GW 27 – Ones to Watch

Matt: It’s been a bit of a struggle in recent weeks, but thankfully my tips have still been scoring, albeit nowhere near as many times as i’d hoped for! I believe GW 27 could well bring goals galore though, on paper it looks to be a goal-fest in waiting!

I can only envisage that the Premier League and the Scottish Cup are going to be extremely popular this weekend and that’s exactly where i’m heading here! Tipping the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and a reformed Manchester United feels like teaching people to suck eggs, although all three will figure prominently in GW 27 i’m certain! I’m going in for an all Scottish pairing this week, starting with Aberdeen versus Stenhousemuir. This is a top four Scottish Premiership side facing a struggling League One outfit, who head to Pittodrie following a 4-1 mauling at home to Arbroath just a week ago – a fixture i know was popular with many of you, just as i’d imagine this one will be too! With The Dons having won five of their previous six matches, scoring 17 goals in the process (including 3 against Celtic and a 5-1 thrashing of Dundee) and Stenny having shipped exactly that number of goals during the same period, i can only see one outcome here…….and it should involve the home side finding the net a good few times.

Staying in that competition and continuing the theme of Premiership v lower league opposition, my second pick will be Hibernian against Elgin. Hibs are in pretty poor form in truth, but the fact that they are at home to a League Two side (and one who seemingly enjoy conceding plenty of goals!!) coupled with the fact they scored 6 against Hamilton Academicals last time i tipped them, means i have no hesitation in plumping for them once more! The Hibees will also be looking to the cup for some silverware this season as they are way off the title race and with an Edinburgh derby defeat by Hearts last time out still fresh in the memory, i would expect Neil Lennon to rally his troops accordingly. As for Elgin, the Black and Whites have suffered a shocking start to 2019 and have lost seven of their previous ten games, quite heavily in some cases! They don’t deal in draws and i don’t think that’ll be changing here, Hibs should be favourites to win this fixture by at least a couple of goals. However, as with all cup competitions, there’s usually a shock or two in the early rounds…….but as long as the two Prem sides get on the score-sheet a few times, the final result is of no importance in this game! Good luck to you all.

Ally: My first tip of this weekend is one I can scarcely remember ever selecting in the past, but on this occasion it seems too good to ignore. I’m talking about Kilmarnock of the Scottish Premiership, who host League One side Forfar Athletic in a Scottish Cup clash at Rugby Park. Traditionally also-rans in Scotland, Killie have undergone a transformation of fortunes since Steve Clarke took over the reins in October 2017, leading them from bottom in the league to a very respectable 5th placed finish last season, and they currently occupy 3rd place this season, just a point off joint leaders Celtic and Rangers, and firmly challenging the likes of Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts for that crucial third European qualifying spot. Forfar arrive in decent form themselves, albeit two divisions lower, and while they have won 4 of their last 5 matches overall, their away form is more concerning, losing 3 of the last 4 on the road, and just two away clean sheets to their name this season. The home side have only failed to find the net once at home this season, and I expect them to find it a few more times on Saturday.

I’m staying in Scotland for my second tip, but this time dropping down to League Two, where Peterhead are looking to finally secure promotion back to League One at the second time of asking after being relegated in 2017. The visitors to Balmoor this week are notoriously poor travellers Berwick Rangers, who have just one away clean sheet to their name in the past 12 months. The Blue Toon are normally pretty reliable scorers at home, having only failed to find the net once at home in the league this season, while Berwick have conceded 32 goals away from home in just 12 league and cup matches so far, which amounts to 2.67 goals per game, and I can’t see that statistic improving any time soon!