EFL Championship Pro/Rel Mid-Season Predictions

Most teams in the EFL Championship (England Division 2) are now at the half way point in their seasons, or 1 game away from it.  Here are my way too early predictions for promotion and relegation with a small explanation on each.

The 3 Clubs Being Promoted To The English Premier League

1) Norwich City (14-5-4) 47 points

Norwich is top of the championship at the moment by 4 points over 2nd placed Swansea (also played 23 games).  In the Premier League just last season, they know what it takes to get back up there and the level at which they need to play to hopefully stay up should they make it back up there.  Currently 5th in the league in goals scored and tied for 5th in goals allowed, Norwich is well rounded enough to maintain their #1 spot and gain automatic promotion.

2) Brentford (11-8-3) 41 points

Brentford currently sit 2 points back of 2nd place Swansea with a game in hand.  Last season, it seemed a sure thing they would be promoted, but West Bromwich Albion outplayed them at the end of the season to secure auto promotion spot #2.  They would go on to lose to Fulham 2-1 in the promotion playoff final.  One of the higher scoring offenses in the Championship (36 goals), they don’t seem to be letting up any time soon.  Brentford have won 4 of their last 5 league games, and the 5th was a 1-1 draw with Watford on 12/15.  They seem to have all the pieces in place needed for promotion, and I think this is the season they execute on it and end up in the Premier League.

3) Watford (10-7-5) 37 points

Watford had an uncharacteristically dismal start to the season last year.  They ended up turning it around towards the end though, even handing Liverpool their 1st loss of the season (3-0 at Vicarage during week 28).  Unfortunately, it was too little too late, and Watford finished 2nd from the bottom and were relegated.  They’re one point ahead of Middlesbrough for the last promotion playoff spot at the moment.  They will have to gain promotion through the playoffs, but ultimately, Watford pulls it off and gets back to Premier League next season.

The Falling Three

1) Derby County (4-7-11) 19 points

Being a Rams fan, this one hurts me to type.  A revolving door of coaches (5 since March 2017) and the lowest scoring offense in the league (14 goals) are not doing Derby any favors.  In a season that started out very poorly, they have managed to put themselves in a position in which they are tied on points with Sheffield Wednesday for the “last team safe” spot, but are below them in 22nd place.  I think Derby County will make it an interesting second half of the year depending on who they make permanent head coach and sign to bolster the offense.  Ultimately, they will fall just short of the line and end up relegated to League One.

2) Wycombe Wanderers (3-6-14) 15 points

This is a club that I genuinely wanted to see do well. It is the Wanderers first season ever in the championship, and they have not been treated very well so far. They have allowed more goals than any other team in the league and seem overwhelmed in some of their games. Is Wycombe a bad club? No, absolutely not. I just think this isn’t their year. My prediction is they go back down to league one and we will see them come back to the championship in a year to 3 years and give the league a real run for its money.

3) Rotherham United (4-4-12) 16 points

Dating back 2 months to 11/7, Rotherham has 2 wins and 1 draw. 7 points in 2 months isn’t enough to get you out of the relegation zone in almost any league. They have won only 1 of their last 5 contests and next play Everton in FA Cup 3rd round on 1/9. This will not help build their confidence to where it needs to be to stay above the line. Unless something changes, and soon, Rotherham head right back down to league one next year.


Well, here we are! First entry in a while for me and I’m very excited. I will be talking about the upcoming promotion playoffs, focusing mainly on League 2, as their playoffs start on 6/18.


First things first: Congratulations to the 3 clubs that earned automatic promotion to League 1:

  1. Swindon Town – Didn’t really have them on my radar at the beginning of the season, but they had a really good campaign (36 played with 21 wins, 6 draws, and 9 losses for 69 points)
  2. Crewe Alexandra – This club was a blast to watch in the FA cup……until they danced with Aston Villa. They had the same amount of points and a better goal differential than Swindon Town, but at 20-9-8, those 3 extra draws is what spots them at #2
  3. Plymouth Argyle- You guys, I got one right!!!!!! One of the first entries I wrote this year, I said to watch out for Plymouth Argyle. They started out strong, but faltered for a stretch and were able pull it back with a strong finish to the campaign. 20-8-9 for 68 points and a +22 goal differential was enough to secure them automatic promotion by 4 points.


