GW 6 – Ones To Watch
Ally: As per usual during a round of International fixures, we are given the opportunity to delve a little bit further down the football league pyramid with the addition of the National League North and South teams. Ordinarily at this time of year, we’d be 8 or 9 rounds into those respective leagues but due to current circumstances their respective seasons only got underway in midweek. Consequently we have little in the way of form to go on, but based on the opening set of results one fixture has caught my eye, which is the clash between Chester FC and Leamington at the Deva Stadium.
Chester are a so-called phoenix club, formed in 2010 following the previous incumbent Chester City was wound up after 125 years. Despite starting life in Division One North of the Northern Premier League, they secured three promotions in successive seasons to rise up to the National League for the 2013-14 season, where they stayed until relegation to their current home at the end of 2017/18. They are now managed by the colourful duo of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, who you may recognise for their colourful team talks from the TV series ‘Class of 92’ which followed Salford City’s attempt to secure promotion to the Football League. They’ve got off to a solid start to this season with a 2-1 opening day win at Kidderminster, while visitors Leamington had a bit of a shocker with a 4-0 reverse at home to Boston United, so I expect home advantage will see The Seals get among the goals again on Saturday.
Next up I’m going for the League One tie featuring hosts Lincoln City and Bristol Rovers. The Imps have made an excellent start to the season, boasting a 100% record in the league after 4 matches, plus an excellent run to the last 16 of the EFL Cup where their reward was a glamour home fixture against newly crowned Premiership champions Liverpool. The Reds’ second string showed their quality on the night with some superb finishing and the 7-2 scoreline was on balance a bit harsh. It did however underline their goalscoring credentials, and they have scored in all 5 Ultimate Goals gameweeks so far (the Liverpool game wasn’t one), recording an impressive 12 goals in the process, and 3 in each of their last 2 outings. They have only played 2 league games at Sincil Bank so far, recording 2-0 victories in each. Rovers meanwhile are not great travellers, with just one away clean sheet in 2020 and The Gas were hit for 4 in the last away league match at Doncaster Rovers, so I’m fully expecting Lincoln to secure another victory here and maintain their goalscoring form. Good luck with your selections.