GW 20 – Ones to Watch

Matt: It appears as though our final gameweek of 2020 perfectly reflected the year as a whole – a bit of a torrid one for the vast majority of us! Countless low & minus scores caused by the shock scorelines we witnessed meant that GW 19 produced one of the worst outcomes we’ve experienced in a good while……even my fellow tipster Ally managed to pull out a double blank! You get nothing for a pair, not in this game – especially when it’s a pair of zeros!! Let’s try and get 2021 off to a much better start!

It looks like a toughish week to get the year underway, so I’m going to return to an old favourite of mine in the hope that they can get this section off to a solid start for me in 2021. The team in question is Brentford, who should be full of beans after a 2-1 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Bournemouth on Wednesday night moved them into second in the table. With the top goalscorer in the league Ivan Toney firing on all cylinders, ably supported by a plethora of attacking options, manager Thomas Frank will be absolutely buzzing about the way his Bees have gone about their business this season, determined to make it to the Premier League after missing out by the narrowest of margins last year. The West Londoners are unbeaten since the 24th of October and have won four games on the bounce (including a fantastic defeat of Newcastle Utd in the EFL Cup Quarter-Finals) and have really rediscovered their form in front of goal over the past few weeks, putting three past Reading & Cardiff as well as that excellent victory over Bournemouth. Bristol City’s fortunes are completely contrasting, The Robins have lost four of their last five matches to totally derail their hopes of automatic promotion; at one stage this season they led the way, but Dean Holden’s men have stuttered badly from mid-October onwards. Their away results are also identical to their overall form, with four defeats in their previous five on the road – including losses at Rotherham Utd, Preston and most recently Luton Town, all places City might have expected to pick up points. I don’t think this will be a stroll in the park for Brentford by any means, but I do fancy them to continue their good recent goalscoring record.

We also have a couple of rescheduled Scottish Cup ties available in GW 20 so I’m going to revisit a fixture involving a team i tipped on Boxing Day, when the game was halted at half-time due to horrendous weather conditions. It’s the match between Camelon Juniors and Brora Rangers that I’m referring to. Despite Camelon moving up into the East of Scotland Premier division in 2018, they have preserved the “Juniors” part of their name and they will be eyeing up a potential shock on Saturday against the Highland League leaders. The Mariners currently sit in fourth spot in their league, but do have games in hand on front-runners Tranent Juniors and they’ve suffered only two losses this season, so they’ll head into the match against the Highland Leaguers in good spirits. It’s also worth noting that although Brora do lead the standings, they’ve actually played just three league games so far, such has been the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent delays in commencing the season! Mind you, if those three games are an indication of what is come in this encounter, it could be a long old afternoon for the home side; Rangers have banged in no less than 20 goals, including 15 on the road!! Incredible! A 5-0 win at Deveronvale and a 5-1 victory at home to Wick Academy was followed by an astonishing 10-0 mauling of poor Fort William last Saturday. The Cattachs also went toe-to-toe with some credible opponents in the Scottish League Cup back in September & October, giving both Hibernian and Dundee a real run for their money, then earning notable draws against League One sides Cove Rangers and Forfar Athletic. Brora have long been regarded as a powerhouse of the Highland League and with performances like that you can see why! Slight word of warning though; in the inital staging of this fixture on Boxing Day, the game was evenly poised at 0-0 when it was abandoned……..I’d like to think the atrocious conditions played a huge part in this, but perhaps Camelon aren’t quite the outsiders I expected them to be! The weather may once again have its say this weekend (the tie was also postponed on Wednesday evening when they hoped to play it), but if all goes to plan then this game should go ahead and hopefully produce plenty of goalmouth action!

Good luck to you all and may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year from the team here at The Ultimate Goals.