match winning streak that has seen them score at least 2 goals in each game. While the saying goes that all good things come to an end, the poor form of Dumbarton suggests that East Fife’s fine run should well continue for at least another weekend, as they have lost their last three matches, conceding 11 goals in the process, and can boast just one league clean sheet this season……..that was on the opening day when, ironically enough, they shut out East Fife!!