GW 13 – Ones to Watch

Matt: I’m guessing many of you will want to banish all talk of what happened last weekend, after a truly crazy gameweek – the latest in a long line of gobsmacking rounds over the past few seasons! When two of the ‘big hitters’ of TUG both combine in the non-scoring stakes, there’s only one outcome! Naturally Manchester City and Celtic have both quickly rediscovered their scoring prowess in their midweek European fixtures, isn’t it always the case! This coming weekend we have the FA Cup First Round available and I’m expecting that competition to be extremely popular; it will be very interesting to see what tactics are at play, I think we might see an influx of x2 ‘bankers’ from the top league in England or Scotland and then a bit of a ‘free for all’, with players taking a punt on a whole batch of teams involved in cup ties. It’s definitely got potential has this gameweek! Here’s a couple of tips that I’ll be selecting…..

  • Charlton Athletic v Havant & Waterlooville. After a less than mediocre start to the season, Charlton have finally perked up since caretaker manager Johnnie Jackson took over the reigns, following the dismissal of Nigel Adkins. Under his stewardship, The Addicks have picked up 7 points from 9 in League One, including a very impressive win at Sunderland and a 4-0 thrashing of Doncaster Rovers. Last weekend’s 1-1 draw with high-flying Rotherham Utd can also be classed as a decent result and it’s clear the South London outfit have found a new lease of life. This weekend they face National League South side Havant & Waterlooville, who make the relatively short trip to The Valley looking to cause an upset. The Hawks will fancy their chances too, having disposed of Torquay Utd in the previous round, in a tie that produced 10 goals over the two games! We’ll happily take more of the same here! The Hampshire team are a bit ‘hit and miss’, with their form consistently inconsistent, which probably explains their mid-table position in the NLS standings. Last weekend they won 3-2 at Chelmsford City, but crucially Havant haven’t (deliberate!) kept a clean sheet in any competition since the very first day of the season! Their fixtures in October alone generated an eye-popping 32 goals!! I’m very much of the opinion that goals-to-game ratio won’t be lowered here in this tie!
  • Ipswich Town v Oldham Athletic. Sticking with the FA Cup, I’m keen to take a punt on this all football league affair as the home side have really sparked into life recently. Despite Oldham recording back-to-back 0-0 draws on the road, this fixture really shouldn’t be in any danger of heading down that road! Ipswich have scored 10 goals in their last three home games, the best of which being a 6-0 mauling of Doncaster Rovers (poor Doncaster appearing here again for all the wrong reasons!) and 9 goals in their last three away games, including 4 at both Portsmouth and, sensationally, at Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday evening. That’s one of the results of the season for Paul Cook’s Tractor Boys, as they continue to recover from a very sluggish start to the season. No team in England seen more goals scored in their fixtures than The Blues, there’s been 59 in their league matches alone! Oldham, meanwhile, are only out of the League Two relegation zone on goal difference and their previous away tie in a cup competition this season saw them take a thorough beating at Brentford in the EFL Cup, as The Latics were hit for seven! Last weekend’s 3-1 home reversal at the hands of Swindon Town was not ideal preparation for this trip, but these two clubs haven’t met since way back in 1997 so there’s little by the way of head-to-head guides to consider. For the record, that match in ’97 did end 4-0 to Ipswich, a scoreline that anyone else who backs The Tractor Boys on Saturday afternoon will be most content with. Good luck to you all.