It’s the final weekend of a fascinating August, and we’ll be hoping to kickstart the bank holiday weekend with this 11/2 Saturday afternoon treble.
We’re already guaranteed to end the month in profit, but these three teams could make it a far better opening month to 2016-17. Let’s hope they do by all landing vital wins.
Watford V Arsenal
It wouldn’t be a new season without Arsenal facing problems on and off the field. But for all their downfalls, the Gunners are still one of the best teams in the country, and it should show as they make the short trip to Vicarage Road.
Arsene Wenger’s men have only picked up one point thus far, so they’ll be desperate to seal their first win of the campaign here. The defence looked far more assured against Leicester than it did against Liverpool, which should give them a solid platform. Meanwhile, the firepower of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and co. should have too much for a distinctly average Hornets.
New boss Walter Mazzarri is still looking for a first win after seeing his side crash out of the League Cup on Tuesday. Combined with the disappointment of letting Chelsea turn things around in last weekend’s Premier League game, it paints a pretty dour picture for the Watford manager.
Expect things to take another turn for the worse here.
Bradford City V Oldham Athletic
Following a disappointing start to the campaign, Stuart McCall’s Bantams have bounced back with three wins on the spin in League One. If they can secure another three points as they welcome Oldham to Valley Parade, their credentials for early promotion favourites will be stronger than ever.
Bradford have every reason to be confident too. Not only have they had more preparation due to Oldham’s midweek cup clash at Preston, which the Latics lost, but the hosts have additionally won each of the last three head-to-head meetings.
Oldham are in OK form thanks to their strong defence, but may have lost some momentum thanks to Tuesday’s loss. However, manager Stephen Robinson will be concerned by the fact that his team has scored just once in four games – especially as that was an away goal.
We can’t see the Latics keeping Billy Clarke and co. at bay, and don’t think they have the attacking qualities to compensate. Back the hosts to grab another crucial win.
Gateshead V Boreham Wood
In the Conference National, Luke Garrard’s Boreham Wood are sitting quite happily in 10th after five matches. However, the Meadow Park club are now three games without a win, and could be in for another difficult contest as they make the trip to Gateshead.
That’s because Neil Aspin’s hosts have scored nine goals in two games at the Gateshead International Stadium, including six against York City in their most recent home clash. With Wesley York, Dan Johnson and Ryan Bowman all amongst the goals, the hosts should be confident to say the least.
Boreham Wood are unbeaten in four away games, going back to last season, but that run has to end sooner rather than later for a club that is probably destined for mid-table obscurity. While the visitors do possess some decent talent for this level, a lack of quality strikers could be their downfall in this one.
Gateshead won both head-to-head encounters last term, picking up a 2-1 win at home. A similar story could be on the cards.