Saturday, August 07, 2010


England Division 1

Tranmere Rovers- Oldham Athletic

Both of these clubs are short of funds and Rovers are operating on a tiny budget, one of the smallest in the division, former physio Les Parry has been given the coaching job on a full time basis and he is forced to go with a mixture of youth and cast offs from other clubs. Ashley Taylor one of his few "stars" will miss the opening months of the season and 5-6 players in total are unavailable today, with such a small squad, that leaves Rovers with a very difficult task this afternoon.

They face an Athletic side in somewhat similar financial circumstances, but by giving Paul Dickov his first coaching job, they have been able to take advantage of the well travelled professional's large number of contacts in the game, he has used them well,bringing in a number of quality players for this level including Ritchie Jones and Warren Feeney, plus taking a couple of EPL youngsters looking for league experience. Two french 20/21 year olds M'Voto and Tounkara arrived from Sunderland on season long loans this week, the first named played 41 matches for PSG and also has almost half a season at this level under his belt, having been with Southend last campaign. Both look the part , are very strong physically, motivated to do well and impress Steve Bruce or any of the other EPL coaches in the area.

Pre season could hardly have gone better for the Latics who have scored freely against lower league opposition, drawn with top flight Wigan and beaten both Preston (1-0) and a very strong Bolton side by a convincing 3-0 scoreline. Confidence is sky high at the club, around 2,000 fans are expected to make the journey to the Wirral today and over 500 turned up for a autograph signing in the town centre in midweek, this is impressive in an area where most are seduced away by the big name Manchester clubs. Dickov and Athletic want to build on all this momentum and with three relatively easy looking home games in their next four starts, three points today could see them off to a flyer. They look a side with goals in them and I feel they could flourish today against a side which had the second worst defensive record in the division last season, those problems remain unaddressed and it could be another long season for Rovers.

Oldham +0.25 ball 1.90 + asian line.

Good Luck.

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