GW 21 (Boxing Day Bonus) – Ones to Watch
Matt: With football in the UK being given the green light to continue (for now!), next up we have our traditional ‘Boxing Day Bonus’ round, which is always a much anticipated day in the calendar, and whether you’re attending a fixture, watching the live games on television somewhere or sat in the warmth, eating Christmas leftovers and keeping an eye on the scores coming in, it’s a matchday with a lot of history and folklore. Here at TUG, it’s a pretty hectic period and this round is somewhat unique in that only matches played on this date are available for selection. Unfortunately the round has been quite heavily affected by Covid related postponements, but we’re cracking on anyway and hopefully things will be returning to normal ASAP. Here’s a couple of tips you may want to consider for your Boxing Day selections…..
- Cove Rangers v East Fife. Five Scottish League One victories on the bounce has seen Cove not only rise to the top of the standings, but also pull 5 points clear of nearest challengers Montrose. With 11 league wins in total and a goals scored column of 37, The Wee Rangers also lead the way in those races too and the latter is especially noteworthy when it comes to this game! A trio of 3-0 successes in the past fortnight, against Alloa Athletic & Falkirk in the league and, most impressively, at Queen of South in the Scottish Cup, sees the home side head into Saturday’s game against bottom of the table East Fife in superb form. Despite being rooted to the foot of the table, The Fifers might take some heart from the fact they beat Cove 4-2 back in October, but sadly for League One’s basement side they’ve only won one game since! As for their away form, well the less said the better…….no wins, two draws and seven losses in the league, including a 5-2 hammering at their hosts in the ‘A’ fixture between the two. With a total of 13 goals shared in clashes between them already this season (9 in favour of Cove) and ‘The Toonsers’, as they are fondly known by their loyal band of followers, unbeaten in any competition since that aforementioned loss at East Fife, this match will surely produce no shortage of action and plenty more goals I’d hope!
- Forfar v Stenhousemuir. Another Scottish side in fine form is League Two’s Forfar Athletic. With four consecutive league wins to their name, scoring 12 goals in that quartet of victories, The Loons (great nickname!) are doing their utmost to keep pacesetters Kelty Hearts honest in the title race, and indeed a defeat against Kelty is Forfar’s only league loss since the 11th of September! The home side are also incredibly strong on home soil; 11 competitive matches at Station Park this season and The Loons remain unbeaten by anybody – they even gave Premiership club Ross County a lesson in the League Cup in a convincing 3-0 win. Importantly, where this game is concerned anyway, Forfar have also scored in every home league game, so that always gives us an extra level of reassurance! Stenhousemuir arrive in Angus in very dodgy form, with two draws and three losses in their previous five games, conceding 12 goals and devoid of a clean sheet in that poor run. The worst of those results has to be a shocking 4-1 home reversal against Stranraer, which really will have set alarm bells ringing among Stenny supporters. Only Albion Rovers have conceded more in League Two this season and on Saturday afternoon the visitors will have an in-form and pumped-up Forfar to contend with, so I’m sensing goals could well be on the cards here. Good luck to you all!