Monday, January 03, 2011


As usual, I will update these games by email at half time.

Bournemouth - Brentford

Lots of Bees fans live along the M3 corridor and always travel in large numbers to this fixture, so plenty of support for the visitors in a big bank holiday crowd. My beloved Brentford are looking to make club history with a sixth straight away win in the league, but are very short of numbers in midfield. Brentford scrapped a draw in the reverse fixture, in one of their poorer performances of the season, however, both teams have gone in the oposite direction since then, with the Cherries really missing Josh McQuoid, something we have touched upon several times recently.

Bees are a perfect 5-0-0 when leading at the half and are good at closing out games, unlike Bournemouth who have only gone on to win 60% of the games when they have led at the break. The Cherries have only scored four goals in the six games in which they have trailed and three of those came in one game. Will be tough for them to chase the lead in this game.

Brentford:- Lee; Wright, Legge, Osborne, Woodman; Forster, Diagouraga, O'Connor, Bean; Alexander, MacDonald

Subs:- Hamer, Spillane, McCracken, Balkestein, Blake, Simpson, Weston

AFC Bournemouth:- Jalal; Smith, Pearce, Cooper, Wiggins; Feeney, Bartley, Robinson, Pugh; Bradbury, Ings

Subs:- Stewart, Hollands, Arter, Fletcher, Symes, Taylor, Cummings

in play :

QPR - Bristol City

Rangers will be desperate to bounce back after losing at Carrow Road on saturday in a match that Norwich dominated. They have a great record here against City, who were fully committed to beating local rivals Cardiff at the weekend and might not have saved too much for today. I did advise you that Neil Warnock would be busy in the transfer window and Petter Vaagen Moen has already signed from Brann, this has been in the pipeline for many months and I assume that Moen has been keeping fit and training with QPR for the last 5-6 weeks. Moen is good with deadballs ( not sure what Taarabt will say about that !) and averaged a goal every two games from midfield in Tippeligaen last season.

QPR are the best second half team in the Championship as you might expect, they are 13-10-1 after the break, conceding just 4 goals and a perfect 8 from 8 when leading.

Rangers update:Moen starts on the bench, Connolly suspended.

in play:

Leicester City - Swansea City

Swansea rode their luck at times and gave everything to beat Reading at the weekend, completing the double over Brendan Rodgers former club, Rodgers was perhaps not treated well by the Royals and I suspect he really wanted that win and there is the danger that it came at the expense of today's game, with Orlandi and Taylor picking up injuries and with Tate still suspended, they are short of options in key areas.

City have not lost at home to Swansea in over 60 years and are unbeaten on home soil under Sven, the former England boss has already been busy in the transfer window signing Ben Mee from Manchester City and Ivory Coast international Sol Bamba from Hibernian, both players he has worked with previously.

Leicester have the third best record in the division in the second half ( 12-6-7) but have got stronger and stronger in this department as the season has progressed and especially under Sven. They have lost only one of their last 12 second 45 minute periods and won an incredible 7 of their last 11. In the six games in which they have led at the half, they have only conceded two goals, so this is not a team you want to chase a game against. That could be a key stat as Swansea have easily the worst record amongst the top clubs when trailing at the half, scoring only two after the break in six games.

Mee makes the bench, Bamba has to wait for his debut.

in play:

Reading - Burnley

Reading felt hard done by in the 1-0 loss away to Swansea with the home keeper earning MOTM plaudits and are ultra keen to collect all three points today and get back to the form which had seen them unbeaten in seven before the trip to South Wales. Hosts are unbeaten in 12 home starts against the visitors, who have yet to record back to back wins all season and will be looking to break that duck after putting four past Sheffield United at the weekend.

Reading like to keep things tight, but they have got points from 5 of the 9 games in which they have gone in behind at the break. Burnley have gained a league high 19 points from losing positions, so this is unlikley to over until the fat lady sings !

However, when level at the half, Burnley have gone on to draw 60% (6 from 10) and Reading 50% ( 4 from 8).

Team news update: McAnuff, Leigertwood, Hunt and Karacan all return to the starting eleven.

in play:

Derby County - Millwall

Lions are unbeaten in seven starts and have returned to their very impressive early season form, keeping five clean sheets in the process.They will travel in good spirits to face a Rams team who have beaten only Preston, who are in freefall, in their last six starts and who have conceded 18 goals in 8 starts, at least two per game in seven of those. Millwall's run is even more impressive as they have been without a number of starting defenders recently and are very short of numbers at the back today, with Alan Dunne suspended and Shittu and Robinson still nursing injuries.

Millwall have struggled when trailing, losing all three when they have gone in behind and scoring just a single goal.

Update: Morison returns for Lions and Robinson is fit enough for the bench, Puncheon out with a dead leg.

in play:

Good Luck.

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