GW 4 – Ones to Watch
Matt: That was a bit more like it last weekend, with our four tips conjuring up 9 goals between them – but in this game we always want more! Let’s take a look at our gameweek 4 offerings.
Whilst Manchester City and Liverpool are predicted by many to have another two-way race for the title, there’s a growing belief that a third team could get themselves involved in that battle; namely Tottenham Hotspur. After falling away towards the back end of last season, Spurs will be aiming to stay the course this time around and an enthralling, if slightly fortunate, 2-2 draw at the home of the current champions last weekend suggests that they’re more than up for the challenge. On Sunday they take on an already beleaguered looking Newcastle United side that head to Wembley off the back of a drubbing at Norwich City last Saturday. That result followed an opening weekend home defeat for The Magpies, so the pressure hasn’t taken long to start mounting on manager Steve Bruce, who wasn’t exactly the fans’ favoured choice in the first place. No such worries for Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, adored by the masses at his club and on Sunday he’ll be looking to enhance his standing further by comfortably disposing of the ‘Toon Army’. I’m backing them to get a few goals and do just that.
Dropping down a division, The Championship consistently provides us with entertainment and bemusement in equal measures. We shouldn’t ever really be surprised at any result, given that this is the league commonly referred to as the one where “anyone can beat anyone”, but that does present its own problems for us in this section as we’re generally far from certain about how any fixture will likely pan out! However, i’m taking a punt on one here and the match that stands out for me comes at The Liberty Stadium, where Swansea City play Birmingham City. The Swans have won consecutive games, scoring 6 goals in the process, to sit joint-top of the table on 10 points from a possible 12. Their possession football and neat ‘pass and move’ style of play means that they rarely struggle to create chances and on home turf they’re especially dangerous. Visitors Birmingham have made a fairly solid start to the season themselves, sitting in 8th place after four games, but in their previous away fixture at Nottingham Forest they took something of a pasting and were lucky to leave the City Ground with just a 3-0 defeat to their name! I’m sure they’ll put in a better display in South Wales, but i also think that Swansea are high on confidence and i’m backing them to continue their excellent recent goalscoring form. Good luck to you all!
Ally: My first tip of the weekend sees me head for Scotland’s League One, for the clash at Stark’s Park between Raith Rovers and Montrose. While it’s still early days in the new season, the hosts have started well with 2 wins and a defeat. In their sole home outing so far they hit 5 goals past newly promoted Clyde, and the Kirkaldy side have netted in each of their three games so far. Visitors Montrose are not good travellers, with just three clean sheets to their name in their previous 20 away matches in all competitions, and worryingly for the Gable Endies they lost 4-1 at Raith in their last league match back in February. With all this in mind I’m expecting the home side to get among the goals again.
Next up I’m venturing into the National League, where third placed Bromley have made a promising start to the season since an opening day 0-0 draw at struggling Chorley. This weekend sees them back on home territory, with a tie against Boreham Wood at Hayes Lane. The Ravens have been in good goalscoring form here so far scoring 3 goals in each of their two home fixtures. They’ve also scored 4 goals in their two away games since the draw at Chorley, to sit second in the National League scoring charts. Boreham Wood, on the other hand, have just the one clean sheet so far this season and occupy 16th place after an indifferent and inconsistent start. I’m hoping the home side can keep up their recent scoring exploits here. Good luck!