GW 30 – Ones to Watch

Matt: Some solid scoring last weekend (not by me particularly, I should add!), with 18 of you making it to Club 100 – that’s twice as many as selected reverse gear and ended up going backwards, which hasn’t been the norm this season! Something else that’s also been going backwards is my tips, with the Dartford/FA Trophy ‘gamble’ last weekend thoroughly failing to pay off – clearly The Darts’ priority is on promotion to the National League, which is understandable. In GW 30 we have no such distractions, with a traditional weekend of purely league action across all nine of our first choice divisions. Let’s take a look at two of the options in our quest for points…..

  • Aston Villa v Watford. I rarely venture into the Premier League, as nobody needs me to inform them that the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool are highly likely to score on any given gameweek, but every so often it’s nice/necessary to utilise a Prem team in this section. Aston Villa are the team in question, despite them being edged out at Newcastle Utd on Sunday – mainly thanks to another one of those dubious looking VAR offside calls – with The Villans facing a Watford side who are well and truly in a major battle for survival, after a horrific spell of results that’s seen The Hornets amass just two measly points from their last ELEVEN league games! The arrival of Roy Hodgson, their third permanent manager of the season no less, has yet to have the desired impact, as Watford have garnered one solitary point since his appointment, leaving them currently stranded in 19th position and facing something of a mountain to climb if they are to retain their top flight status. The ‘Orns, as they are also known by their followers, have managed a grand total of one clean sheet in the Premier League this entire season and with Villa having scored in every home match this campaign, there’s plenty to suggest that there’s goals in this for the home side – especially as Villa have scored five goals in their previous two home outings, with thrilling 2-2 and 3-3 draws against Manchester Utd and Leeds Utd respectively proving that the claret and blues are more than happy to go toe to toe with whoever they’re facing. This could well be quite an open game and that usually means goals are the order of the day.
  • Exeter City v Barrow AFC. Exeter’s dramatic 4-3 comeback win over Harrogate Town on Tuesday evening just may have convinced me that they were worthy of a spot in my own matrix for GW 30 AND a tip in this section! I’ve been a fan of The Grecians in this game over the past few years in fact, although they haven’t always repaid my faith I think it’s fair to say!! That fantastic win in midweek has propelled them into third place, an automatic promotion slot in League Two, so Matt Taylor and his lads will be keen to build on that from here. City are also top of the current form guide, with 13 points from 15 in their past five league matches, meaning Barrow make the long trip south to face a team bang in form. The Bluebirds were delighted to retain their League Two status last season, staving off any threat of relegation back to the National League with a few games to go, and they’re definitely not safe again this time around. Their recent form, although somewhat iffy, has been enough to keep their heads above water and they currently have a five point safety net to fall back on. The Ziggers, as they were known ‘back in the day’, have been extremely inconsistent on the road recently too; they seem to have adopted a win, lose, win, lose mentality in fact! Encouraging victories at Colchester Utd and Northampton Town have been sandwiched between losses at Tranmere Rovers (2-0), Newport County (2-1) and a 3-1 defeat at Hartlepool Utd a couple of weeks ago. On that basis, Barrow are due to win here, but the result doesn’t matter in TUG of course – it’s all about the scoreline! Good luck to you all.