ANOTHER winner last week for Gavin Horsfall? Of course! The Football League expert is back with three more Anytime Goalscorer picks this weekend.
Newport v Portsmouth | Saturday 15:00
Pressure continues to mount on Andy Awford as Portsmouth’s talented squad (in my opinion) limped towards 2015 with just one win in nine.
There’s a tough trip to Rodney Parade next up for Awford where the home side have won six of their last seven. Justin Edinburgh navigated the Christmas period (and Aaron O’ Connor’s suspension) with relatively few problems and they look more than capable of maintaining a promotion campaign this time around.
It’s the Pompey midfield for me that look most uncomfortable with the plans set out by Awford, there’s neither the defensive strength to stop other teams playing nor the attacking guile that causes enough problems at the other end, I’d think County’s midfield three (Byrne, Chapman, Minshull) should have lots their own way on Saturday and Newport look one of the strongest options at odds-against on the coupon.
For a goalscorer I’ll look to Ismail Yakubu (10/1 Bet365) who does lots of good work at both ends but is a constant at set-pieces and, with a solid midfield three picking up the pieces, tends to loiter around long enough to cause problems.
Carlisle v Cambridge | Saturday 15:00
A home tie against Manchester United and live TV coverage on FA Cup Fourth Round day might just mean there’s some value in thinking Cambridge will take their eye off the ball in the upcoming weeks.
For now though there’s enough good feeling (and good reasoning) to suggest the league’s third best attack on the road can cause Carlisle problems this weekend. Second and Third round wins in the cup have been the only wins of note since November but with the impending (and eventual) absence of Kwesi Appiah it was important for Richard Money that both Tom Elliot and Ryan Donaldson recovered from injury to play a part in the forthcoming months.
That’s exactly what happened last weekend in the 2-1 win against Luton where Donaldson and Elliot both managed 80 minutes and we might expect them to play prominent roles when Utd roll up to Brunton Park on Saturday, it’s Donaldson (5/1 Bet365) who gets the nod up against the league’s worst home defensive record. The U’s stuck five past their hosts in the return fixture back in August.
Oldham v Doncaster | Saturday 15:00
Doncaster have every chance of cementing their decent away form with a visit to Oldham who, let’s face it, have probably had easier weeks.
Even without the off-field drama, Lee Johnson has a slump of no wins and 14 goals conceded to address from December while Paul Dickov enjoys some relative calm, overseeing wins at top of the table Swindon and a Coventry side that are proving a tough nut to crack in recent weeks.
Dickov has a slight headache in accommodating Dean Furman being part of the South Africa squad for the African Nations Cup but Notebook favourite Kyle Bennett (4/1 Betfred) has timed his return from a hamstring injury to perfection and gets the nod this week.