I really love this next part. Promotion and relegation have become an obsession of mine in recent years. The playoff finals last year for all 3 EFL leagues were fun to watch and you could see the passion on the players faces.

4) Cheltenham Town v 7) Northamptom Town

Even with the shortened season, these two clubs got to play each other twice. Cheltenham won 2-1 when they hosted and the two sides played to a 1-1 draw when Northampton hosted. Expect this to be a tightly contested semi-final. Cheltenham, in my opinion, are the better club and it will go in their favor after the 2 legs are played out. They will end up 4-2 on aggregate and advance to the promotion playoff final.

5) Exeter City v 6) Colchester United

I’m pulling for Colchester United here. Why? They pulled off a David v Goliath style win during the FA cup when they offed Tottenham. Not much separates the two sides, as they played to two draws this year (2-2 at Colchester and 0-0 at Exeter). I’ll be looking for a 3-2 aggregate in Colchester’s favor. The first game will go 2-1 and a 1-1 tie for the second leg.

League 2 promotion playoff final prediction – Cheltenham v Colchester

Colchester is the under dog in their semi-final and would be the under dog here as well. If they play to their full potential, they have just as much of a chance to win at Wembley as Cheltenham does. The Robins (Cheltenham) DID best Colchester away 2-0 this year and played to a 1-1 draw at home. Expect Colchester to come out hungry for revenge and get ready for a great final. 2-1 to Colchester with the winner coming after the 80th minute and earning them that much coveted promotion spot to League 1.

Week 1 in review: Feels good to be “home”

Final result – Montreal Impact 2 – New England Revolution 1

It felt really good to finally be back watching MLS action, even if it was well below freezing on the way to the stadium. I’d also like to thank 1642 for inviting us up to their beautiful city. If security had let us join you after the match, I would have loved to meet your people and have fun messing with each other over our maple syrup rivalry (you read that right).

13th minute – “Oh cool, another short corner kick” quickly turned in to a loud, frenzied celebration thanks to Teal Bunbury’s sweet strike off of the cross in to the bottom left hand side of the net. If more of this is in store for this year, I am all for it. What a rush to open up the year.

37th minute – Quioto draws the Impact back level.  This is why I love football more than any other sport.  The pure elation felt after scoring first can turn to utter heart break in minutes.  Roller coaster emotions along with some good back and forth gives you a formula for people to have fun and bond. 

80th minute – Urruti puts the Impact ahead for good with a cheeky little chip over an out of position Matt Turner. Does it excuse the defense for collapsing around him? No, but he was also out of position and got burned. This being only the first game of the season, I’m willing to forgive a blunder or 2, but with the rest of the league looking to capitalize on them, you have to do what it takes to make sure they don’t happen.

How it could have been different – We had a goal called back due to offsides that I want to take another look at to see if that really was the correct call, the review came after the ref was talking to the Impact goal keeper, so I’m kind of curious what brought him over to the review screen.

There was a header that completely fooled the goalie and do you know what happened? IT BOUNCED RIGHT OFF OF THE POST AND NOBODY REBOUNDED IT!!!!!!! Oh my shorts was that disheartening. We were all ready to celebrate, but instead we were left feeling like somebody stole our last slice of pizza after a long day at work.

What I disliked – THAT REFEREE!!!!!! Chances are I am being a big “homer” here, but those calls were NOT going our way at all. It felt like every time Montreal looked at their own shoe laces, they’d fall down and the ref would call a foul. We had a player get tripped pretty badly around midfield and nothing happened. I don’t mind losing, but when it looks like the game is being that poorly called, it’s just heartbreaking.

Sprichst du Deutsch: A Bundesliga blog entry

Dortmund v FC Köln

Here we are! Mt first foray in to the wonderful world of the German Bundesliga. I try to watch as much soccer as I can from leagues in Europe, and every time I find myself watching Bundesliga, it’s almost magical. Captivating, fast, good contests. Dortmund will be at home on Friday against an FC Köln squad that has won 4 of their last 5 and looks to continue on an upward trend. This Friday, I think they get it done and pick up an upset win over Dortmund 2-1.

