Thursday, August 08, 2013
Tuesday August 6th clubgowi newsletter ...
There are a couple of UEFA Champions League matches I like this week, but all are tomorrow, so just the Capital One fixtures today.
All teams played their opening League match at the weekend and most will be rotating their squad to some extent.
The idea to wait for the opening exchanges to play out today, did not work out well, but I have discussed four matches any way.
Bristol Rovers- Watford
Watford were impressive in a 1-0 win at Birmingham City on Saturday, they already seem over any playoff hangover from last season and look stronger this time round, almost all the loanees from last season have been signed on a permanent basis and further depth/quality has been added. The signing of Lewis McGugan from Nottingham Forest looks especially good business. Rovers have been hugely unlucky with injuries and have started the season missing nine players, they could not name a full bench for the 2-1 West Country derby loss to Exeter City on Saturday and the six they did nominate, were all aged between 17 and 19, with five coming from the U18 squad. They are very likely to go with the same line up this evening and the last thing they need are further injuries, priority for them will be the league visit from Scunthorpe United this coming weekend and to try not to lose too much ground until their treatment room clears. The visitors will surely rotate their big impressive squad and any coming in will surely want to make an impression. I want circa 2.10 for Watford -0.75 ball and odds are currently 1.99, but could drift pre kick off, or early in the match, is so, they would be a 1.25 unit selection.
Shrewsbury Town- Bolton Wanderers
These two met here in pre season 17 days ago, the visitors were leading 3-1 with 25 minutes to and looked very comfortable and had missed several chances to score a fourth, but then took their foot of the gas, made some changes and the match ended 3-3. The hosts had no real answer to Chris Eagles and Marvin Sordell, who were running riot upfront, Eagles picked up a knock on Saturday and will miss out, Sordell has since moved on to Charlton, but David Ngog and Craig Davies will be pushing for starts after featuring from the bench at Burnley, whilst new signing Andre Moritz will be looking to make his debut.Dougie Freedman has said he would name his strongest available eleven and tended to take the competition very seriously at Crystal Palace, several of his team looked in need of game time, something we touched upon yesterday, so I think we can take the manager at his word and they could do with a win, ahead of games against Reading, Forest, QPR and local rivals Blackburn Rovers before the end of the month. They did not win in pre season and having opened with that draw at Burnley, they would surely like to break their duck and build up a little confidence, going into that tough sequence of games. Hosts tried to address defensive weaknesses in the summer and do look a little stronger at the back, but boss Graham Turner has called this a transition year and upfront, despite the goals in pre season, they look short of options and the loss of on loan striker Akwasi Asante, leaves them with 20 yo John Marsden ( who made his debut in the 0-0 draw with MK Dons on Saturday) and 21yo Tom Bradshaw ( no goals in 21 appearances last season) as the recognised strikers, which is simply not good enough. A committed Wanderers should win this. 1.5 units Bolton Wanderers -0.5 1.96 asian line/Ibramarket.
Wycombe Wanderers-Leicester City
Hosts are the closest league club to me and I usually get to watch them a couple of times per season, last time was when they hosted Bradford City late last season and we got a lot of winners out of that match, including City in the playoff final. After the 3-0 home defeat to the Bantams I wrote ....City scored very early, the hosts came on strong for 15 minutes or so, but after that it was pretty much one way traffic, I am loathe to write anyone off after one bad day at the office and Wanderers have been playing well enough previously, but this was men against boys, the hosts had trouble stringing passes together and, not for the first time when I have seen them, made some odd tactical decisions. I was also surprised that losing and creating virtually nothing (they were coming up against a watertight City backline), that they made little use of the bench, which kind of implies a shortage of options to me. City hit the woodword around the hour mark, if that had gone in, they might have scored five.
WW recovered from a terrible start to last season (bottom 3 entering November) to finish in 15th place, boss Gareth Ainsworth is going to have to use his contacts in the game well in the loan market, if the Chairboys are to better that. Money is tight and he has had to reduce the size of his squad and lost the services of several Premier League loaness, which helped them at the end of 2012-13, keeper Jordan Archer from Tottenham was hugely influential and they lost 10 from 17 without him. The squad is very short of depth/experience with ten aged 20 or younger. Ahead of the campaign Ainsworth made it clear expectations were limited and that he "would be happy to improve upon that 15th place". They opened with a 1-0 home win over Morecambe and that was deserved, but the visitors did hit the woodwork and introduced a lot of debutants. Wycombe included four players 20 yo or younger, including two in the backline and facing the very speedy City front players Dyer, Nugent, Schlupp, Vardy etc, three of whom did not start in the win at Middlesbrough, they could be in for a long evening. Hosts tend to leave big gaps at the back at Adams Park, especially down the flanks and I have seen it year after year (they won more on the road last season), it is not such a problem when they get in front early, as they can sit back, like on Saturday and play mainly on the break, but chasing or taking the game to opponents, they struggle. I could see City scoring three or four here, as if they get in front, they will get a huge amount of space and have the players to exploit it. Boss Nigel Pearson is going to make limited rotation as he feels the game will do them good, especially as their weekend fixture as been pushed back to Sunday. 1.5 units Leicester City -1 ball 2.20 asian line/Ibramarket.
Brentford- Dagenham and Redbridge
London derby, Bees will surely use their squad and we are likely to see Ben Nugent, Stuart Dallas, Paul Hayes, Javi Venta and Sam Saunders play some part. Saunders will be up for this against his former club, he is very good with set pieces and with Daggers showing a weakness in defending these at Fleetwood in their opener, this could be a route to goal. The visitors already have a skinny and very young ( only one player older than 26) squad, a few injuries and lack options to rotate too much, even if they wanted to, but with money very tight, they would see a run in any cup as potential much needed revenue. The Bees should have too much for the East London side, but the current odds do not make much appeal. I am hoping that once the home line up is announced, they might drift a little pre kick off or early in play (-1 ball 2.05 ?) and then we could bet. Saunders is 4.0-4.5 to score anytime which makes some appeal, he will take any free kicks around the box and maybe a penalty, depending who is on the pitch at the time, this could be key, referee Patrick Miller is "lucky"for the Bees, they have won the last 5 games he has taken charge of with a 13-2 goal difference and in those, he has awarded five penalties, two in one game twice !