GW 2 – Ones to Watch
Matt: Not a bad start at all last weekend, where Peterhead and Aston Villa served me very well indeed in this section. More of the same this week hopefully!
I’m going to resist the temptation to jump straight in with Manchester City, although i’ll be picking them without doubt! They’re going to be a standout team more weeks than not as they score for fun, i envisage them probably being the most selected team this season in fact. Instead i’m going to back a side from across the Pennines, Leeds United. The Whites have been on fire thus far and netted 9 goals in their three competitive fixtures, including a 4-1 rout of Derby County in their last league match. A home game against pre-season relegation favourites Rotherham United, who got heavily beaten at Brentford in their previous away trip, should present a more than decent opportunity to continue this fine run of results and goalscoring, although a word of warning; this is a Yorkshire derby……….and in derby matches form is often thrown straight out of the window!
Secondly i’m going to have a punt on a team from the Vanarama National League, where goals rarely seem to be in short supply! I’m looking at Halifax Town in their fixture against Dagenham & Redbridge and it certainly has some appeal; The Shaymen are currently the division’s joint top scorers and boasted a 100% record before their midweek loss at big spending Salford City. Their opponents Dagenham have had a pretty woeful start to the season, amassing just one point from their first four matches, conceding 7 goals in the process. I’m backing Halifax to add to that tally. Good luck!
Steve: There are a fair few stand out teams this weekend where goals are surely an absolute guarantee. If only that were true, this game would be a doddle!!
One team definitely worth consideration is Tottenham Hotspur. Whilst Spurs didn’t manage to sign any new players before last Thursday’s transfer deadline, or get their New White Hart Lane Stadium finished ready for the new season, they did manage to keep together the squad that finished in an impressive third place in last season’s English Premier League. Following on from their solid 2-1 away win at Newcastle United last weekend, they face a fairly straightforward looking home tie against fellow Londoners and newly promoted side Fulham FC. I can’t see Tottenham having any troubles in this one.
There’s an intriguing set of fixtures in the Scottish Betfred Cup this weekend, all of which are worth taking a look at. One which stands out to me is Dunfermline Athletic v Heart of Midlothian. Hearts have made a fine start to the season by smashing 4 goals against Hamilton and then backing that up with a fine 1-0 win against Celtic, much to the dismay of the many players who selected Celtic of course! Hearts’ opponents this time are Dunfermline, of the Scottish Championship, who have made a mixed start to the new campaign by winning one match and losing the other. The key factor here is that in their two games they have already conceded 5 goals! Dunfermline may have the home advantage, but that counted for nothing last time out as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Ross County, whereas Hearts had no problems dispatching 4 goals past Hamilton Academicals in their only away game so far. I can see this one being a high scoring game…….cue the nil nil draw!
Ally: For my first tip of the weekend I’m heading into the National League, where AFC Fylde face a home game against Dover Athletic. Fylde were excellent last season when they finished seventh, and recorded some spectacular high scoring home wins along the way. They have made a promising start to this season too, with 2-1 and 3-1 home victories to their name so far. Visitors Dover arrive in mid table, with their biggest problem seemingly keeping goals out, having conceded 8 in four games so far and yet to keep a clean sheet. I don’t see that statistic changing by 5pm on Saturday!
My other tip is from the Scottish League Cup, where Glasgow giants Celtic face a trip across the city to Partick Thistle, hoping to avenge their midweek Champions League exit at the hands of AEK Athens. Partick are now in the Scottish Championship, while many pundits are predicting this will be champions Celtic’s toughest season in many years with the resurgence of city rivals Rangers, Aberdeen and possibly the two Edinburgh clubs, so they surely won’t want to risk closing another route to silverware this early in the season.
Jamie: Firstly i’ll be looking at Manchester City because blah blah!!! What more is there to be said about this free-scoring City team?!! A home fixture against Huddersfield Town has goals written all over it!
Next up (and for the second week running!) I’m going to pick Raith Rovers, who play bottom of the league East Fife. Even though league positions aren’t much to go on this early in the season, i think Raith will prove to be far too strong for the Fifers, especially at home, and should be good for netting at least a couple of goals.