GW 32 – Ones to Watch

Matt: The huge ups and downs of this game have rarely been more evident than in the previous fortnight! From GW 30’s feast of goals and near record breaking amount of tons, to GW 31’s horror show, with minus scores all over the shop and a real struggle just to get anywhere near double figures! Another reason that makes this game so captivating!

One good thing to come of last weekend was that despite all the carnage, our tips did at least find the net, continuing the excellent recent run we’re on in this section. I’m confident we’ll extend further here, with my opening pick Leeds United seemingly nailed on to get on the scoresheet against Bolton Wanderers in a ‘War of the Roses’ fixture. Leeds are scrapping it out for both the title and automatic promotion, in what is shaping up to become a classic Championship season that goes right to the wire. That also looks likely for their visitors, but unfortunately for them their battle is to stay up rather than go up! The Yorkshire Whites have only failed to score once at home since August, whilst the Lancashire Whites have a major problem keeping the ball out of their own net, as evidenced by last week’s humiliating 4-0 home defeat by Norwich City. However, Wanderers did record a superb (and very surprising!) 1-0 win in their previous away match at Birmingham City, so hopes will be high of a repeat performance. I can’t see it myself, so i’m backing Leeds to find the net without too much trouble.

We have the FA Trophy Quarter Finals available this weekend and I’m taking the opportunity to delve into that competition. The fixture that stands out for me is Solihull Moors against AFC Telford, in a match that pitches National League against National League North. Both teams appear to love a high scoring encounter; Moors have been on an excellent run of form that has seen them rocket up to the pinnacle of the National League table, scoring plenty of goals along the way. They also thrashed Hemel Hempstead 5-0 in the previous round, which suggests to me they’re taking this competition very seriously. The Bucks, meanwhile, have been a great ‘both teams to score’ bet whenever they’re on their travels, indeed there’s been at least 3 goals in every one of their away matches since November of last year. The most recent of these fixtures was just a few days ago and resulted in a 4-3 victory at Ashton United. A similar scoreline here would hardly be a surprise, but what would be a huge shock is Solihull failing to score…….hopefully that doesn’t happen! Good luck to you all.

Ally: First up for me is a trip to the Scottish borders, where in form Annan Athletic take on Scottish League Two’s basement side Albion Rovers. Annan currently occupy the third play off spot in fourth place, though are a long way off the three teams above them. However they have been in good form of late with 3 wins from last last 4 home matches, including a notable 3-0 victory over title chasing Peterhead. Albion’s woes are there for all to see, having lost all but 2 games on their travels this season, when they managed to secure draws at Cowdenbeath and Queen’s Park. I suspect their quest for that elusive first away win will extend beyond this weekend, though as a word of caution Albion have improved a little of late, narrowly losing each of their last 3 away games by the same 1-0 margin.

Next up for me is a visit to Kenilworth Road, where League One pacesetters Luton Town take on Coventry City in a Sunday lunchtime clash. The Hatters are currently 5 points clear at the top of the league, and look set to carry on their revival which has taken them from National League champions in 2014 to probable Championship football in 2019. They have barely dropped a point at home, and scored 41 goals in their 16 league games so far. The Sky Blues arrive on the back of a poor run away from the Ricoh, which has seen them lose 8 of their last 10 matches, and considering how ruthless Luton are in front of goal I can only see another home win here.