The weekend greets us with plenty of fantastic matches to get our teeth into. Another Match Result and BTTS treble also awaits you below. Three games away from a huge return. Have a look and see what you think…
Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion – 3.00pm Saturday
Swansea to win and BTTS – 13/4 – Coral
This time last year the outlook in South Wales was looking for more endearing. Swansea had just won the League Cup under Michael Laudrup and were playing the sort of football which made them look a shoe-in for a top half finish during their next campaign. 12 months on those plans did not materialise and the club now find themselves under the stewardship of legend Garry Monk after Michael Laudrup was sacked after a dreadful January transfer window and a poor first half of the season. I do believe this Swansea side are far better than their league position represents and on their day the Swans can beat anyone. The Welsh side need a win against a relegation rival and at home with the squad they have i expect them to deliver.
Under Pepe Mel, West Brom have yet to win a game and the decision to sack Steve Clarke really does seem even more ridiculous than it did at the time, with most pundits placing the Baggies in their favourites to go down alongside Fulham and Cardiff. No win in eight matches, does not make good reading and the last clean sheet kept was just as many games ago. It is actually even worse on their travels, ten away games since West Brom won, and the trip to the Liberty Stadium is a tricky one, with both sides desperate for maximum points. West Brom cannot sit back, they need a win to end their run, so this has all the clues to a game which will be end to end. I can see the Midlands outfit scoring on their way to defeat.
Fleetwood Town v Portsmouth – 3.00pm Saturday
Fleetwood Town to win and BTTS – 15/4 – Coral
Fleetwood Town still hold hope that they can grab an automatic promotion spot. With eight games to go they are just three points off Rochdale who occupy third. Graham Alexander’s side were one of the favourites at the start of the season but have suffered a recent blip which has seen them drop down the table. Just one win in six has left them losing momentum and ground on their rivals.
Here against a struggling Portsmouth, I am predicting Fleetwood to get their season back on track with a win. The Cod Army have been far better on the road than at home at the Highbury Stadium but today’s opposition have won just twice from 17 away games this season and Fleetwood have the quality to ensure three points are added to their tally.
On the road Portsmouth cannot buy a win for love nor money but will take confidence in Fleetwood’s continuous habit of conceding at home- just three clean sheets have been kept from their 17 home games and Pompey will fancy their chances of a goal or two. Their last three games have ended 0-0 which doesn’t look good for our bet here, but something now has to give with fans unhappy with the lack of action and also points as they are just five points away from the relegation zone and face the dire proposition of falling out of the football league.
Fleetwood will be determined to win here, more so than any recent opposition the South Coast side have faced, and once they score I expect Portsmouth to go for it as going four game without a goal will be unacceptable.
Newport County v Exeter City – 3.00pm Sunday
Newport County to win and BTTS – 15/4 – Coral
If Newport County do not win here they can pretty much kiss goodbye hopes of a Play Off place where they were sitting pretty for so long. Currently in 13th after a dreadful run, they are seven points from Southend who are where the Exiles want to be- in 7th.
At Rodney Parade they are a very strong outfit having won eight of their 15 games but have not registered a victory in four games which have included visits from Fleetwood Town and Scunthorpe. Earlier on in the season the Port went on a seven game winning streak at home and have the quality to reproduce some of that form here against free falling Exeter.
Newport manager Justin Edinburgh will know this is now or never and I believe the Welsh side will deliver the performance necessary to keep them in with a shout of a Play Off place.
Nervous times for Exeter who balance on the edge of the relegation zone and confidence must be, not just on the floor, but in the basement after six games without a win- four of those ending in defeat. Newport are quite obviously favourites on the back of all this information, however a goal for the Devon side is looking promising because the Grecians have scored in nine of their last ten away games and have a habit of scoring regardless of the result.
It should be quite an open game here with both sides having plenty to play for and Exeter certainly would be far deeper in trouble if it wasn’t for their decent away record. I expect a narrow 2-1 win for Newport.