Saturday, 15 January 2011

League One Weekend Preview, Game 22

With all of the excitement this week about Eddie Howe and then the euphoria of the appointment of Chris Powell in the last 48-hours, we have almost forgotten that we have a critical league fixture at Hillsborough today against eighth placed Wednesday who will leap-frog us with a win.

Indeed, a clutch of our rivals got fixtures out of the way this week and have clambered above us in the table. Southampton fired six at Oldham in the week and have secured second place, six points clear of us. With Brighton maintaining a nine point lead over us, the automatic promotion places are in danger of slipping away. Even Bournemouth and Huddersfield have a five point margin over us and we simply have to go on a winning run.

Today's game won't be easy. Sheffield Wednesday have only conceded seven goals at home in eleven matches. Keith Peacock will be in charge again as it was deemed too late to introduce Powell although it will be interesting to see whether Chris travels with the team - I am guessing he will. I don't think a draw is much use to us today, so we have to be bold and we have to attack Wednesday. I can't see us keeping a clean sheet, so we are going to need to score to get anything.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Peterborough United
It's getting to that stage when I think we'd like to see Brighton win this to deny Posh any points. Darren Ferguson is back at Peterborough and they could get a bounce although they have struggled away from London Road. Brighton know they only have to hold their heads and their fortunes could change significantly in the Championship at Falmer.
Prediction; 3-1

Carlisle United v Bristol Rovers
The Carlisle promotion bid has well and truly fizzled out and is threatening to turn into a relegation scrap. Home is where they have won their points and it looks a long trek for struggling Rovers.
Prediction; 3-0

Hartlepool United v Dagenham & Redbridge
Hartlepool have dropped back to 12th after a period of inactivity but with games in hand, they know a home win over table-proppers Dagenham & Redbridge will keep them handily placed.
Prediction; 3-0

MK Dons v Tranmere Rovers
Hard to see Tranmere getting anything here but beaten. MK remain very strong in the suicide capital having won eight of their eleven home games. Tranmere face relegation once again. 
Prediction; 2-0

Plymouth Argyle v Oldham Athletic
The Latics will be smarting from their six goal humiliation at home on Tuesday night and Plymouth face losing top goal-scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips. I am guessing Plymouth may say farewell to their hit-man in style.
Prediction; 2-0

Rochdale v Leyton Orient
What a fixture to make you want to head shopping on Saturday afternoon. Everything points to a scrappy home win.
Prediction; 1-0

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton Athletic
Earlier in the week this was a nailed-on home win for me. Now I am not so sure and much will depend on the impact of Chris Powell's appointment and the influence he exerts on the game today what with Peacock officially in charge. It feels  bit of a mess if I am honest but maybe there will be a togetherness that will be enough for us to take the game to Wednesday. Scoring looks an obvious problem and I expect Nathan Eccleston to see some action. Might be a week too soon for Charlton fans.
Prediction; 1-0

Southampton v Notts County
Southampton have crept up the table but have opened up with all guns since moving into the play-offs and look very much like they will go on to catch Brighton and win the title as widely predicted pre-season.
Prediction; 3-0

Swindon Town v Yeovil Town
Should be a routine home win but it's another of the West Country derbies which have proven very hard to call. My instinct is a home win but I've managed to get these wrong almost every time. Yeovil might battle for a point here.
Prediction; 1-1

Walsall v Huddersfield Town
Surely Town will close this out? Walsall are seven points adrift of safety and another couple of defeats should make their escape near impossible. We will rue their win at the Valley come May.
Prediction; 0-2

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