SC Freiburg v Paderborn

Padernborn is down on their luck this year, more than likely heading for relegation spot. They have 3 wins and only 12 points through 18 games. Freiburg has 29 points and sit 2 behind Bayer for the Europa league qualifier spot. This contest, like many other this year, will not go Paderborn’s way. 3-0 SC Freiburg is my prediction for the weekend.

Mönchengladbach v Mainz

Another top of table (Monchen, 3rd place) v bottom of the table (Mainz, 15th place). Mainz has lost 2 in a row and 4 of their last 5. Games either go well for them (6 wins) or very poorly (12 losses). They are the only team in Bundesliga that has yet to record a draw this season. Don’t look for that to change this weekend. Monchen is almost doubled up on Mainz in points, and 3 here would help them immensely in their chase for a 3rd star. Monchengladbach win this 2-0 in one of those contests where “the game is not as close as what the score says”.

Wolfsburg v Hertha

Wolfsburg has had about the most even season you can have. They are 6-6-6 with only a -2 goal differential and sit right in the middle of the table (9th of 18). Hertha has taken more points than dropped lately, only losing once out of 5, but seem to be struggling overall this season. I really don’t like my score prediction for this contest. My least favorite result in all of football. This game will come out as…….0-0 :/

Eintracht v RB Leipzig

These 2 squads actually play each other twice in 10 days starting with their Bundesliga match on Saturday. Their other match is DFB cup 3rd round on February 4th. Over the past 3 years, I have seen several articles about how “everybody in Germany hates RB Leipzig”. Why is that? The 50+1 rule that has seeping slowly in to the league. German football fans are understandably upset, as they don’t want their league to “go commercial”. They face a struggling Eintracht team this weekend and will end up with 1-0 win.

Union Berlin v Augsburg

Two teams in the middle of the table fighting it out to try and get a spot in the Europa League (they are 8 and 11 points away, so the time to start catching up is upon us).  Union has lost 3 of 5 and need to do something to prevent a slide further down the table.  This is their first season ever in Bundesliga, and they look to stay in the top flight. Let us not forget that their first ever Bundesliga goal was scored by Sebastian Andersson against………that’s right…Augsburg. That came in a 1-1 draw earlier this season. Look for both squads being out to prove a point against each other. This should be a great contest with Union Berlin edging out Augsburg with a 2-1 win, where the winner is scored after the 75th minute.

Bayern v Schalke 04

If you can compare one team to the Montreal Canadiens or the NY Yankees, it’s Bayern Munich.  In the league for a 55 year stretch, they have a title approximately every 2 season (28 wins).  That’s just insane.  Where were you in 2012? Seems like a long time ago, right? That is the last time somebody other than Bayern won the league (2011-12 champion was Borussia Dortmund). That is a New England Patriots level run of excellence. Schalke isn’t to be overlooked though.  They sit only 3 points behind Bayern and currently hold the Europa league group stage spot in the league.  Going off absolutely nothing at all (the all time head to head website I had up froze) I think Schalke 04 comes away with a win here 2-1.

Werder v Hoffenheim

Both squads here seem to be struggling as of late. Werder has lost 4 of 5 and Hoffenheim lost 3. This contest will see both clubs trying to turn their luck around, and Werder trying to stay away from relegation. Hoffenheim sits towards the middle of the table and it looks like that is where they’ll more than likely end up. There will be a score here, but not much of one. Werder has more to play for here and pulls it off 1-0.

Leverkusen v Fortuna

Not really much to say here. Fortuna could be having a much better season and I just don’t see them winning this one. 1-0 Leverkusen

EFL Championship Match day 28

Good evening my friends. Here we are on the second half of the campaign and the spots for promotion/relegation starting to take form. If the teams in top aren’t careful (1 win between the 2 in each of their last 5 games) they will soon be in the promotion playoff as opposed to an auto spot.

