This week was set for a full fixture list including all 24 teams but unfortunately due to adverse weather conditions, Crawley’s home game with Wolves has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch. As it stands the rest of the games are set to go ahead with some fantastic clashes in store.
Walsall vs Brentford
There is no doubt this week that this fixture will take centre-stage as sixth placed Walsall take on the league’s top side. Walsall have started to show some real consistency of late and have fired themselves into the top six, level on points with Rotherham. Walsall have only lost once in their last seven league games and during the week agreed a deal to re-sign former-player Febian Brandy who has joined on loan from Sheffield United, Brandy left Walsall in the summer on bad terms and will want to win back the Walsall faithful that booed him on New Year’s day. Many expected when Uwe Rosler departed that maybe Brentford would have faltered but it has been anything but, they are deservedly top of the table and have won 13 of their last 14 league games. If they win tomorrow they will equal a club record of nine consecutive league wins, the record was set way back in 1932. Adam Forshaw is one of the most promising midfielders in the division and has been ever present for Brentford this season. Forshaw missed the Port Vale game with a calf problem and remains a major doubt for tomorrow.
Walsall have improved recently but with the current form of Brentford I believe they will continue their winning run for a little while longer.
Walsall 1-2 Brentford
Preston North End vs Coventry City
The Lilywhites were defeated last time out in the league but since then they have beaten Ipswich in the FA cup courtesy of a stunning 20-minute hat-trick from Joe Garner. Garner is the club’s top scorer, with 13 goals in 22 games in all competitions averaging a goal every 93 minutes. Simon Grayson’s men can go to within two points of Wolves with a win tomorrow and will be looking to take advantage of the top half’s leakiest side. It has been some season for Coventry, during the early stages it looked as if a top six place wasn’t out of reach for the Sky Blues, but, in recent months their form has dipped and with Leon Clarke potentially departing the top six could be a step too far for Coventry this season. Clarke handed in a transfer request midweek which has shocked several at the football club and according to Pressley put the club in a difficult predicament. However, he is hopeful that Clarke will remain professional and whilst contracted to the club give his all for the Sky Blues at the weekend.
22 goals have been scored in Coventry’s last six games and I’m predicting plenty more in a high-scoring clash between these two on Saturday.
Prediction: Preston North End 3-2 Coventry City
Stevenage vs Notts County
Stevenage secured a vital win over Swindon Town on Tuesday night, their first league win since November 23rd. This heightens the magnitude of the fixture tomorrow as both clubs are precariously positioned in the bottom four, separated by just two points. The midweek triumph has put an end to Stevenage’s run of seven league games without a win and will be looking to top scorer Francois Zoko to find a way past Derry’s Notts County. Notts County have been given some positive news on survival as they have secured Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish on loan till the end of the season, Grealish has impressed at Meadow Lane and could prove pivotal in survival. Jack Grealish is also currently the joint top scorer in the league at Notts County with just three goals, epitomising how desperate County are for a goal scorer. Derry has a fully fit side for tomorrow which is free of suspension and will be looking to build on the positive start County have made in 2014, winning both of their league games netting five in the process.
Both of these sides have struggled for goals this season and I can see Derry’s men maybe nicking this by the odd goal.
Prediction: Stevenage 0-1 Notts County
Carlisle United vs Colchester United
Perhaps not the most glamorous of fixtures but one that is just as important as the rest. Carlisle have been flirting with the bottom four all season and with just a three point gap over Notts County Kavanagh will be targeting this fixture to end two straight league defeats. This will be a tough task for the Cumbrians who are without Conor Townsend, Paul Thirlwell, Danny Livesey and Sean O’Hanlon for tomorrow’s game. Colchester survived by just three points last year and fans will be hoping they can continue the form that currently sees them sat near mid-table. The U’s are ten points off the top six and just seven points off the bottom four, meaning Joe Dunne will have to keep his team focused as a dip in form can soon destroy your season, just ask Peterborough.
Carlisle have lost four of their fast five league games and I can see their dismal run continuing tomorrow therefore I’m going to go for an away win here.
Carlisle United 1-2 Colchester United
Bristol City 1-1 Milton Keynes Dons
Crewe Alexandra 0-2 Leyton Orient
Gillingham 0-1 Swindon Town
Peterborough United 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
Port Vale 2-0 Oldham Athletic
Sheffield United 0-1 Bradford City
Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Rotherham United
Crawley Town vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (Postponed due to a waterlogged pitch)