GW 38 – Ones to Watch
Matt: Another challenging gameweek we had there in GW 37, more in terms of piecing together a considerable total than anything, with lots of 1 and 2 goal teams dominating the selections. In rounds like that, it’s important to take what you can get though and ensure you keep your overall total ticking over nicely – sometimes 50 or 60 will feel like a lot more when you see much lower scores being recorded. Now it won’t be long before the full fixture lists across our nine ‘chosen’ leagues begin to start diminishing, so do make the most of having nine different leagues to go at whilst you can! Here’s two teams that might be worth further investigation for week 38…..
- Swansea City v Derby County. I don’t necessarily think this will be a hugely popular selection by any means, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest there could be goals in this for the home team. The Swans currently reside in mid-table in The Championship but, just when their season looked to have completely fizzled out, there might just be a glimmer of hope for them yet. The Jacks have collected 10 points from their previous four games, including a historic 4-0 win at their biggest rivals Cardiff City and an excellent victory at Millwall in midweek, and with back-to-back home games against Derby and Barnsley now ahead of them, a 6 point return could really have them making a last ditch push for the play-offs. Swansea are a team who like to dominate possession, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to scoring opportunities and we’ve seen how stubborn Derby can be throughout this season – their goals against tally is comfortably the fewest of the four teams who are in any realistic danger of relegation. However, The Rams’ away form is, to put it bluntly, utterly shocking! They’ve lost their past eight away matches, including one FA Cup defeat, and are winless on the road in 2022. With just two wins and 12 points to their name in the league all season, alongside a worrying inability to keep a clean sheet away from Pride Park, there’s plenty to indicate that Swansea, particularly in-form top scorer Joel Piroe, should be able to find the net in this fixture. They certainly need to if they are to have any hope of making that late surge towards the top six.
- Annan Athletic v Cowdenbeath. Again, this tip might not be to many people’s taste, but Annan are on something of a high right now as they have confirmed their play-off spot in Scotland’s League Two promotion battle. A 1-0 victory at Stenhousemuir last weekend secured that spot, but the Black and Golds won’t be content with that – they’ll want to keep hold of the second place spot they currently occupy to ensure the easiest possible route to League One come the play-offs. Despite a surprise 4-2 home defeat against Albion Rovers in their last appearance at Galabank, Annan did still get among the goals and that’s something they’ve been doing regularly over recent weeks; you have to go back to the first week in February to find the last time they failed to find the net in League Two (also against Stenhousemuir funnily enough). Over the past couple of months, they’re averaging 2.5 goals per game and with Cowdenbeath all but guaranteed to be partaking in a relegation play-off, The Galabankie faithful will be expecting to see more of that on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately for The Blue Brazil, their form has been anything but Brazilian and they now find themselves cast well adrift at the bottom of the table – indeed their place in that play-off against one of the Highland or Lowland League winners is likely to be confirmed this weekend. No one can accuse Maurice Ross’ squad of giving up, they’ve showed their fighting spirit by drawing their past three fixtures, but you sense that their focus is quickly turning to that near inevitable play-off to stay in League Two and it’s hard to blame them for that, with so much resting on it. ‘Beath did earn a creditable 1-1 draw in their most recent away game at Forfar Athletic, but prior to that they were on a run of four consecutive losses away from home and if Annan are in the mood to retain that all important second spot, there could be another defeat on the way here. Good luck to you all.