Friday, 30 March 2012

League One Weekend Preview, Game 40

Seven left and we turn the corner for home tomorrow. The sun has been shining in SE7 all week and there should still be enough of it around to boost the gate tomorrow for our derby against East London neighbours. It's the start of the Easter holidays, so I am expecting the gate to notch up towards the 17,000 figure. 

We have a six point cushion and we need another confidence lifting home win to put things firmly into perspective. We also owe the O's for inflicting one of our rare defeats on us this season when they beat a ten man Charlton side on New Year's Eve. Their win at Oldham in the week has given them a six point cushion above the drop zone.

If we play with a high tempo and get men forward, we should win this relatively easily.Team selection and tactics could be key with changes being needed in midfield following Russell's sending off. Yann Kermorgant may also come into the reckoning following a rest.

More than ever, it's not just about what we do but also what the chasers do and here's who is playing whom;

Sheffield Wednesday v Preston North End
Great excuse for an early drink tomorrow as this one is live at 12.45. Preston have little to play for and have only mustered one win in their last ten. Phil Brown must be having a wry smile that he was prematurely sacked. Lambs to the slaughter.
Prediction; 2-0

AFC Bournemouth v Yeovil Town
Routine looking home win. Yeovil have a six point safety gap but they will need another win to secure League One football next year. I am sure they will manage that at home.
Prediction; 2-0

Bury v Tranmere Rovers
Bury are still scrapping too close for comfort and that should be the incentive they need to roll mid-table Tranmere.
Prediction; 2-1

Carlisle United v Huddersfield Town
Mouth-watering play-off battle clash here. Looks like a draw but I suspect Carlisle may be more desperate for the points. The Borderers to nick it at the death.
Prediction; 2-1

Charlton Athletic v Leyton Orient
I'm backing Bradley Wright-Phillips to unsettle the O's back-line and get on the scoresheet once again tomorrow. Our own defence will need to avoid any of the recent slips lest we have to endure yet more celebrating Charlton rejects at the Valley. I suspect we may be inclined to hang on to a lead tomorrow, which would be a pity and may give us a nervy finish.
Prediction; 2-1

Chesterfield v Scunthorpe United
Chesterfield return home with the JPT trophy but the reality is that they are going down. Scunthorpe should see this as a golden opportunity.
Prediction; 0-2

Exeter City v Colchester United
The Grecians look like they have left it too late this year to escape the drop although the U's have nothing much to play for so it favours a home victory.
Prediction; 1-0

Hartlepool United v Sheffield United
Hartlepool's home form has been pretty rank. Five wins all season in front of their own fans and they will surely find this a struggle against Ched Evans and Company. However, games will take their toll and I reckon they could be stubborn enough for a point.
Prediction; 1-1

MK Dons v Brentford
Milton Keynes have settled for a play-off place and I wouldn't like us to have to face them in a show-down. They should be able to relax a little here and see off the Bees.
Prediction; 2-0

Notts County v Oldham Athletic
County need to win nearly all of their remaining seven games if they are to have any chance of the play-offs. This is a good place to start against an Oldham side beaten at home in the week by Orient.
Prediction; 2-0

Rochdale v Walsall
Crunch six-pointer here and momentum favours Walsall. I'll take the draw.
Prediction; 1-1

Stevenage v Wycombe Wanderers
Herts derby? Stevenage dropped points at home in the week and have drawn too many games in the last couple of months to concede their play-off place to Carlisle. It's not over yet and if they can see off Hayes-less Wycombe, they might just have a last burst.
Prediction; 2-0

We all want the precious three points tomorrow and it would be great to get them and allow a stroke-recovering Richard Murray to rest a little easier tomorrow night. Richard has had more than his share of trials and tribulations, so I wish him a full and speedy recovery so he can continue to enjoy his senior years and, hopefully, watch his side on the up after six tolling years.

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