Fulham v Middlesbrough

Arguably the hottest team in the championship right now (4 wins out of their last 5), Middlesbrough look to remain in good form and potentially knock Fulham out of their playoff spot (3 clear of 7th place Swansea). They do have double duty this week again, as they square off with Tottenham in the FA cup 3rd round replays. Will this have a hang over effect going in to Friday? Potentially. Combine that with the fact that Fulham is off until Friday, and I think the Cottagers come out on top. Look for a final score of 3-1 Fulham.

Queens Park v Leeds

Remember earlier this campaign when QPR were in a playoff spot? It now feels more likely that they will be fighting to keep out of the relegation zone. Leeds is coming off of a tough loss to Sheffield Wednesday and will be looking to prove something. They are only 1 point behind West Brom for top of the table, and QPR only have 1 win in their last 5. This may spell trouble for the Rangers even though they will be playing in front of their home crowd. I can see Leeda getting the chip off of their shoulder and putting Queens Park down 3-0 and proving that they are deserving of the promotion spot they are currently holding on to.

Derby County v Hull City

Time to face facts. Derby have struggled pretty much all campaign, but may be in the middle of turning things around, as they only have 1 loss in their last 5 and now have Wayne Rooney on their squad with hopefully something left in the tank. Hull City will be looking to avenge their 1-0 loss to Fulham this past Saturday. I am openly biased towards Derby here, but I do feel that the Rams can pull off a win and get themselves a few more spots away from relegation (we aren’t getting promoted this year). Derby County wins this contest with a 2-1 final.

Swansea City v Wigan Athletic

This matchup looks to favor the Welsh side. They are currently tied on points (42) with Sheffield Wednesday while Wigan has 23 points and sits in 23rd position, seemingly doomed for relegation. Wigan has 1 win in the last 5 and Swansea has 1 loss in the last 5. A very large “goal differential gap” (2 for Swansea/ -17 for Wigan) does not bode well for Wigan either. HOWEVER, I am calling an upset this week and here it is. Wigan athletic take the 3 points and get themselves out of relegation with a 1-0 win.

Huddersfield v Brentford

BEES! BEES!!!! SAVE YOURSELVES!!! (Tommy Boy anybody?) Huddersfield recently had 2 seasons in the Premier League, I would say enjoyed, but I would not be telling the truth. They now are 20th in the Championship and are faced with the very real possibility of a second straight relegation. Brentford sits in 3rd place and look to be promotion playoff bound, winning 3 of their last 5. Huddersfield’s fortune will not be turning around this week unfortunately as they will lose at home to the score of 2-0.

Millwall v Reading

Millwall seems to be that team that is either really up (currently 8th and 1 point behind the promotion playoff) or really down (finished 21st last year).  Reading didn’t fare much better last year, finishing 20th.  This campaign sees them currently in 14th, but they are on their way up the table, losing only once in the last 5. I see this one going 1-0 in Reading’s favor

Birmingham v Cardiff City

Birmingham has had a rough go as of late, losing 3 out of 5. Cardiff has not fared much better, but 3 of their last 5 at least got them 1 point each, and at this stage, every point counts. Both teams enter this weekend with 9 wins each, so they should be pretty evenly matched. Not much action is going to happen in this one, but both teams will get on the board. 1-1 result with Birmingham drawing level after the 75th minute.

Sheffield Wednesday v Blackburn

To show how evenly contested most of the table is, let me point out the following. Sheffield Wednesday sits in 6th place with 42 points while Blackburn sits in 13th with 37. The middle of the table fascinates me the most I think because teams can go from a top 6 squad to the mid teens in a matter of weeks. The owls have shown promise this campaign but are also plagued by games where they don’t look good at all. Blackburn is having a fairly level season (10-7-10 with 0 goal differential). They won’t get relegated this time around, but they also won’t be anywhere near promotion. Given that I love teams playing spoiler, I think Blackburn wins 2-1 and drags Wednesday juuust outside the promotion playoffs.

Bristol City v Barnsley

GUEST SCORE PREDICTOR!!!! So I had the pharmacy student pick this one because I had to go mix an IV. Alex came up with a 2-2 score due to “Bristol City losing 3 of their last 5 and Barnsley dropping only 1 in their last 5”. An interesting take on the contest and I look forward to seeing if her prediction is accurate.

