GW 20 – Ones to Watch
Matt: GW 19 was one of those strange weeks where there were lots of similarities occurring (look no further than ‘big hitters’ Manchester City, Manchester Utd and Liverpool all relying on second half penalties to finally break their deadlocks and win 1-0), but also a gameweek where dipping your toes elsewhere really did pay dividends for those of you brave/clever enough to do so! Most of the visitors to Club 100 had the Forest Green & Kelty Hearts combination in common and were fully rewarded for their choices with an 11 goal return from those two sides. Proof once more that it really can pay off to put your faith in the ‘lesser knowns’ of the game – although both of these sides shouldn’t be too unfamiliar to any regular players of TUG by now, as they’ve both performed consistently well throughout this season! In GW 20, we have eight of our nine regular UK leagues in play, plus the addition of the FA Trophy now that the National League clubs are involved. Oh and the small matter of the Scottish League Cup Final too! Here’s a couple of teams for you to mull over….
- Folkestone Invicta v Uxbridge. This FA Trophy tie pairs two clubs currently plying their trade in different tiers of the Isthmian League; Folkestone in the Premier and Uxbridge in the Southern Central – indeed the visitors are the last Step 4 team from the Isthmian Leagues left remaining in this competition. The home side have warmed up for this fixture nicely, with a convincing 5-0 victory over Haringey Borough last weekend and goals have not been hard to come by for The Stripes all season; they’ve registered 40 goals (the third best in the division) in their 19 league fixtures to date, leaving them suitably perched in second place in the table, plus you can add another 22 (yes 22!) goals to that total from the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup and FA Trophy! Uxbridge are no sitting ducks though – The Reds are having a very good season themselves and have lost just twice on the road this season. They’re also fairly strong defensively having conceded only 13 goals in the league this season, but their FA Trophy qualifying matches have tended to be goalfests – look no further than a couple of rounds ago when they ran out 6-2 winners away at Walton Casuals. This has the makings of a very entertaining game…..and hopefully plenty of goals to go with it!
- Wrexham v Gloucester City. Now this fixture wasn’t due to appear in this section, although I probably would have veered towards the home side in my own x2-x8, but with matches left, right and centre falling victim to Covid 19 postponements, I’ve been forced into a rethink! I’m also fully aware Wrexham were tipped in GW 20 and whilst we do like to ‘mix things up’ a bit here, needs must! With The Red Dragons only scoring once last week when I backed them against Weymouth, I feel they owe us a little too, so more incentive to give them an immediate second chance! With four wins in their past five games, Wrexham are in decent form – even if the goals haven’t exactly been flowing since they hit King’s Lynn Town and Aldershot Town for a combined 11 about a month ago! Manager Phil Parkinson had some good cup runs in his time as a player and I expect he’ll be keen to do the same as a boss – a loss here against the National League North strugglers would arguably be the upset of the round! Gloucester are only a couple of points above the NLN drop zone, courtesy of a win and a draw in their previous two league fixtures, but if The Tigers’ away form is anything to go by then they’ll soon be back down there! Heading into this tie, they’ve played 11 competitive games on the road, winning just once (at Longlevens in the FA Cup qualifying), drawing three and losing seven! The Tigers are also without a single clean sheet on their travels, so the odds of keeping one against a very capable National League outfit seem remote! Strange things happen in these cup competitions though, so who knows! Good luck to you all – make sure you check and recheck your selections given the volume of matches getting called off.