GW 36 – Ones to Watch

Matt: Welcome to the first installment of our busy Easter schedule, with this 3-day gameweek quickly followed by or traditional ‘Bank Holiday Bonus’. First things first, please remember that the deadline for GW 36 is 14:55 on FRIDAY, 24 hours earlier than normal! There’s valuable points to be earned, so don’t miss the boat by leaving it until Saturday before trying to submit!

With the delayed Scottish Cup Third Round being played this weekend, we have all those fixtures available to compliment the various leagues that are in action, giving us a great opportunity to capitalise on what has all the makings of a profitable gameweek. I very rarely venture into the Premier League in this section, but I’ll dip my toe in this instance as the match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion has to be given due consideration. You’ll probably be aware that we try to avoid the more ‘obvious’ tips, but until a couple of months ago this arguably wouldn’t have been deemed as being even close to one – Thomas Tuchel’s appoinment really has lit a fire under Chelsea’s bid to finish in the top four and they now look odds on to do just that. The Blues are yet to taste defeat under the German, having won 11 and drawn 3 in all competitions since he became boss, conceding just twice in that entire time too! However, this game is all about goals scored and that’s something that really should not be a problem at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon; in their last three games on home soil, Chelsea have played in three different competitions and beaten Everton (PL), Atletico Madrid (CL) and Sheffield Utd (FAC) by the same 2-0 scoreline in each one. Combine that with the fact that West Brom have recorded just one clean sheet on their travels all season, have conceded a league worst of 57 goals and are 10 points from safety and you get the impression that Chelsea could run riot here if they’re in the mood! The reverse fixture saw a 3-3 thriller played out and whilst it’s hard to envisage Albion scoring three times here, it’s certainly not difficult to see The Blues doing that.

It’s almost impossible to ignore the Scottish Cup, given the ties on offer, it’s more a case of just how many teams to back! It goes without saying that the ‘usual suspects’ Celtic and Rangers will be heavily endorsed, but elsewhere there’s so much more to go at. I can only pick one here though, so it’s going to be the match between Formartine Utd and Motherwell. The Aberdeenshire based side are one of the Highland League’s more established and ‘better’ outfits in terms of winning on a regular basis, but this fixture should see their squad tested to their limits against a well renowned Premiership club who, despite having one of their poorer seasons in recent years, have perked up in the past couple of months to pull well clear of the bottom two, surely dispelling any fears of a dreaded relegation. ‘Well, also affectionately known as The Dossers by some of their fans (and Tyson Fury followers alike!), have been rather inconsistent on the road this season – take their last six away games for example, three wins, two defeats and one draw – but anything less than a fairly comfortable, even convincing, victory at North Lodge Park on Saturday will be a major surprise. Utd’s last four games have produced 14 goals, with themselves and their opponents scoring in each one of those matches, so all the indications are they are more than happy to attack whatever is put in front of them and risk getting caught out at the back. Slight word of warning; Formartine did knock out League Two Annan Athletic in the previous round, so they are capable of mixing it with higher ranked opposition, but this really should be a step too far against a very decent Premiership side. An early goal for Motherwell and the floodgates could open………we’ll see! Good luck to you all.