GW 8 – Ones to Watch

Jamie: It’s looking like a slightly tricky gameweek this weekend, where people tend to aim more for avoiding a minus score than racking up big points. My opening prediction isn’t really in keeping with a safety first approach though, as i’m heading down to the National League where Leyton Orient welcome Sutton United to Brisbane Road. The O’s are currently sitting top of the league and have scored an impressive 15 goals in their last five games. Their opponents are also doing well and are 7th in the league, scoring a few goals themselves lately. However, they do seem to be conceding plenty along the way as well, so i’m looking for Orient to continue their fine scoring form and lead the way in the National League.

For my second pick this week i’m staying in the lower leagues, but this time jumping over to the Scottish League Two. I’m choosing Edinburgh City, who welcome Cowdenbeath to Ainslie Park. Like my first pick, Edinburgh also sit top of the league, having won six out of their seven games played so far. Cowdenbeath, on the other hand, are down in 9th place (second from bottom) and have only won one solitary league game. Despite their matches tending to be fairly low scoring events, ‘Beath are clearly struggling for form and i fancy the home side to continue their strong start to the season.

Matt: I’ve seen easier weeks than this that’s for sure! Finding a couple of teams to tip in this section might be a slight problem, never mind conjuring up another five to complete my selections. Let’s see how it goes!

I’m always a bit twitchy about heading into the English Championship, it’s renowned for its unpredictability and in this game that can be fatal! However, needs must and so it’s there i’m headed as i’m backing Brentford to do what they do best and find the net in their home fixture against Reading. The Bees were my dark horses for promotion this season and although they’ve suffered a couple of defeats on the road recently, their home form is second to none. They’ve racked up four wins out of four in the league at Griffin Park, whilst visitors Reading haven’t kept a clean sheet on the road yet this season. Despite Brentford having played an EFL Trophy tie at Arsenal in midweek, resulting in a 3-1 loss, i still fancy them to get among the goals against Reading’s fragile looking defence. For reference, Brentford haven’t failed to score past Reading in any fixture between the two since September 2000………this would not be a good time for that run to come to a halt!!

Dropping down into a league i’m far more comfortable with when it comes to selecting teams, i’m backing a side who i know my fellow tipster Ally was a huge fan of last season; namely AFC Fylde. I also know that he, along with plenty of other players, may have some concerns about picking them this weekend though because they’re facing Braintree Town, who you may recall went to Gateshead recently and won 1-0 – much to the annoyance of all those players who backed The Heed! Hopefully Fylde will be able to do what Gateshead failed miserably at, by putting the ball into Braintree’s net a time or four! The Coasters are generally solid at home and whilst Town had only been conceding the odd goal here and there, they did lose 5-1 at home to Leyton Orient in their last match. Perhaps the floodgates have opened, i’m not convinced but in the absence of any other fixtures standing out i’m taking a punt on it. Here’s hoping! Good luck!

Ally: My first tip this weekend sees a team that are emerging from a difficult few weeks in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur, who face a trip to struggling Huddersfield Town. Spurs started the season well with three straight league wins, including the memorable 3-0 humbling of Manchester United at Old Trafford, but all that changed with a trio of successive defeats which saw the manager criticised for the first time in his tenure and the club’s lack of summer recruitment seriously questioned. However, a 2-1 away win last week at Brighton followed by midweek progression in the League Cup against Watford, suggests that Spurs are finding their feet again. Hosts Huddersfield are so far winless, bottom of the league and in danger of suffering so-called second season syndrome. Despite their mixed results, Tottenham have at least scored in every game so far this season and I fancy them to carry on this run at the expense of the Terriers.

I’m heading up to Scottish League Two for my second tip, where Berwick Rangers play host to third placed Clyde. Berwick have lost four of their last five league games and their home record is particularly poor, having lost each of their last three matches by the same 3-0 scoreline. They also scored 5 of their 6 league goals in one crazy game, winning 5-3 at bottom side Albion. Visitors Clyde meanwhile, are on a run of three straight league wins, most recently at in-form Annan Athletic and I expect them to find the net at Shielfield Park.

Steve: Hmm, at first glance over the fixture list, it certainly looks as though it’s going to be a tricky week to navigate, with very few standout easy pickings. So here’s a couple of outsiders who may be worth taking a punt on.  Firstly, East Fife v Stenhousemuir in Scottish League One. The home side go in to this one on the back of three straight wins, scoring a couple of goals in each of those games, whereas their visitors have suffered defeat in four of their last five outings, meaning they currently sit bottom of the table. A home win should be on the cards here.

Heading into the promised land now, in the English Premier League it’s 6th versus 4th, Arsenal versus Watford. After four games this season, Watford were flying with a 100% record, whilst Arsenal were stuttering along with two defeats and two wins. Only two games later and the form table now tells quite a different story. The Hornets have won neither of their last couple of games, but meanwhile Arsenal are looking for their seventh straight win in all competitions. I can see this being a tight game in which home advantage should see The Gunners take the three points on Saturday.

Good Luck!