GW 33 – Ones to Watch
Matt: As Sam alluded to in his weekly report for GW32, it was a round that offered up plenty of opportunity in terms of goals and therefore points, but hardly anybody profited from those offerings – summed up perfectly by the top scorers of the week Barnet, who took pride of place in our P7 matrix courtesy of their 6 goal return, being selected a grand total of…..ZERO times! And against Dover Athletic too, who have become something of a ‘go to’ option for many players who have, generally successfully, persisted with choosing their opponents on a regular basis. I think that might well be the case this coming weekend too, but let’s see what else we have available…..
- Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra. This is something of a ‘must win’ for both teams, but for completely different reasons as they scrap it out at opposite ends of the League One table. Sunderland’s promotion ambitions have been reignited since Alex Neil has got his Black Cats purring in the past few weeks, with 7 points from the past 9 available moving them back into the all important top six. Both victories in that mini-run have seen the Mackems score three times, with an emphatic 3-0 win at title hopefuls Wigan Athletic a clear indication they’re finding their best form at just the right time. A straightforward 3-0 midweek win over Fleetwood Town at the Stadium of Light could well be a blueprint of what’s to come in the North-East on Saturday afternoon, as Crewe have conceded 3 goals in each of their previous two fixtures, a pair of 3-1 defeats to Portsmouth and Wycombe Wanderers. With nine losses in their past ten league games, The Railwaymen are currently rock bottom of the standings and facing an uphill battle to survive, but their task is unlikely to get any easier this weekend, especially if League One’s top scorer Ross Stewart takes to the field for Sunderland! He will certainly be looking to add to his 22 goals in this match and Crewe’s shaky defence will give him plenty of encouragement to do just that.
- Kelty Hearts v Albion Rovers. I’m probably one of the few TUG players who has overlooked Kelty somewhat this season, which has definitely not been the smartest of moves as they’ve remained top of the table and on course for consecutive titles/promotions all season! That prospect is now becoming an inevitability and this weekend the ‘Maroon Machine’ will be confident of taking another giant step towards League One, not least because the last time they faced Albion Rovers, they handed out a 6-1 hammering to their lowly Scottish League Two opponents. The Hearts have also beaten The Wee Rovers 3-0 earlier this season, so will be gunning for the hat-trick against them, and a run of four straight wins behind them sets them up just nicely for what should be a fifth straight home victory, the previous four including a sensational Scottish Cup success against Premiership side St Johnstone and high-scoring victories over Annan Athletic and Elgin City. Albion are in pretty poor form themselves, with just one win in eight, and the North Lanarkshire outfit have conceded more goals in League Two than any other team so a trip to Kelty, who unsurprisingly have scored more than anybody else (56 and counting) isn’t exactly the ideal fixture right now! Good luck to you all!