Monday, 9 April 2012

League One, Easter Monday preview, Game 42

This afternoon's crunch fixture with lowly Walsall will take the place at a wet and windy Valley. I was quietly impressed with the Saddlers at their place earlier in the season when we snatched a point. However, away from home and at this stage of the season I am not expecting them to take anything from us. After the titanic victory at Oldham, we could do with a convincing home win that will set us up for promotion at Carlisle on Saturday. Chris Powell's pre-match talk should be relatively short.

The side we put out will show changes from Oldham as we reshuffle midfield to accommodate the suspended Hollands and Wagstaff. If Andy Hughes is fit, I would like to see him start alongside Stephens. I would bring Jackson back into the side on the wing as he would help beef up the midfield. Danny Green is the obvious right-sided starter if he is well enough to resume otherwise N'Guessan could play there. Bradley Wright-Phillips will probably spearhead the attack as we go looking for the goals we need to deny Walsall the draw that I think they will come for. Sheffield United play tomorrow at Rochdale and Wednesday go early again against Oldham in a match we can watch on Sky 1. Pressure.

Sheffield Wednesday v Oldham Athletic
Oldham are still six points clear of safety but they are falling like a stone. Four successive defeats and eight losses in the last ten. Paul Dickov promised to beat both us and Sheffield Wednesday. Anything is possible, of course, but I think Walsall have a better chance of taking something from us than Oldham of getting owt here.
Prediction; 2-0

AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield have been forced into the play-offs after falling at home to Sheffield Wednesday and Simon Grayson may struggle to lift his troops here.
Prediction; 1-0

Bury v Colchester United
Bury need the points here and I think they will get at least a share. 
Prediction; 1-1

Carlisle United v Scunthorpe United
Two huge home matches for the Cumbrians this week as they seek to close the play-off door on Notts County and Brentford. With a bit of luck, they will win this and put pressure on their rivals who face each other on Saturday. Scunny are on a fine unbeaten run at the moment and they have avoided defeat in an impressive 15 of their away games.
Prediction; 2-2

Charlton Athletic v Walsall
Bar our purple patch in October/November when we swatted Carlisle, Preston and Co with ease, we haven't really flaunted it at home all season. Surely we will manage it in one of the three remaining Valley matches? Today's might be another battle royale though against a side who have managed as many away draws (11) as anyone else in the division. We are overdue a decent refereeing display and, dare I say it, a bit of luck...
Prediction; 3-1

Chesterfield v Wycombe Wanderers
As you may know, I am rooting for the Chairboys to beat the drop. They work miracles with a constant collection of loanees and rejects and have been having a real go in recent weeks. This is a golden chance but the Spireites will be desperate to avoid relegation at home which will happen if they lose.
Prediction; 2-1

Exeter City v Leyton Orient
The O's are in 20th and a win here would relegate Exeter City. The O's have lost the last three but Exeter have managed only two points from the last 27! Grecians to drop.
Prediction; 0-1

Hartlepool United v Brentford
Brentford face a long trip here but are on the back of five successive wins and this will be nosebleed territory. With rivals Notts County to come on Saturday, they know a win here is vital.
Prediction; 1-2

MK Dons v Tranmere Rovers
Milton Keynes aren't assured play-off fun just yet but a win here would ease any concerns that they might blow it.
Prediction; 2-0

Notts County v Yeovil Town
Yeovil look safe and shouldn't trouble a Notts County side chasing sixth.
Prediction; 3-0

Stevenage v Preston North End
Stevenage look to have run out of gas but they should collect the points here to maintain respectability this season and perhaps position themselves for a genuine promotion push next time around. Preston could be up Shit Creek by the time we visit in a couple of weeks time...
Prediction; 3-0

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