It’s getting towards that stage of the season now where we need to tread carefully. There are plenty of teams playing for their lives whilst others will be playing for absolutely nothing. Either way though, I’m hoping that regardless of their circumstances, we’ll see some goals in my Goals Galore treble.
Swindon v Bury
I’m starting my treble down at the County Ground as an out of sorts Swindon host Bury in what looks to be a fixture made for goals.
Neither side is mathematically clear of the drop and given Swindon’s form at the moment with no win in 7 games, they are edging closer to the drop by the week. But the two sides maintain a 6 point and 9 point advantage respectively over Blackpool who occupy the last relegation spot.
Swindon have been a delight on the goals front this season, scoring in 17 of their 20 home games but also conceding in 19 of those, so it’s no surprise that they’re making an appearance here. Their only home clean sheet came against an out of sorts Doncaster.
Bury make the 3 hour journey down the M5 with the knowledge that they are pretty much safe now given their 9 point advantage, but it won’t stop them wanting to make sure. They’ve been in decent form as of late losing just 1 of their last 5 games, but their defensive record away from home leaves a lot to be desired.
David Flitcroft’s men have conceded in 17 of 20 on the road this season, are without a win in 6 games on the road and have failed to win in 13 of their last 14 on the road. It’s the kind of record that makes your mouth water on the goals front, especially when you consider Swindon’s record.
When the two met back in August it finished all square in a 2-2 draw and a similar result wouldn’t surprise me today.
Exeter v Northampton
The pressure is almost off now for Northampton given that they are 12 points clear with 15 to play for and though promotion is now confirmed to League One, it’s all about the title from here.
With their last 3 games ending 2-2, 2-2 and 2-2, the nerves have certainly been visible for Chris Wilder’s Northampton side in recent weeks. Last weekend they threw away a 2-0 lead which would have clinched the title and I just have to back them to concede again this week against an Exeter side who have it all to play for.
Exeter are having an impressive season so far and sit 9th in the league with the playoffs certainly not out of reach. They’re undefeated in 9 games coming into this game with the league leaders and their goalscoring record has been decent here at home. They’ve found the net in 17 of their 20 home games here at St James’ Park and have scored in their last 8 here. They’ve also conceded in their last 8 here as well though, a record that doesn’t bode well when the champions are coming to town.
Northampton have actually won the last 4 straight meetings against Exeter to a nil scoreline, but I’m not letting that worry me too much here. Exeter are playing well at the moment and the nerves of being crowned champions will no doubt get to Northampton. I just have to back both teams to find the net given that so much is on the line for both to get a result.
Montrose v Stirling Albion
If you’re in need of a goals bet then one of the first places to check is the Scottish League Two and this one looks an absolute beauty as Stirling Albion head to Links Park to face Montrose on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts are 2nd from bottom of the league but with a 10 point advantage over East Stirling their safety is already confirmed for another season and so the pressure is off. Stirling Albion on the other hand are 8 points adrift of a playoff spot, with only 9 points to play for, meaning their season is also pretty much over.
A nice relaxed game in sunny Scotland then could give us the recipe for goals in what is likely to be a bit of a friendly on the East coast more than anything.
Despite Montrose’s ominous position in the league this year, their goalscoring form at home has actually been pretty solid, scoring in 14 of 16 home games and having scored more home goals than 6 of the 9 other teams in League Two.
Visitors Stirling Albion haven’t had a brilliant season either, sitting 6th in the league with little left to play for but they have found the net in 11 of 16 on their travels, keeping just 1 clean sheet on the road this season.
8 of the last 10 meetings between the two sides here at Links Park have resulted in both teams finding the net and given the relaxed atmosphere ahead of Saturday’s meeting, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an entertaining game.