Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
Predictions For The Weekend's Fixtures
By: Richard Lord
IT'S going to be a testing weekend for the teams involved in the Division One relegation scrap. Grimsby have the daunting task of travelling to Wolves, Wednesday go to Millwall, and Walsall and Barnsley battle at the Bescot Stadium.
There are three other teams you could argue that are involved. Crewe are at home to Portsmouth, with Rotherham entertaining Bradford at Mill Moor. The Railwaymen have four games in hand, so they are expected to pull clear.
Ever since the 2-0 win at Blundell Park back in October, Rotherham United have stayed clear of the bottom spot. They've done much better than others have predicted, and stayed clear of the bottom three ever since. They too, are not expected to slip back into the equation.
Bradford City are a funny team. They have had a very poor run of late - including an embarrassing away defeat to Stockport just over a week ago. The Bantams have lost their last four, but before that dismal run they had demolished Gillingham 4-0 at the Priestfield Stadium!
If their poor run continues, then it's possible that they also could be sucked into the dogfight. As it stands, the Mariners, the Saddlers, the Owls and the Tykes are all in trouble.
We will start by looking at Sheffield Wednesday's chances at the New Den, Millwall. Of late, the Owls have been performing better away from home. They have won two of their last three away games, sandwiching in a 4-0 defeat at Manchester City. Millwall have just suffered a 3-0 defeat at Portsmouth and with Wednesday better away from Hillsborough this could be a point for Wednesday.
Next we will look at the game at Rotherham where Bradford are the visitors. Whoever wins this match will be the team to pull away from the danger zone, and those who lose will be in more trouble. On current form the win has to go to the Millers. They're home form is exceptional and that might be enough to see off the Bantams' challenge.
Grimsby's game at Wolves should be a foregone conclusion. The Mariners have only won twice away from home all season, and the last occasion was the 1-0 win at Coventry back on September 8. Wolves' recent record is one of the best in the lead and I can't see them slipping up at home right now.
Finally, what could be the biggest match of them all. Walsall have only lost two of their last six, and achieved a morale-boosting 2-2 draw at Blundell Park last weekend. Barnsley have won just once away - that being a 3-1 win at Stockport. Barnsley are possibly the poorest form team in the league as they have picked up just two points from a possible 18.
To recap then: Grimsby's chances of getting a result at Molineux are very slim indeed, and realistically I can't see them taking anything back to Cleethorpes. Walsall, a team who haven't been beaten at home since February 9 and Barnsley, with just one away win all season, should see three points go to the Saddlers. Millwall are strong at home but had a minor blip last week. Wednesday are better away from home and it could be possible that the Owls might sneak a draw at the New Den. Rotherham should beat Bradford at Mill Moor.
Grimsby gain no points, Rotherham gain three points, Bradford gain no points, Sheffield Wednesday gain 1 point, Walsall gain 3 points and Barnsley gain no points
Which would mean that Stockport would occupy the bottom spot, Grimsby would then be on 39 points second to bottom. Barnsley would drop back into the bottom three also on 39 points and depending on how heavily the Mariners and the Tykes are defeated, goal difference could swap their positions. Just out of the relegation zone would be Walsall on 40 points, and just above would be Sheffield Wednesday on 42. Crewe should beat Portsmouth at home so they would move up, and Rotherham would move above Bradford if they beat the Bantams.
Basically what this means is that Grimsby could find themselves second to bottom at 16:45 tomorrow. It could see Walsall climb out of the bottom three and push Barnsley back in, Wednesday fail to pull clear and Bradford are brought into the equation.
Then again anything can happenâ€¦â€¦â€¦.
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