GW 5 – Ones to Watch

Matt: A quick glance at the GW 4 leaderboard would suggest that our first ‘International Week’ of the season was something of a struggle for many of you (I know I fared as badly as ever on these rogue gameweeks!), but hopefully you enjoyed it all the same. It’s a return to TUG normality (if such a thing exists!) this weekend, as we welcome back all our usual leagues to the game. After a minor blip in the very first round, the tips have been performing reasonably well, so here’s a couple of places I’ll be heading in GW 5:

  • Manchester Utd v Newcastle Utd. Apologies for going down a slightly more ‘obvious’ route than usual, but in a rather tough looking gameweek, I do feel this fixture warrants further attention – and with the return of a certain Portuguese superstar to Old Trafford, it’ll definitely be getting it elsewhere! But whilst Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game back in Utd colours since 2009 will make headlines around the world, it’s something of a sideshow here as I’m backing Utd to bang the goals in regardless of his presence! After a couple of challenging away games that yielded four points but only 2 goals, I think we could see something more akin to the Red Devils’ first home match of the season when they destroyed Leeds Utd with a fearful attacking display. I would not be at all surprised to see a repeat of the 5 goals Utd registered that day, as under fire Newcastle boss Steve Bruce takes his winless side to the North-West with just a single point from three games to their name. The Magpies were heavily beaten by West Ham on their own turf and comfortably dispatched at Aston Villa, before getting off the mark in a 2-2 draw at home to Southampton a fortnight ago. Having conceded 8 goals and looked all too familiarly vunerable at the back across those opening three league games, a Utd lineup featuring the likes of Pogba and Fernandes, who were both unstoppable in their previous home outing against Leeds, is not what anyone associated with Newcastle will want to see! It would take a brave person to bet against Utd running riot again in a fixture that they’ve averaged 3.5 goals in over the past four seasons.
  • Kelty Hearts v Elgin City. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the newcomers to Scotland’s League Two, as last season’s (and indeed the season before!) Lowland League champions have taken to life in their new surroundings like a duck to water! Having dropped just two points from their opening five games, a very creditable 2-2 draw away at Forfar Athletic at that, The Jambos are absolutely flying! They’re also the leagues top scorers with 12 goals to their name and last time out they produced their most convincing performance so far, with the 4-1 drubbing of Stenhousemuir ensuring they retained their position at the summit of the table. Elgin are actually quite a favourite of mine in terms picking teams over the course of a season, as they are generally a very safe bet on home soil. However, The Black and Whites’ away form can often leave a lot to be desired and they haven’t kept a clean sheet on their travels since April. They’ve also lost both of their League Two away matches so far this campaign, with 3-1 and 2-0 reversals at Cowdenbeath and Edinburgh City respectively, which doesn’t bode well for their journey to New Central Park on Saturday afternoon. The teams have already met this season in the League Cup, with Kelty running out 3-1 victors. A repeat of that result wouldn’t be much of a shock here. Good luck to you all.