GW 14 – Ones to Watch

Matt: It’s another quick turnaround here at TUG following on from our second midweek round of the season (the less said about that the better – Atletico Madrid causing some serious trauma!) This weekend we have a real mishmash of fixtures available, with various league and cup competitions in play in England and Scotland.

One of those competitions is the FA Cup and it’s there I’m heading for both of this week’s tips. The Second Round has thrown up some appetising ties as usual, one of which sees League One Portsmouth host National League King’s Lynn Town. Now i have to be honest here, I’m slightly dubious about picking this fixture out for a couple of reasons; firstly Portsmouth have been known to be massive letdowns on multiple occasions when i’ve selected them in my matrix and secondly, Kings Lynn went to Port Vale in the First Round and pulled off a shock 1-0 away win (typically i had Port Vale in my own selections that day!)…… you can probably understand my slight unease! However, I’m confident that Pompey will do the business in terms of goals here, especially after prevailing in a very tough First Round encounter away at Ipswich Town – and scoring 3 goals in the process. A couple of recent home games at Fratton Park have seen the South Coast side find the net a total of five times, albeit four of them were in one game against Crewe Alexandra, so they’re not struggling in that department. Meanwhile, The Linnets from King’s Lynn followed up that terrific victory at Port Vale with a 5-1 hammering at Sutton Utd (something many of us expected Vale to dish out!) and, until the past couple of matches, conceding goals had become a worrying trait for the Norfolk based outfit; they’d let in 19 goals and conceded in every game this season prior to that FA Cup success. A pair of 2-0 NL wins over the past fortnight suggests that they’ve started to get to grips with their defensive susceptibilities, but I’m backing Pompey to put an end to that mini-run of clean sheets and get among the goals on Saturday.

Staying with the FA Cup, I make no apology for plucking out a team I’ve backed in this section once already this season (i believe Ally has also done the same) by tipping Peterborough Utd to help rack up the points. Last time i backed them they weighed in with a very welcome 5 goals against Shrewsbury Town and a repeat of that cannot be ruled when they take on National League North side Chorley on Saturday afternoon. The Posh aren’t in great form right now (three defeats in their last four matches in all competitions), but they did pick up an important home win against Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday evening to help steady the ship. This tie should give them further opportunity to play themselves back into the sort of form that many of this game’s players associate them with; a free-scoring, all out attack minded side who can really pile up the points for you when they’re in the mood! That’s certainly what I’m hoping for here (no disrespect to Chorley of course!), but the visitors head to London Road in high spirits, after a run of three league games unbeaten has seen them finllally move out of the NLN relegation zone. Furthermore, rather like King’s Lynn, they went away to higher league opposition in the previous round and returned home victorious. In Chorley’s case, it was a superb 3-2 comeback win at Wigan Athletic and Jamie Virmiglio’s Magpies will head south-east believing they can upset the odds once again. To do that they’ll probably have to produce their best performance of the season, but either way I have complete trust in Peterborough’s ability to find the net with a degree of regularity in this fixture. Good luck to you all.