GW 2 – Ones to Watch

Matt: It looks like The Ultimate Goals returned in some style last weekend, with 13 of you getting off to the best possible start by firing in a ton! The bar has been set high right from the off, the rest of us need to respond and I need to immediately up my game in this section after a fairly unimpressive performance! Whilst Queen’s Park very much did the business, Rochdale certainly did not! This coming weekend appears to be highly attractive though, not least because for the first time in what seems an eternity, we have all nine of our ‘chosen’ leagues in play. I’m predicting plenty more action at Club 100! Let’s get into the tips…..

  • Fulham. I actually picked Fulham in my own selections in their second league fixture away at Huddersfield Town last Saturday, I really should have tipped them here too! An emphatic 5-1 victory for Marco Silva’s side quickly underlined The Cottagers’ tag as the bookies’ favourites for promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Indeed, such was Fulham’s dominance, that they could even afford to lose big money signing Harry Wilson to a straight red card and still extend their lead by a further 2 goals! As a result of that incident, Wilson will be banned for Saturday’s visit of his former employers Hull City, but Fulham have plenty of resources at their disposal and no shortage of talent to pick from. Despite a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough on the opening weekend, this is actually the West London outfit’s best start to a season since 2000/01, having followed up that result with the 5-1 thrashing of Huddersfield and then another win on the road in midweek, albeit much closer to home at Millwall – The Den is always a tricky assignment for any visiting team! Last season’s League One champions Hull had a fantastic away win of their own at Preston North End, but since that opening day victory they’ve suffered back-to-back home defeats against QPR and Derby County, without so much as scoring, and also been knocked out of the EFL Trophy by League One Wigan Athletic on their own patch. Given Fulham’s prowess in front of goal, with a forward line that includes the often deadly Aleksandar Mitrovic, I just don’t see The Tigers from Hull going to Craven Cottage and holding out – more goals for The Cottagers beckon!
  • Bournemouth. In an unusual move, I’m not only tipping two sides from the same division, but the Championship of all leagues – notorious for its unpredictability and inconsistency! I do have the slight advantage of having seen Bournemouth live this season, in their 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest. The Cherries weren’t brilliant that day, but nor did they need to be! Like Fulham, they also have seven points from nine, having matched them result for result with a draw at home followed up by two good wins on the road – most recently 2-0 at Birmingham City on Wednesday evening to cap a fine week. Scott Parker’s men have also played in the EFL Trophy and hammered MK Dons 5-0 and, having scored in every competitive match so far this season, including a highly entertaining 2-2 draw with high-flying and much fancied West Bromwich Albion, it’s another Championship fixture where I’m struggling to envisage the home side fail to find the net against Saturday’s opponents Blackpool. Since an injury time equaliser at Bristol City on the opening day, The Tangerines are both pointless and goalless in their subsequent two league games – a pair of home defeats to the two CCFC’s of the division, Cardiff and Coventry. They did dismantle Middlesbrough in an encouraging EFL Trophy success, but it’s league points The Seasiders desperately crave! They will travel to the south coast full of determination and endeavour, but it’s quality that should shine through here and last season’s play-off semi finalists Bournemouth have plenty of that. Good luck to you all!