Thursday, 10 February 2011

League One Weekend Preview, Game 27

Chris Powell's fourth match in charge is another Valley date, this time with Peterborough United. After his impeccable points and clean sheets start, not to mention good fortunate, the main question for me is, can we play any better or will the good luck hold?

Our 5-1 win at London Road earlier in the campaign looks something of a freak result. Posh have averaged three goals at home per match and lowered their opponents colours on 10 occasions, so it really was a win against the head. From what I saw of the highlights, it looked like a match where everything we tried went in and we took control early on. Lee Martin had a his best game in red and Johnnie Jackson was in the middle of his scoring streak.

Posh haven't exactly been great on their travels and it was a frequent public complaint of Gary Johnson that too many of their players went missing away from home. I remember the years in the 70's when we did exactly the same. Anyhow, Darren Ferguson is back at the helm and whilst I don't consider him to be Sir Alex's gift to football management, he has been relatively successful at London Road in the past and appears to have spurred a push for the play-offs.

I will miss my first home of the season because I will be at Murrayfield and I am hoping it's one of those results that trickles through and makes me regret having booked for the rugby but I fear we may run out of good fortune.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Hartlepool United
Hartlepool will have a go here but Brighton are flying and have the confidence of an F A Cup run. Seagulls three points closer to the Championship.
Prediction; 2-0

Charlton Athletic v Peterborough United
Should be a comfortable home win but I can see us conceding a couple and we might not do enough down the other end. Surely we won't get another squeeze in terms of penalty decisions for and against or disallowed goals? Reality check.
Prediction; 1-2

Colchester United v Swindon Town
Swindon look like they may be holed below the waterline and Danny Wilson must be feeling rather uncomfortable. They are now in the drop zone and this looks like another defeat to go with the 3-0 reverse they suffered at Orient in the week. Did they really put four past us at the Valley?
Prediction; 2-1

Dagenham & Redbridge v Yeovil Town
The Daggers won't get a better chance than this for vital survival pints but they look lost to me and a draw will be a moral victory for Yeovil who would maintain an eight point lead over their opponents.
Prediction; 1-1

Huddersfield Town v Oldham Athletic
A draw or an away win would us but I can't see past Yorkshire handing out a beating to Lancashire. Huddersfield are pressing again for second place and the heat is on.
Prediction; 2-0

Leyton Orient v Bristol Rovers
The O's are on a rare roll and are relishing their F A Cup visit by Arsenal. Nine games unbeaten and this should be ten.
Prediction; 2-0

MK Dons v Brentford
Brebtford are rallying again but their form so far this season suggests it won't last. We could do with another shock here but MK Dons are breathing down our necks and should have more incentive here.
Prediction; 2-1

Notts County v Exeter City
County have the incentive of climbing above the Grecians here with a win and after Exeter blew their chances of a JPT Wembley final in the week, their heads could well be down.
Prediction; 3-0

Plymouth Argyle v Tranmere Rovers
Relegated from the Championship last year, Argyle are perilously close to the relegation places once again and their off-field woes flirting with being wound-up can't be helping matters. Even Peter Ridsdale this week jumped ship confirming their was no longer any serious of cash from Far Eastern investors. This is a real six-pointer and home advantage could be enough.
Prediction; 1-0

Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday
The second Lancs v Yorks fixture of the weekend and I'll go with Lancs to even things up here. Who would have predicted Rochdale five points clear of Wednesday come February at the start of the season? Wednesday are in danger of blowing their play-off hopes this season and they may yet rue the premature decision, in my view, to out Alan Irvine.
Prediction; 2-0

Southampton v Carlisle United
After losing at home to Walsall last week, surely there is no hope for Carlisle at St Mary's? Unlike most of the rest of us, Southampton don't have a midweek fixture coming up and risk dropping down a place or two in the next week, so they will need three points here to avoid falling out of the play-off places.
Prediction; 3-0

Walsall v AFC Bournemouth
Dean Smith has steered Walsall to their best run of the season - four games unbeaten. Even I would like to see them make it five on Saturday but I Bournemouth are competing strongly with their south coast rivals for automatic  promotion and might set the Saddlers back here.
Prediction; 1-2

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