GW 7 – Ones to Watch
Matt: Quite happy to come out of GW 6 unscathed in this section, we may not have predicted a lorry-load of goals but judging by the state of the leaderboard plenty of you slipped up on what proved to be an extremely challenging gameweek. I’m sure there will be a bit of relief knocking about as normal service is resumed and we welcome back the more familiar/recognised teams and leagues in GW 7, although i have to confess i do rather enjoy having less well known sides and competitions in play.
I still think there’s plenty of value in the lower leagues this weekend though, so i’m heading into the National League to start with and it’s a team i’ve already backed in our ‘Ones to Watch’ this season, namely Woking. A few weeks ago they served me very well on the goals front, coming from behind to win 3-2 against Barrow and i’m anticipating more of the same in Saturday’s clash with lowly Ebbsfleet. The Cards have regained top spot in the league table, courtesy of last weekend’s draw at Hartlepool combined with Halifax’s loss at home to Yeovil, and this is a fantastic opportunity to put another three points on the board. If that’s to happen then goals will be the order of the day and being as visitors Ebbsfleet haven’t kept a clean sheet in any game since way back in February of this year, then i think it’s reasonable to expect the table-toppers to find the net without too much trouble.
We try not to go too ‘mainstream’ in our tips here, but sometimes it’s near impossible to avoid given the fixtures on offer. Clearly the likes of Manchester City and Celtic will, as always, be hugely popular so i’m not going down that route, instead plumping for the latter’s greatest rivals Rangers in their match against Livingston. This is actually second versus third in terms of current league standings, but after The Gers succumbed to a home defeat against their arch enemies last time out, i’m hoping for some fireworks from them – especially as they should be fully refreshed after the international break. Livi have had a fabulous start to the campaign, unbeaten in the league following two wins and two draws, but this will comfortably be their toughest test of the season thus far. If the likes of Defoe and Morelos are in the mood then that unbeaten run will almost certainly be coming to an end at about 4:50pm on Saturday. Good luck to you all.
Ally: In a similar vein to Matt, I too like to look away from the obvious bankers in this section. The first team to catch my eye this week is Scottish League One side Raith Rovers, who face a home game against Peterhead. Raith have got off to a solid start, with 3 wins and 2 defeats from their opening 5 league games. Both defeats have come on the road, while their two games at Stark’s Park have yielded a total of 8 goals. In fact their home form is nothing short of exceptional, failing to score just twice into the last 20 games in all competitions and racking up 47 goals in the process. Visitors Peterhead are no mugs, and are adapting well following promotion at the end of last season, but this is likely to be their toughest test of the season so far, and having already lost 3-1 at Raith in the League Cup I’m backing Rovers to come out on top again here.
My second tip takes me to English League One, where in-form Peterborough United take on Rochdale at London Road. The Posh are consistently inconsistent, and after a slow start to the season have put together a run of 4 successive wins with an aggregate score of 11-0. However 3 of these wins have come away from home, though the sole home win was an impressive 3-0 rout of highly fancied Sunderland. Generally speaking Darren Ferguson’s side are reliable scorers, though they are also susceptible to the odd shock result. Rochdale have started the season well too, especially away from their Spotland home where they have notched up 2 wins and a draw, and while I think just about any result is possible here I have a hunch that Peterborough’s squad have goals in them and will come out on top.