Written by Liam O’Brien
As we approach match day nine of the 2016/17 League one season, I look at what’s on show this weekend…
GAMES IN FOCUS:
credit John Lord
A team that have startled many so far this season is Bury, the Shakers currently sit third in League 1, and they look to continue their impressive start with the visit of Danny Wilson’s Chesterfield. David Flitcroft’s men are currently one point off the automatic promotion spots, just off recently relegated Bolton. Their positive start to the campaign has been dampened slightly in the news that centre back Nathan Cameron is ruled out for at least six months with a knee injury, Cameron only recently signed a new contract at Bury, and has made over one hundred appearances for the Greater Manchester outfit. Their opponents Chesterfield arrive at Gigg lane fresh off the back of a 3-1 win over Northampton, ending the cobblers 31 game unbeaten streak. A brace from Connor Wilkinson saw the Spirities move up to 10th in the table, however face a tough test on Saturday, I see it being a close game this. My prediction: 1-1
At the summit of table lie Scunthorpe, the Iron have had a very strong start to the campaign, and overtook Bolton in 1-0 win away to Shrewsbury on Saturday followed up with a 0-0 draw against Charlton on Tuesday night, putting Graham Alexanders side two points clear at the top. Winger Josh Morris has been in scintillating form so far this campaign and Scunny will look to maintain their strong form with the visit of Sheffield United. Chris Wilder’s men have started to come to life this season after a poor start, and four wins on the bounce has seen the blades move into the play off spots with a Matty Done strike seeing them win 1-0 against Peterborough last Saturday. My prediction: 0-0
“It is the biggest game because it is the next one – that is how I see it,”
“The game after Saturday will then be the biggest one and that is how we have to approach every game.
“Tuesday was the biggest game of the season and now Saturday will and that is how we have to focus.
“When you are up there competing at the top end, the games become more difficult and we have to rise to the occasion.”
Rochdale got their first win last weekend, with three points coming in a 2-1 victory over Fleetwood Town at Spotland. A late header from Steven Davies saw Keith hill’s side go a point ahead of Coventry, and lie two points from 20th place Swindon. They face a tough ask on Saturday when they travel to the Den to play Millwall, who will be looking to get back into the play-off spots, after losing 3-1 to Southend at Roots Hall last time out. My prediction: 2-0 Millwall
Millwall boss Neil Harris on his side looking to bounce back from the loss at Southend:
“We showed a lot of character coming off the back of Peterborough (5-1 defeat) to beat Sheffield United with a really good performance.
“We have to do the same now. It wasn’t as bad a performance (against southend) as against Peterborough but it was still a disappointing performance.
“We talk about standards a lot but we didn’t hit them in the second half against Southend. There’s a sloppiness that needs to be eradicated. Players have to realise they have to performance for 90 minutes or they will be out of the team. Young or old, they will be out of the team.”
Right at the bottom of the table and without a win lay Coventry. The Sky Blues under Tony Mowbray have endured a torrid start to the season, and mood at the Ricoh is at an all time low. In a poll conducted by The Coventry Telegraph, 84% of fans voted for Tony Mowbray to remain in charge of the club, despite the poor start, they travel this Saturday to Priesfield to play Gillingham. The Gills, who lay 13th, lost to Port Vale last weekend, and will look to get back on track with a victory over the league’s bottom side. My Prediction: 2-1 Gillingham
AFC Wimbledon host Shrewsbury at Kingsmeadow, with AFC looking for back to back victories. Their visitors Shrewsbury will be looking to escape the relegation places. My prediction: 1-1
Bolton slipped off the top at the weekend with a loss at Walsall, losing their unbeaten start to the season in the process. They face a tough test from Bradford at the Macron. My prediction: 1-0
Port Vale have started off brightly under Bruno Ribiero, and sit in 5th place currently. They travel to the Memorial ground to face newly promoted Bristol Rovers, who won 2-1 on Tuesday night against Swindon. My prediction: 1-0 Port Vale
Fleetwood fell out of the play off spots at the hands of Rochdale last time out, they host MK Dons at Highbury Stadium. The Dons have made a poor start to life back in League 1 after relegation from the championship, and lie in 17th spot. My prediction: 2-1 MK Dons
Northampton, who lost on Tuesday night to Premier League giants Manchester United, four days after they lost their unbeaten run to Chesterfield, host Southend at Sixfields. Southend are fresh off the back of a resounding success over Millwall. My prediction: 2-1 Northampton
Two sides that linger just outside the relegation zone are Oldham Athletic and Swindon town. They both meet at Boundary Park, with Swindon in 20th, and the Latics sitting in 19th. My prediction: 1-0 Swindon
Charlton were left stunned when they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon, after being 1-0 up at the Valley. They travel to the Kassam Stadium to play Oxford, who picked up their first point away from home against MK Dons at the weekend. My prediction: 2-0 Charlton
Peterborough host Walsall at London Road, both involved in 1-0 games last week, with Walsall beating Bolton 1-0 and Peterborough losing to Sheffield United 1-0. Posh will look to make a return to the play-off spots, whilst Walsall will look to also climb the table, currently sitting in 16th spot. My prediction: 2-2
So that’s all for my preview of this weekend’s league one fixtures, enjoy if your going to a game, and I’ll be back next week!
What are your predictions for the weekend’s games? What will be the standout fixture? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by John Lord