It's a full fixture list in the Champions League on Tuesday evening and the same can be said for League One and League Two, with the campaign in both divisions really starting to heat up. Gillingham are onto their third manager, Forest Green haven't had the greatest of starts to their maiden EFL campaign and what is going on at Chesterfield is anyone's guess. Anyway, we've sifted through each of the two league's fixtures to pick out the guaranteed certainties on Tuesday night under the lights.
Blackburn suffered a surprise loss against Oldham Athletic at the weekend in front of over 3,500 Rovers supporters who made the trip south and will be hoping to get back to winning ways in front of a much larger crowd when Plymouth Argyle make the long old trek to Ewood Park on Tuesday evening. Despite drawing with leaders Shrewsbury Town at the weekend, the Devon side are still firmly rooted to the bottom of League One and whilst a trip to Lancashire is a right trek in midweek, the 90 minute match against Tony Mowbray’s men could well seem a lifetime if they click. It’s expected Mowbray will make changes to the side against the Pilgrims with the manager surprised at the lack of creativity at the weekend, meaning the likes of Bradley Dack and Harry Chapman could come into the XI. This will be the first meeting in 25 years between the two, with Blackburn winning the last two and losing just one of their last six against Plymouth.
This week has seen Wigan linked with a £20m take over from a Chinese consortium, and if there is ever a time to purchase the Latics then it’s probably now, with the Lancashire side flying high at the top of League One. And on Tuesday they take on a Gillingham side who are low on goals, league position and confidence coming into this one and are now onto their third manager of the season with Steve Lovell now in charge after Aidy Pennock and Peter Taylor came and went already this term. There hasn’t been a draw between these two in the last seven meetings, with Wigan winning the last meeting in January 2016. Wigan have won their last four matches, conceding just one goal in that time and a trip to Gillingham shouldn’t cause any hiccups for Paul Cook’s side down in Kent.
We tipped Northampton to get a win at home to AFC Wimbledon last time out and they completely failed in that and we’re tipping them again for this match – tipping them to lose. Rochdale are unbeaten in their last six against the Cobblers in all competitions and have lost just once against Tuesday’s opponents in the last 13 clashes. A good point at Fleetwood ensured Keith Hill’s side are out of the bottom four and will see a home clash against Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s team as a great opportunity to steer themselves further away from any potential relegation fears at this early stage of the campaign.
Forest Green’s stay in the Football League won’t last any more than this season, unless they start turning their fortunes around with good displays to earn wins in League Two. It’s only because Chesterfield are even worse than them that Rovers aren’t rooted to the bottom of the table but still remain in the bottom two. They visit Coventry on Tuesday night, a team who many tipped to be up there fighting for automatic promotion this term, and with the club sitting in seventh, they will pencil this one in as a comfortable victory as they look to close in on the top three leading the way. They’re currently just four points off third, which is mainly down to conceding the least amount of goals in the division, but scoring goals appears to be a problem. They should, however, find the net at least once against a FGR side who have conceded the most in the league – 31 from their 13 played.
Going well this term, Newport will have been buoyed by their big win at Forest Green on Saturday and with the team just three points off third place, it’s a good an incentive as any to turn Colchester over on home turf. The U’s have lacked consistency this season, with four wins, three draws and six defeats. But the Essex side are unbeaten in their last five against County, which dates all the way back to 1981, with the last three meetings ending in draws – two of which were 0-0/ However, this County side is a different animal and they have six-goal Padraig Amond leading the line – the Irishman is someone who’s proven at this level. Newport are yet to lose in the league at home this term and have won their last three at Rodney Parade in League Two.
In the last ten years there have been seven meetings between Barnet and Mansfield Town and the Bees have won just one of them. And whilst some may see this as the perfect time to tackle Steve Evans’ side who have lost their last two and three of their last four, it would only be the case if the hosts – sitting in 21st – weren’t lacking in confidence without a win in their last five games. Evans being Evans, he’ll certainly be demanding a response from his expensively assembled squad who many tipped for promotion this season. They sit in mid-table and there’s plenty of work to be done if they are to indeed live up to the hype. We fancy them for Tuesday night’s game in north London.
Placing a £10 stake on our selections (Blackburn, Wigan, Rochdale, Coventry, Newport, Mansfield) returns £249.17*.
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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