GW 19 – Ones to Watch
Matt: It’s been an extremely busy period here at TUG headquarters, with our first midweek bonus round taking place, and the action continues to come thick and fast as GW 19 is quickly upon us. It looks a belter too, with the FA Cup Second Round matches available for selection and sure to be well backed.
That competition is precisely where i’m going to head in search of tips and goals here, starting with the fixture between Peterborough United and Dover Athletic on Sunday afternoon. The Posh make fairly regular appearances in this section as my fellow tipster Ally has been a big advocate of them over the years and it’s easy to see why; they very rarely fail to find the net, which is pretty key to success in this game! Their home form in particular takes some matching in terms of goalscoring – you have to go back almost an entire year to find the last time they drew a blank at London Road! In Ivan Toney, Mohamed Eisa and Marcus Maddison they have some of League One’s star attractions and if the trio are fit, available and selected then Dover’s backline is going to be severely tested; the three of them have scored a whopping 33 league goals between them already this season! Given that the visitors conceded 4 goals at home to a somewhat struggling Maidenhead United during the week, it’s hard to envisage them going to Peterborough and keeping it tight. The Whites did however knock out another League One side in the previous round, Southend United (and kept a clean sheet in the process), but this will be an entirely different proposition and it could be a difficult afternoon for the National league outfit if Posh are in the mood!
Staying in the FA Cup, being as there’s just so many tempting games to go at, my second tip is Peterborough’s fellow League One promotion chasers Blackpool. The Seasiders qualified for this round by hammering local rivals Morecambe 4-1 three weeks ago and they will be aiming to dish out more of the same to National League South side Maidstone United. Bar an uncharacteristic home defeat by Scunthorpe United in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday evening, Blackpool have been firing on all cylinders at Bloomfield Road, scoring 4 goals twice in the past few weeks and putting together a tidy run of results that’s seen them move to within touching distance of the play-offs. Maidstone’s form has also been very decent, with only one defeat in the previous 12 in all competitions, but they could well have done without an FA Trophy replay at Dartford in midweek disrupting their preparations for this fixture. I certainly think The Stones will give it a real go in the hope of causing an upset, rather like they did in the last round against Torquay, but The Tangerines should have more than enough to get among the goals. Good luck to you all.
Ally: My first tip of the week takes me to the Premier League, where high flying Chelsea entertain London neighbours West Ham. These sides are currently enjoying contrasting fortunes, with Frank Lampard’s young Blues side really finding their feet on both the domestic and European front, while after a promising start to the season the Hammers are plummeting down the league as they simply can’t buy a win. Manager Manuel Pellegrino is coming under increasing scrutiny due to his side’s recent results, and a trip to Stamford Bridge to face in-form rivals is not what you want when you’re stuck in a rut. Chelsea have only failed to score once there this calendar year, though if you were being critical you could say they are a little lacking in home league goals, with just 9 of their 28 in the league coming at the Bridge. Hammers fans may also find some solace in the fact that they have more home goals (10 in total) to their name than their more illustrious neighbours, while on the road they have only conceded 9 goals in 6 league matches but can only boast one clean sheet in that time, and I expect the hosts to have too much for the Hammers’ here.
Next up is another Premier League clash, this time Sunday’s game between Leicester City and Everton. The Foxes are in superb form, and playing some sublime football under Brendan Rodgers, while visitors Everton are on a torrid run, with serious questions being asked about under pressure manager Marco Silva’s future at the club. Since opening the season with 2 draws, Leicester have since gone on a remarkable run winning 9 of the next 11 games, with narrow defeats at Manchester United and (very contentiously) Liverpool. On home territory, the King Power is becoming a fortress and the Foxes have won their last 5 league matches there, scoring 14 goals in the process. The Toffes have lost 4 out of 6 on the road, though their solitary win did come last time out at fellow strugglers Southampton. However given that Saints conceded a record 9 goals in their previous home game to Sunday’s opponents Leicester, I’m not reading too much into that result for Everton and fully expect the confident Foxes to pile more pressure on them. Good luck!