GW 4 – Ones to Watch
Ally: First up for me is the team that caused much consternation in GW 2, including for yours truly when they were pretty much the only team selected who failed to score and thus robbed me and a good number of others a lot of points. This of course was League One outfit Barnsley, who again have a home fixture, this time against ninth placed Gillingham. The hosts clearly have goals in them, as they rubbed salt into my wounds by scoring 4 the following Tuesday evening at Rochdale after that annoying failure against AFC Wimbledon. The Gills haven’t kept a league clean sheet since the opening weekend, while the Tykes have scored in every game except the the aforementioned one, so I’m hoping they will find the net this weekend and get themselves back in my good books!
My second tip is based purely and simply on one statistic, namely the fact that Peterborough United are currently the leading goalscorers in England and Scotland. The Posh are averaging 3 goals per game so far, having bagged 15 in their five league matches to date. They have a tough test in store on Saturday as 7th placed Doncaster Rovers visit London Road. Rovers have drawn their last two home league matches 0-0, but have conceded in all three of their away league and cup matches. Given Peterborough’s firepower I sense that run extending to 4 matches.
Jamie: My first prediction this week takes me to the Scottish Premiership, where top of the league Heart of Midlothian face St Mirren. This might seem a slightly risky selection because although they have been winning, goals haven’t been exactly flowing for Hearts; a prime example being their fixture against 10 man Kilmarnock last weekend, in which they only managed a 1-0 win courtesy of a goal in the 81st minute. However, St Mirren’s recent form is a major concern and they are clearly struggling to keep the ball out of their net. So I’m feeling that Hearts could get back to scoring form by bagging a few here.
For my second prediction I’m heading to the Sunday matches in the Premier League, where Manchester United travel to Burnley. Even though the Red Devils have lost their last two games (including a 3-0 hammering by Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Monday evening), Burnley’s form of late hasn’t been at all favourable – they’ve conceded 10 goals in their last three matches. Playing extra games due to their Europa League qualifiers appears to be a major factor in this shaky run and i just feel that Manchester United will be the sharper team as they look to bounce back to winning ways with style.
Matt: That was rather too close for comfort last weekend, as one of my tips Colchester United took until the 96th minute to finally find the net against Northampton Town. But score they did, which protects the tipsters 100% record in this section for another week.
League One in England could well be the place to head in GW 4, on paper there looks to be plenty to go at in that division alone! Recently relegated Sunderland have made a fine start as they aim for an instant return to The Championship and i’m backing them to continue their good run in front of goal against an Oxford United side who have been excellent in the Carabao Cup (two convincing victories against Coventry City and Newport County), but quite the opposite in the league. The O’s previous two away trips to Portsmouth and Barnsley have resulted in them shipping 4 goals on both occasions and with The Mackems having scored 9 in their last three games, there could be more of the same on the way!
Heading upwards from Wearside, i’m also dipping into League One north of the border. It’s four consecutive home wins versus four consecutive away wins in the fixture between Arbroath and Brechin City, so the form guide would suggest that The Red Lichties have a great opportunity to retain their position at the top of the table. City were relegated from the Championship last season after a horrific campaign that saw them gain a miserable FOUR points all season, but thankfully for their loyal band of supporters who had to endure such horrors, they’ve already surpassed that this season! They’re still conceding goals though and hopefully this won’t change now i’ve backed their opponents on Saturday! Good luck to you all.
Steve: First up for me this weekend is Scottish League One pace setters, Arbroath FC. They face mid-table Brechin City on Saturday afternoon and will be seeking to extend their lead at the top of the table. They can also take advantage of the 2nd and 3rd placed sides, Raith and Forfar, facing each other. Arbroath go into this home fixture on the back of 11 goals in their opening four fixtures and look good for dispatching Brechin here.
The early season struggles at Old Trafford have clearly been very well documented during the last couple of weeks, with blame being firmly aimed in the direction of EVERYONE involved with the club, but I sense things are going to change this weekend and we’ll see some kind of reaction on the pitch. Manchester United have a decent opportunity to start putting things right on Sunday as they travel to Burnley, a side who will no doubt be hurting from their Europa League exit on Thursday night. With The Clarets playing midweek and United enjoying six days rest, The Red Devils will no doubt go in to this one as clear favourites.