GW 29 – Ones to Watch

Matt: More eye-catching scoring from our players last weekend, as 2020 appears to be the gift that keeps on giving in The Ultimate Goals. Okay it wasn’t quite as prolific as the preceding two gameweeks, but still plenty of you hammering in the points and lots of action at Club 100.

It’s FA Cup time in England once more and all the weekend’s Fourth Round fixtures are available for selection of course. I’m heading into Scotland in this section though, where i believe there’s also ‘tons’ of potential – and hopefully tons are exactly what we’ll see lots of once more. It’s League One action for me to begin with, where Falkirk take on Forfar Athletic as the title race really begins to heat up. The Bairns dare not slip up here, with just 2 points separating the top three sides and a home fixture against ninth placed Forfar should give them a perfect opportunity to secure another vital win. Unbeaten in ten, they’ll certainly head into the game in good spirits and one look at the head-to-head record between these two teams tells you Falkirk should be a nailed banker; they’ve won the past seven encounters, scoring 19 times in the process! Forfar have only managed two clean sheets in their previous fifteen matches, so The Loons will have a tough time trying to contain a Falkirk outfit who are eyeing up a return to the summit of the league table. The two sides have already met at the Falkirk Stadium this season, with The Bairns securing a comfortable 3-0 home win back in September and i’m hoping they can repeat that feat, at least in terms of goals scored anyway.

Despite the obvious lure of the FA Cup, i’m going to stay North of the border and return to vaguely familiar territory in the form of the irrepressible Cove Rangers.  A glorious Christmas and New Year period has seen The Wee Rangers record five consecutive league victories, scoring no less than 15 times as they continue to set a lightning quick pace in their quest for promotion to League One at the first attempt. Annan are well in the hunt for the play offs themselves, but in spite of this being a first versus fourth clash the fact is Cove are a massive 22 points ahead of their opponents and looking unstoppable right now. Similarly to the Falkirk versus Forfar scenario, Cove have also already beaten their visitors 3-0 on home turf this season, but it has to be pointed out that The Black and Golds more than gained revenge in November with a savage 6-1 demolition of the league leaders! That could well be extra motivation for Rangers on Saturday afternoon, but being as they’ve currently got a perfect 10/10 record at the Balmoral Stadium, scoring a whopping 28 goals along the way, coupled with Annan’s tendency to ship goals on their travels (18 goals conceded in their past six away matches) then it’s extremely hard to envisage Cove not continuing that blistering goalscoring streak regardless – especially as recent signing Rory McAllister, a Scottish lower league stalwart and proven goalscorer, immediately got off the mark in his debut against Cowdenbeath last weekend. He’ll almost certainly be a thorn in Annan’s side on Saturday. Good luck to you all.

Ally: The first game to take my fancy is the Scottish Championship clash featuring runaway leaders Dundee United who take on Greenock Morton at Tannadice Park. The Tangerines have won an incredible 17 out of 21 league matches so far to amass a 17 point lead over nearest rivals Inverness Caley Thistle. They have also hit 48 league goals too, scoring in every home league game so far. Indeed, visitors Morton will not be relishing this journey, having been thrashed 6-0 on this ground back in late September. Much of the goalscoring prowess is down to star striker Lawrence Shankland who has notched 22 goals in just 19 league games. The visitors sit in 8th place in the league but have shown some signs of recovery winning 3 of their last 5 matches on the road, though they do have just the one away clean sheet so far, and that’s not a statistic I see improving this weekend.

Next up i’m going for the Scottish League Two match which sees third placed Cowdenbeath entertain basement side Brechin City.  The hosts are firmly in the play off picture, though in truth that’s the best they can hope for this season as they are a huge 17 points behind the one automatic promotion place occupied by Cove Rangers. However, looking to the present, Saturday’s visit of Brechin represents an ideal opportunity to put more daylight between them and Annan in the play off race. While they aren’t exactly prolific with just 26 goals in 19 league matches, the Blue Brazil have won their last 2 home league matches by a scoreline of 3-1 on each occasion, and will surely fancy their chances of adding to the ‘Goals For’ tally against a defence that has already conceded 46 times in the league, and averaging 2.5 goals per game on the road. Good luck with your selections.