GW 40 – Ones to Watch

Matt: Amazing how one solitary result can have such enormous ramifications in this game, but every so often we see a scoreline that you just know is going to cause carnage! And when Celtic fail to score at home to the seemingly underrated Livingston, that’s exactly the sort of thing i’m talking about. I don’t think many of us saw that one coming!

We’re into the 40’s now in terms of gameweeks, as the season nears its conclusion. And it’s exactly this time of year when freak results become more and more common, as a combination of pressure at both ends of the table, mixed in with teams who have nothing to fight for playing with a sense of freedom, bring about some most unlikely and unexpected scores. With that in mind it’s hard not to go as cautious as possible with your line ups……..but where’s the fun in that! I’m going for an all Scottish combo in this section, with League One promotion hopefuls Raith Rovers my first tip of the weekend. Rovers are currently second in the table and whilst catching leaders Arbroath looks highly doubtful, they can guarantee a play off spot with a win over 8th placed Stranraer. Their record at Stark’s Park is excellent and with two of their last three matches on home soil producing 4 goal hauls, there’s every reason to believe more of the same could happen against a team who aren’t the best of travellers. Having said that, The Blues have recorded a couple of wins on the road recently, albeit against the only two teams below them in the standings, but a trip to Raith will prove an altogether different proposition.

Surely one of the most popular picks of this gameweek will be Peterhead, who face Albion Rovers in a League Two promotion v relegation type fixture. The Blue Toon are 6 points clear in the title race and a victory on Saturday afternoon would be another huge step towards sealing a return to League One at the second attempt. On paper it’s a home banker, especially as Albion’s recent resurgence that saw them move off the bottom of the table following three successive wins has already come to an abrupt halt! Last weekend’s 4-0 home thrashing by Queen’s Park meant that normal service was resumed and it’s not going to get any easier here. That said, The Wee Rovers have put in a couple of battling performances in the last two meetings against Peterhead and haven’t been disgraced in either, so anyone expecting a complete walkover here may be in for a surprise. But with the home side in good goalscoring form and realistically just two victories away from the title, you’ve got to fancy them to do the business. Good luck to you all.

Ally: I’m going slightly left field with my first tip of the week, but I’ve noticed that National League side Ebbsfleet have been creeping up the table largely unnoticed over the past couple of months to sit just one point outside the play off places in eighth position. Today they face an out of form Dagenham side with little to play for, having secured their league status many weeks ago. Ebbsfleet on the other hand go into this game on the back of 3 successive home victories, including an impressive 4-2 win over play off rivals Wrexham last time out, while the Daggers have just one win in their last 9 away trips, a victory which also saw them record their only clean sheet in that time.

Next up I’m heading to Scotland, where League Two side Annan Athletic will be looking to build on last week’s 6-0 thumping of basement side Berwick with another victory over Stirling Albion. That win saw Annan become the league’s leading goalscoring as they build momentum towards the upcoming play offs, and was their 7th win in 8 games at home, a run that has seen them beat both Peterhead and Edinburgh in that time, scoring 25 goals in all. Stirling effectively have nothing to play for being 12 points away from the final play off spot, and while I don’t expect a repeat of last Saturday’s scoreline I do think we will see the home side get among the goals again.