GW 31 – Ones to Watch

Matt: It’s FA Cup weekend, which usually throws up some intriguing ties and this one is no exception. With one obvious stand out fixture that really whets the appetite and a few other ‘tempters’, combined with a full league programme in England and Scotland, there is every chance we could follow on from last week’s spectacular scoring in the same fashion!

Heading many miles North, i’m putting my total faith in Aberdeen for my first tip. The Dons have a vital Premiership match against bottom of the league St Mirren and simply cannot afford to drop points if they are to challenge Celtic and Rangers for a top two finish. The visitors have recently faced both of those Glasgow giants away from home and been bashed 4-0 twice, so you have to fancy Aberdeen will be looking to dish out similar punishment. Especially as The Buddies are currently on a run of six consecutive league defeats and a Scottish Cup elimination by Championship side Dundee Utd last weekend. Anything less than a home win (and a few goals in the process hopefully!) will be considered a poor result by the vast majority of people at Pittodrie.

I’m going to remain North of the border for my second pick, but drop down from Scotland’s top tier into League Two. One of the Uk’s form teams right now are Clyde, who haven’t been beaten in any competition since October 2018, and that run is unlikely to come to a halt this weekend as they face Albion Rovers, whose own run goes on even longer than their host’s……….except in this case it is a period without a victory, one which stretches back to September would you believe! In fact since then, Rovers have picked up just 3 points in total, meaning that their position at the bottom of the table is firmly cemented! Rather like Aberdeen, Clyde are third in the standings and must win to keep the pressure on Edinburgh City and Peterhead. I simply can’t see anything other than goals for the home side here. Good luck!

Ally: My first tip of the weekend takes me to Oakwell in South Yorkshire, for the League One clash which sees high flying Barnsley take on 10th placed Wycombe Wanderers. The hosts have an enviable home record this season, having won their last 5 matches at Oakwell, and they have also scored in all but one game there too, with the solitary blank being way back in August 2018. The visitors may be comfortably mid table, but away from home their record is poor with just 4 wins and 2 clean sheets this season, and I don’t see that improving this afternoon.

My other tip takes me to Scottish League Two, where Peterhead will be looking to close the gap on leaders Edinburgh City, who are in Challenge Cup action, to just a single point with a game in hand. Peterhead are generally pretty reliable scorers at home having failed to find the net just twice at Balmoor this season, against the aforementioned Edinburgh on both occasions. Queen’s Park do struggle to keep the goals out on their travels, with just one away clean sheet all season, and that being at basement side Albion, and I’m backing the Blue Toon extend that run today.