Thursday, 7 October 2010

League One Weekend Preview, Game 11

It's an international weekend facing us, so to some extent, the domestic spotlight will fall on League's One and Two. There's even the chance of an appropriately small match report in a national Sunday paper. Our trip to Plymouth looked perilous after last week's shambles at bottom-club Brentford. It looks slightly less so following a spirited, if hardly complete performance at MK Dons. The win should have lifted heads but we will need some focus and more ambition at Home Park if we are to get anything. The positives are that Argyle have lost three from their opening four home fixtures and if Hartlepool can win there you have to have hope.

Next week we face our biggest test of the season and will have our largest gate as top-of-the-league Brighton come to the Valley backed by a 3200 following. It promises to be a tasty encounter and it would be good to go into this one having closed the gap at the top.

Brighton & Hove Albion v AFC Bournemouth
A second successive south-coast derby for Bournemouth and they will want to do better than the defeat at Southampton. Brighton's point at Tranmere was enough to keep them two points clear of Peterborough. This is a big test for Gus Poyet's men but I think the Cherries are good enough to scrape a point.
Prediction; 1-1

Brentford v Oldham Athletic
I thought Brentford played some decent stuff in opening half-hour last week despite our poor showing. More of the same might be good enough to see off Oldham whose ordinary away forming has seen them slide to a more understandable mid-table position.
Prediction; 2-1

Carlisle United v Notts County

Peterborough won at Brunton Park last week and dented Carlisle's unbeaten home record in the process. Notts County were slipping at home to Sheffield Wednesday at the same time and this looks a much tougher assignment.
Prediction; 2-0

Colchester United v Huddersfield Town
Like us, some harsh lessons for Town in recent weeks. Beaten inexplicably at home by Bristol Rovers last week, this is probably not the fixture you would want to bounce back in. Colchester are unbeaten at home, although they have been held on four occasions. I can't see another draw and believe they are due their second home win. Moon-ey!
Prediction; 2-0

Hartlepool United v Peterborough United
Great win for Pools down at Plymouth last week but this looks more awkward. Posh are on the march and had a creditable win at Carlisle last time out. This is nearer to home and shouldn't be any harder than last week.
Prediction; 0-1

The Daggers haven't managed a win away but they have had two good draws at the Valley and against Colchester on their last two trips. MK Dons have drawn and lost in their last two, if we include Tuesday's match and they are overdue a home win.
Prediction; 2-0

Plymouth Argyle  v Charlton Athletic
Here we go. As I have said, I am more optimistic than four days ago. However, much will depend on our game plan and I am  not sure Parky is ready to change it. After the appalling first-half at Brentford we battled back but Tuesday's encounter at MK Dons started with yet another over-cautious and unambitious opening. I am convinced this is not the right tactic but Parky obviously believes it will come good and pay dividends, so I expect he'll go with it again. That will encourage Argyle to come forward and we will invite trouble. This a game where the first goal could prove decisive. If Argyle concede first their heads might drop, if they score first, we might have to chase the game once again. My money's on them scoring first.
Prediction; 1-1

Rochdale v Yeovil Town
Long trip for Yeovil and one I can see being fruitless. Having thrashed Huddersfield 3-0 in their last home outing, Dale will be looking forward to a repeat performance to maintain their early season challenge. That should be enough here.
Prediction; 2-0

This should be a home banker, although Wednesday's home form has been erratic. The O's are poor travellers and this looks like another blank for the strugglers.
Prediction; 2-0

Southampton v Tranmere Rovers
A home win here should see the Saints appear in the top half of the table for the first time. That would be an ominous sign and I can't see Tranmere stopping them.
Prediction; 3-0

Walsall Exeter City
Chris Hutchins thankless task in leading Walsall looks like it could be nearing an end in north-east Birmingham. Rooted to the bottom of the table and with four home defeats so far, they might just invite Grecian pressure from the off here. Bye-bye Chris.
Prediction; 0-2

This is the live Monday evening Sky game. Rovers have been something of a surprise package this season. They are competing well in most games and their win at the Galpharm last week was impressive. Swindon are still struggling to match the form of last season although I suspect they will finish in a play-off spot. If they are to do that, they should be winning matches like this, although it's a hotly contested local affair, so you never know.
Prediction; 2-1

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