Written by Liam O’Brien
Six teams won’t be in action this weekend due to the international break, however eighteen teams will be battling it out over the course of the weekend.
The international break has resulted in three different games in League One having to be cancelled due to an insufficient amount of players, but one of the bright sides of the break is that League One and Two will be the biggest set of club matches in the country this weekend. With Sky Sports broadcasting some action, which however has annoyingly resulted in some kick off times and dates being messed around, so let’s see what lies ahead this weekend.
GAMES IN FOCUS:
We start off with Bradford vs Shrewsbury in the preview, with the Bantams sitting pretty in the automatic promotion spots, three points behind Scunthorpe. After winning promotion in the 2012/13 season to the third tier, City have been a stable and strong side, with previous manager Phil Parkinson building a feared and well rounded squad. They are left disappointed last campaign, after losing in the playoff semi finals to Millwall over two legs, however Bradford will be looking to make amends by really pushing for promotion this year. The loss of Phil Parkinson to recently relegated Bolton may of hindered the Bantams, however under new boss McCall, they are looking like serious challengers for promotion or even the league title. Their opponents to visit Valley Parade are Shrewsbury, fresh off the back of sacking manager Micky Mellon. Salop sacked their boss Thursday afternoon after a poor start this season, lying in 22nd place, with Mellon making the move to Conference side Tranmere Rovers. On paper, Bradford should come out victorious, however Shrewsbury may spring a surprise. I’m going to go for a Bradford win. My prediction: 2-0 Bradford
credit Tony Evans
Peterborough meanwhile are on a run of eight games without a victory, with five of their last six league games ending in a draw. Posh lie currently in 13th place, and it will get no easier when they host 3rd place Bury in the midday kick off. The Shakers fell to a defeat against table topping Scunthorpe last weekend, which saw them drop out of the automatic promotion spots. This will be no easy game for Peterborough against David Flitcroft’s side, however I have a feeling Posh’s luck will change for this one. My prediction: 1-0 Peterborough
Peterborough boss McCann on negative comments surrounding his side:
“Pressure doesn’t bother me, I love to prove people wrong,”
“That’s what I do. I’ve done it all my career, even at 14 or 15 when people told me I wouldn’t be a footballer at my school. I thrive on it.”
He continued to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: “I see and hear negative comments about myself, it doesn’t bother me. It’s something I’ve been used to throughout my career.”
Oxford United and AFC Wimbledon are two sides that won promotion from league two last season, and they both meet at the Kassam on Sunday. Oxford impressively won 2-0 last time out in the league, away at Bolton, whilst AFC are on a good run of form, and won 2-0 at home to Justin Edinburgh’s side last Saturday. This promises to be a highly contested affair, which both sides will feel they have chance of grabbing something from. However I think Oxford will pick up another three points at the expense of the wombles. My prediction: 2-1 Oxford
MK Dons currently lie top of the league on away records this season, the joint best in Europe, alongside Newcastle, however are bottom of the pile on away form. Without a home win since March last season, the dons will be looking to grab their first win at Stadium:MK in eighteen games against a Port Vale side who were left stunned by managerless Coventry last weekend. A defeat in the Checkatrade trophy to Mansfield has caused a bit of stur amongst the Port Vale fanbase, but they will look to exploit a shaky MK defence on Sunday. My prediction: 2-0 MK Dons.
Dons boss Karl Robinson after his side’s win over Peterborough in the Checkatrade trophy:
“Hopefully we can use this game as momentum and move forward as a group,”
“It’s the first time we’ve put together back-to-back wins in a long time and I want to make it three on the spin on Sunday.
“There is an air of confidence in the group at the moment and a spring in our step – we’ve got to take that into forthcoming games now.”
credit Ben Sutherland
Swindon are in action at the County Ground against once top of the league Bolton. The trotters have slipped in recent weeks and are without a win for a number of games now. I think Bolton will be victorious in this one however. My prediction: 3-1 Bolton
Gillingham have only won one of their last six league games, and they host Oldham at Priesfield. The Latics sit bottom of the table after falling to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of MK Dons last Saturday. A win would give the Gills confidence after poor run of form, meanwhile a win for Oldham would be vital. My prediction: 3-0 Gillingham
After being bottom of the table not too long ago, some superb wins has left Keith Hill’s Rochdale climb up to midtable. They face Southend, who lie in 21st place. Rochdale will be on a high after picking up two impressive wins on the bounce, however I see this being a draw. My prediction: 0-0
Scunthorpe currently sit three points clear at the summit of league one, and they face Northampton, who are fresh of the back of a crumbling defeat to Bristol Rovers, having lead 2-0. I’m going to go for draw in this one, Northampton can look good on their day, and I see them both cancelling each other out. My prediction: 1-1
So that’s that then, if your heading to a game this weekend, enjoy it, and I’ll be back next week for yet another preview.
Do you agree with your clubs prediction? What will be the stand out game this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by quisnovus