Preston North End v Charlton Athletic

Well, she wrote me 2 score predictions. This one comes as only a little but of a surprise given how both teams have struggled as of late. “I am taking the underdog, Charlton Athletic, with a 1-0 score line”. Between the 2 teams, they are the only one with a win in their last 5 contests. You know what? I agree with the prediction on this one.

Nottingham Forest v Luton Town

I had high hopes for the newly promoted Luton Town, I really did. This campaign has not gone their way at all, and it unfortunately does not look to be turning around any time soon. Last place with 1 draw and 4 losses in their last 5 and the lowest goal differential in the league at -25. Nottingham, on the other hand, have enjoyed a mostly “up campaign”. They sit in 5th place with 3 wins in the last 5. A win here could go a long way to showing teams that they belong at the top of the table. 3 points could see them get as high as 3rd place. Look for them to play at the top of their game and put Luton Town down 3-0.

West Brom v Stoke City

First place v 21st place. Plain and simple, Stoke has been struggling this season and a win this weekend could go a long way towards keeping them out of a relegation spot. Just so happens that they are playing West Brom. These 2 teams have played 147 games against each other all time, with Stoke getting 61 wins and 37 draws. West Brom will get their 50th win all time won against Stoke City this weekend. 1-0 West Brom this weekend as Stoke will put up a surprising effort but ultimately come up short.

Championship Match Day 17 –

Fulham v QPR

This should be an entertaining game, as a win by either club would greatly help their promotion playoff hopes. With both teams having 7 wins on the campaign, Fulham has the slight edge in points, 26 to QPRs 24 due to their having 2 more draws. My score prediction here is 2-1 in favor of QPR.

Charlton v Cardiff City

Early in the season, I thought Cardiff was destined to be relegated for a 2nd straight campaign, but they have since “jumped” up the table to 14th and a win could potentially get them in to the top half of the table. 1 point and 3 spots ahead of them stand Charlton. They have done well this campaign for a club newly promoted up from League 1, the wheels may be in the process of falling off, as Charlton have only won once in their last 5 contests. Will they rebound this weekend? Yes, I believe they will regain their form with a slight, 1-0 win over Cardiff City.

West Brom v Sheffield Wednesday

This contest has HUGE implications for the Owls, as a loss against West Brom would potentially drop them out of the top half of the table.  The Baggies have only lost once all campaign, but that will most likely not last forever. Yes, they are in first place, but Sheffield will be playing with a lot to prove, and I think it helps them grind out a win. 2-0 this Saturday, Owls over Baggies.

Blackburn v Barnsley

GUEST SCORE PREDICTION!! I had the idea to get my co-worker in on this idea. I don’t have a write-up for this match, but Jeff says 2-1 in favor of Blackburn.

Derby County v Preston North End

As a Derby County supporter, this match scares me a little bit. The Rams aren’t “bad” right now, but their season is plagued with inconsistency. Preston sit in 2nd place and 10 points up on Derby. The lilywhites win this one easily with a score of 2-0 over the Rams.

Brentford v Reading

Brentford have won more than they lost this campaign, but not by much. Reading is trending upward at the moment, only losing once in the last 5 contests. It will be a close one, but in the end, nobody will gain the 3 points. This one ends 1-1.

Swansea City v Millwall

4 (Swansea) and 15 (Millwall) are only separated by 8 points, making the upcoming end of the first half of the campaign entertaining as teams jockey for promotion playoffs and try to avoid relegation. I’ve seen the Lions do great things this year, and I’ve seen them make mistakes. One thing can be said, this team has heart. Look for them to leave it all out on the pitch Saturday and come away with a hard fought 3. They win it 2-1 with a stoppage time winner.

Bristol City v Nottingham Forest

Dead…Even. These 2 teams (#5 and #6) could both use 3 points here, as it would boost confidence and help keep them in the promotion playoffs. If the chips fall the right way, the winner here could end up in 2nd place! There will be some great defending and a few decent scoring chances, but 1-0 will be the final in favor of the Robins (Bristol City).

