GW 8 – Ones to Watch

Ally: It’s certainly been an inconsistent start to the season so far, with plenty of much fancied teams failing to deliver promised returns, while for others it’s been an absolute goal fest. Now that we are back to our full roster of available leagues, it does feel like some sense of normality is returning on Saturday afternoons. This weekend also sees the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, which brings a whole host of interesting looking games to choose from featuring teams from the National League and below.

However, both of my ‘Ones to Watch’ this week come from north of the border in the Scottish Football League. First up is the League One game which sees Falkirk entertain Forfar Athletic. The Bairns went toe to toe with Raith Rovers throughout the aborted 2019/20 season, and can count themsleves unlucky not to get a shot at promotion back to the Championship by virtue of being a point behind the Fife side when the season was curtailed. They started the new league campaign with an impressive 3-1 win at Montrose last weekend, while they are up and running on home turf already courtesy of a 2-1 League Cup win against Clyde. The visiting Loons have a wretched record against Falkirk too, losing 6-0 on their previous visit to the Falkirk Stadium for a league game in January, as well as the 7 previous encounters dating back to 2001 (mostly in the Cup) by an aggregate score of 19-3. On this basis I’m hoping to see some goals on Saturday!

I’m delving into League Two for my second tip, where the game between Elgin City and Brechin City has caught my eye. Of course neither are cities given that they have a combined population of about 30,000, but take their names owing to the fact that they were once historic cathedral cities. Hosts Elgin have made a solid start to the season, recording consecutive 2-0 victories in the League Cup before an impressive 4-1 opening day league win at Stranraer last weekend. Visitors Brechin have had a torrid couple of seasons, being relegated from League One in 2018/19 before faring little better in the basement league last season. They have just 2 away clean sheets since July 2019, and one of those was at fellow strugglers Albion, while Elgin have the upper hand in 4 of the last 5 head to head meetings and given how strong they are generally at Borough Briggs this could be a long afternoon for Brechin. Good luck with your selections.