GW 26 – Ones to Watch

Matt: What a tricky gameweek that turned out to be last weekend! There always seems to be a shock or two in the FA Cup and when it happens it certainly has a huge knock on effect in this game!

I’m taking a bit of ‘flier’ with my first tip this week, as i’m picking out a team who are extremely hit and miss and who have caused me quite a bit of discontent in the past! Peterborough United generally find themselves involved in high scoring games, but it’s a 50/50 chance whether they’re dishing out the punishment or on the receiving end of it! Look no further than last weekend, when they were whacked 5-0 at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, although they have since won 3-1 against Chelsea U21s in the EFL Trophy. The Posh are facing Rochdale on Saturday and it’s the visitor’s form that is the main reason i’m looking at Peterborough if truth be known; four consecutive defeats in which Dale have conceded a whopping 17 goals, including a 5-0 hammering of their own in their last away fixture at Doncaster. They comfortably boast the league’s worst defensive record, having let in 56 goals so far this season (plus a load more in cup competitions!), so if Posh are in the mood then that number should be increasing again here.

I’m taking the opportunity to dip into the FA Trophy for tip number two, where last weekend’s FA Cup heroes Barnet take on Southern League Dorchester at Underhill. The Bees pulled off the shock of the Third Round by beating Championship side Sheffield United, on the Blades’ own turf no less, in the FA Cup last Sunday afternoon and i’m backing them for more cup joy here. It’s unlikely they’re going to figure in the National League play offs come April/May, so a good cup run in the FA Trophy should be high on their agenda and they certainly took it seriously in the previous round, racing into a 3-0 lead against Bath City inside 20 minutes. Dorchester are unbeaten in four, form that has seen them pull clear of the Southern League relegation zone, but i do fancy Barnet to carry on where they left off last week and hopefully bag a few goals in the process. Good luck!

Ally: Despite my ill advised selection of Sheffield United last weekend, who were victims of an FA Cup giant killing at the hands of non-league Barnet, I’m once again dipping my toe in a Cup competition as this weekend sees action from the FA Trophy Round of 32. The team in question is National League side AFC Fylde, who welcome Southern League Central division outfit Biggleswade Town to Mill Farm. Fylde are currently 5th in the league and boast a good home record, having scored in all but 3 games there so far this season. One of those happened to be their most recent outing on New Year’s Day against local rivals Barrow, but in contrast they won their FA Trophy fixture in the previous round 5-1 against Stratford. The visitors travel from Bedfordshire with just 3 away clean sheets to their name since mid February 2018, and with Fylde’s pedigree for getting among the goals I’m backing home advantage to come out on top. 

My other tip comes from Scottish League Two, where second placed Peterhead travel to bottom side Albion Rovers. The visitors will be eyeing this fixture as a means to closing the 3 point gap on leaders Edinburgh City. The hosts have just one home league clean sheet to their name since dropping down to League Two, while Peterhead have the potential to score big away from home, with their last three trip on the road yielding a 3-0 win at Elgin and 5-0 at Berwick, with a creditable 1-1 draw at Edinburgh sandwiched in between.