Huddersfield v Birmingham – Just the score predictions on the last few games in the interest of getting all tge games predicted. Birmingham 2- Huddersfield 1

Stoke City v Wigan Athletic – Wigan 1 – Stoke 0

Luton Town v Leeds United – Luton 0 – Leeds 3

Middlesbrough v Hull City – Middlesbrough 1- Hull City 2

League 1 weekend fun

I’ll start off by directing your attention to the 2 league 1 games that are postponed this weekend due to international call ups. First one is Sunderland v Fleetwood and the other is Burton v Bolton. Pardon the optimism here, but when the break is over, I feel like Bolton is on the cusp of a big points run that will take them in to the positive and possibly out of relegation.

First matchup we’ll be looking at today is Bristol Rovers (18pts) vs MK Dons (12 pts). The Dons are a team that has me baffled this year. They seem to look great some weeks and then other stretches (4 game losing skid) of just looking sub-par. Bristol, sitting 1 point outside the promotion playoffs and 5 outside of auto-promotion spot #2, has a ton to gain from a win this weekend. Prediction: Bristol plays their hearts out and gets past the Dons with a score of 3-1.

Oxford United v Doncaster

Not much separates these 2. In fact, nothing does as far as points are concerned. Both squads enter this weekend with 16 points and look to boost their standing on the table. Oxford look to be the stronger side at the moment, as they have not lost at all in their last 5 and Doncaster has lost twice. Based on form alone, im going to go 1-0 in favor of Oxford United this weekend.

Rochdale v Accrington Stanley

Another matchup of 2 teams on top of each other in the standings, but further down the table. Rochdale have lost 4 of their last 5 and Stanley, though only losing once in their last 5, also only won 1 of those 5. Look for Rochdale to play a decent game in their effort to get off the slide they are on. Their extra effort pays off this weekend with the result 2-1 Rochdale over Stanley.

Blackpool v Rotherham

4th place Blackpool v 13th place Rotherham. Sounds like it should be an easy put away for Blackpool, right? WRONG! Both teams are 2-2-1 (w-d-l) in their last 5. My gut tells me that Blackpool rests a little easy this weekend and end up paying for it. 1-0 in favor of Rotherham.

Portsmouth v Gillingham

A win for Gillingham this week can get them as high up on the table as 9th (they would end up with 16 points if they win). Portsmouth, currently 16th, can only get as high as 13th. One thing Portsmouth does have going for them, they only have 1 loss in their last 5 and Gillingham has 2 (back to back). They also happen to have 2 games in hand. I think another “upset” happens here. Portsmouth comes away 2-1 with a late winner.

Southend United v AFC Wimbledon

The only reason these 2 teams are not at the very bottom of the table is because Bolton is sitting below them both with -8 points. My prediction is that will change by the end of the season. Southend has 4 points on the season to Wimbledons 6. Both also have 1 win in the last 5 games. A struggle for both teams and unfortunately nobody gets the upper hand. 1-1 draw

Peterborough v Lincoln City

Only 2 points separate these sides and I think a fierce contest takes place. Peterborough stands to get as high as 3rd with a win and clearly this would increase their hopes and chances for a promotion bid to the Championship. Lincoln City is a newly promoted side that is doing decently well in their first year in League 1, but they will more than likely end up staying here next season. All that aside, they put up a hell of a fight and come out with a 2-2 draw and keep Peterborough juuuust outside the last promotion playoff spot.

Coventry v Tranmere

I’m going to start this one by saying that I love the Rovers. I really do. Watching their promotion up from League 2 last season was great because this team just doesn’t give up. This year appears to be different as they are only 3 points out of the relegation zone. Coventry, already in a playoff spot can end up tied on points for the 2nd auto-promotion spot, so expect them to come out with “something to prove”. They end up having an easy time of Tranmere but still give up a cheap goal somewhere along the 90. 3-1 Coventry takes this in their sleep.

Predictions for the weekend : League 2 and you

Crawley Town V Mansfield

This should be an entertaining fixture as a win by Mansfield (12th) will move them up in the table to as high as 6th, should the game go their way. Crawley town is in a similar situation as they currently hold the 11th place spot on the table. With similar records on the year, this prediction is purely gut instinct. Crawley Town 2-1 over Mansfield.

