GW 27 – Ones to Watch
Matt: Welcome to our latest ‘midweek bonus round’, our fourth of the season and just a fortnight since our previous one. With the FA Cup Fifth Round an entirely midweek affair, we thought that’s as good a reason as any to get The Ultimate Goals involved in the action. Let’s hope the forecasted snow and cold weather in some parts of the UK doesn’t wipe out too many of the scheduled 57 matches we currently have available.
Ally and myself only get a single pick apiece in midweek rounds, so we need to use them wisely! For me, it’s a trip into League Two and a fixture involving a team i very nearly tipped in this section at the weekend, indeed I did select them in my own matrix. That proved to be a good choice too, as the team in question, Tranmere Rovers, put in a 3 goal return to help my points tally along nicely. On Tuesday evening, they welcome Stevenage to Prenton Park, with the Merseysiders aiming for both a seventh straight win overall AND a seventh straight win on home turf. This remarkable run of form has seen them rocket up the table into third place, just four points behind Cambridge Utd in first, but with a game in hand on the leaders. Rovers comfortably disposed of Port Vale on Saturday, the 3-1 victory increasing their goals tally to 17 in those previous six home wins. Ironically, the last time Tranmere failed to net in a game was actually at Stevenage, with the 0-0 draw in mid-January being followed by six consecutive victories since. It really should be a different story this time around when you take Boro’s away form into consideration – until a 2-1 win at Grimsby Town in their last away game, they’ve had a torrid time on the road for the best part of 13 months, without a single success since the 18th of January 2020 until the curse was finally ended in Cleethorpes!! With Rovers proudly sitting top of the League Two form guide and in very decent goalscoring form, I’m backing them to carry on in the same manner in this fixture. Good luck!
Ally: For my midweek tip I’m delving into the National League, where current leaders Torquay United welcome struggling Wealdstone to south Devon and the English Riviera. This fixture represents an ideal opportunity for The Gulls to get back to winning ways after a poor recent run which has seen them win just once in their past five league matches, with that being a 2-0 win at basement side Barnet. A glance at the form guide doesn’t make pleasant reading for either side, with the hosts down in ninth place after recording 15 points from 10 matches, while for Wealdstone the picture is even less rosy picking up just 5 points from 10 games as they sit 22nd (out of 23!). The Stones have also shipped 24 goals in this time, a feat beaten only by the aforementioned Barnet, and they have conceded over half of this total (13) in their last four league matches. Torquay have a healthy 9 point lead at the summit, but closest rivals Sutton have three games in hand which could see them draw level on points, so they can ill afford to drop points here. When they’re in the mood at Plainmoor, the hosts can be rampant in front of goal and as recently as Boxing Day they thrashed Yeovil 6-1, and coupled with Wealdstone’s defensive woes we should see some goals!