Friday, 2 September 2011

Weekly Review

It maybe an International weekend and I may still be on holiday but the lower leagues play on all the same so its only right that I complete a review of some of the games.
Chesterfield host Leyton Orient, this is the "battle for the bottom" of League 1. A big change from last season when at this stage both sides were going well and of course Chesterfield ended up winning the league and being promoted. This season neither side has managed a win, Orient haven't even troubled the oppositions net in their away games. Orient also haven't played any of the fancied sides for promotion so could well be looking at a long season ahead. Its a big come down following their close call with the play offs last season. There was no last minute inward transfers on Wednesday meaning the same set of players that lost 5-0 at Brentford need to get their heads sorted out and start picking up points. It must be pointed out that Orient have lost to 4 of the current top 10 sides.

As for Chesterfield, they have also struggled badly this season, picking up a single point against fellow promoted side Stevenage at home. Since then they have lost at home to Preston and lost 3 away games most notably against MK Dons 6-2.
Chesterfield picked up a loan signing and a new striker during the end of the transfer window and will hope that these players bed in quickly and start putting some wins together.

With games of this type I like to go with the home side.

Another side struggling this season after a great season last year are Bournemouth. 5th this time last year after promotion they find themselves fourth from bottom this time around. It could be the case that Bournemouth will struggle after the events of last season rather than feature at the top end again, as is sometimes the case for teams in their second season in a particular league.

Bournemouth play Notts County, County narrowly avoided relegation last season sit in relative safety in mid table with 6 points. Notts have lost 3 games all to sides that were among the favourites for promotion and also now sit in the top 10 however 2 wins against sides sitting in the top 7 shows that the side can play and beat reasonable opposition.

Bournemouth however despite beating Sheffield Weds they have performed poorly against Stevenage and Walsall at home and have lost away to Charlton and Carlisle. Charlton have started well so that defeat can be forgiven but losing to sides not expected to challenge is a worrying sign for the south cost side.

Given Notts Countys bright start and interesting wins I would be looking at County to pick up another 3 points at the weekend.

In League 2 Rotherham travel to Swindon. Before the start of the season Swindon were amongst the favorites for promotion however they have stuttered since winning their opening game. Indeed they have now lost 4 of their 5 games and languish at the wrong end of the table. It will be interesting to see how Di Canio reacts to this situation in his first managerial role. Rotherham however have had a blistering start picking up 13 out of 15 points from their opening 5 games. Rotherhmas 2 away games were at Crewe and Plymouth, 2 of the bottom 3 sides with home wins against Oxford and Gillingham and probably a surprise 2-2 draw at home to Barnet.

This time last year after 4 games Rotherham were sitting 3rd but eventually faded away from the championship picture.

This game could end in a draw, however 7/4 for the league leaders to win is a great price and maybe worth a gamble?

In my final review for this week concerns Southend and Northampton. Southend have started the season in reasonable form, beating Hereford and losing to Burton at home and only losing to Crawley away, with wins at Accrington and Port Vale.

Northampton have struggled this season, drawing 0-0 with Accrington but losing to Cheltenham and Morecambe. Away they have beaten Aldershot but lost at Bristol Rovers. It must be noted that Aldershot have also lost their other home game 0-1 to Torquay.

At Evens I would take Southend to get 3 more points on the board and push further up the league.

Now that we are at the end of August I can take my first look at some trends for league winners.

In League 2 I have bad news for Rotherham! The team winning the league inthe past 10 seasons has never lead after August. Hartlepool, Walsall and Scunthorpe all came close by finishing second but 1st place has never been achieved.

In league 1 Leicester did manage the feat in Season 08/09, Luton did the same in 04/05, this bodes well for MK Dons! I do expect the winner of League 1 to come from one of the current top 4 but I don't expect it to be MK Dons, Charlton, Preston and Sheffield United are all knocking on the door!

In the championship QPR lead on September 1st and won the league last season, Newcastle did the same the season before, Wolves also achieved the feat in 08/09, Portsmouth also managed the feat in 02/03. Brighton are currently top dogs and are available at 15/2 for the league, an interesting price indeed! For me I still feel West Ham at 2/1 are the team to beat.

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