Salford City v Cheltenham

Another match that could tell us a lot about the teams. Salford City is a newly promoted team to league 2 and Cheltenham is holding the 6th spot on the table. Salford got a win to start the year, but are 0-5-0 (5 pts) in their last 5. Cheltenham currently has 11 points and look to climb as high as 4th with 3 points. All this being said, I think Salford City break their current trend and come out on top 1-0.

Northampton v Newport County

This could be a beating in the making. 2nd place Newport County (13 points in last 5 games) should, in my opinion, dispatch Northampton (6 points last 5 games) “fairly easily”. Don’t really have anything to base this prediction on, but Newport County takes it 3-0.

Walsall v Bradford City

Walsall has had a hard time finding the back of the net so far this season, scoring just 3 goals in their 7 games played so far this season. Bradford City got a win last game after losing their previous 2, so maybe they are back on the right track and will start to progress up the table. Spots 6-11 on the table all have 11 points, so I anticipate a fairly decent shuffling in the standings this week. Predicting a 2-0 Bradford City win.

Swindon Town v Macclesfield Town

Separated by just 3 points on the table, look for this to be a hotly contested battle. Macclesfield have drawn their last 2, whereas Swindon have won their last 2. With them being so close on points, I’m predicting a 1-1 draw with a heartbreaker late goal for Swindon Town sometime after the 80th minute.

Scunthorpe v Morecambe

Putting it lightly, Scunthorpe is not having a very good season. The fact of the matter is, their defense is letting them down in a big way. With 5 goals on the season, you would think they might, just might, have more than 1 point, yes 1, for the year. Pointless in their last 4, they take on a team not much higher in the standings. Morecambe has 1 win in their last 5, but have also managed to scrape together a pair of draws so they can at least get some points on the board. Something tells me that Scunthorpe will make this a real interesting game, but will ultimately fail to convert anything in a game thay goes to a 0-0 draw.

Crewe Alexandra v Cambridge United

7 points separate these two. Crewe is looking to stay on their winning ways, only losing once in their last 5, but that was to Aston Villa in the FA Cup. Cambridge has lost 3 in a row and their offense is looking less than stellar. Crewe came up short on a promotion bid last year, but I think that will be a different story this year, provided they keep their form up. Combined with the fact that the game is at Gresty Road, Crewe wins 3-1.

Exeter v Leyton Orient

Top o the table vs 17th place. Leyton Orient started off well this season and seems to have hit a plateau as of late. They will need to be in top form if they hope to take down top ranked Exeter. This does not mean that Exeter should over look the newly promoted Orient. Prediction: 3-2 Exeter in a thriller of a match

Forest Green v Colchester

Here’s a fun fact, Colchester has 6 goals on the season and only 2 different goal scorers (one with 4 and one with 2). They are going to need to spread the ball around some more or Forest Greens defense will have Norris and Nouble on lockdown and Colchester will struggle as a unit. Prediction: 2-0 Forest Green

Oldham v Grimsby

A game of 2 teams that are currently struggling. Oldham is having a rough go of it this season and Grimsby, though in the top half of the table, have lost their last 2 contests. Getting back on the right track will be key for them here and I think they come out and hold Oldham scoreless. Prediction: 1-0 Grimsby

Port Vale v Plymouth Argyle

Quite possibly my favorite team name in all of football (Plymouth Argyle) v my favorite mystery kit that I received from Away Days. Plymouth started season in good form but have started a downward trend as of late. Scoring early and having an air tight defense will be their keys to the game. Port Vale have seen their fortunes turn for the positive, but are ultimately still behind Plymouth on the table and today’s game may show us why they are where they are. Prediction: Plymouth Argyle gets back on the winning track 1-0

Stevenage v Carlisle

Another match up of 2 teams towards the very bottom of the table. Stevenage has yet to win this season and Carlisle is holding on to 7 points. With teams all up and down the table trending in different directions, one of these teams needs to dig deep to pull out a win and, though still very early, salvage their season. I think today, that will be Stevenage. Prediction: 1-0 for Stevenage to get their first win on the season

Today in the lower leagues: League One Rovers worthy of your attention?

Another match day has come and gone in the lower leagues of the EFL. Let’s discuss the absolutely drubbing that Tranmere Rovers put on the Bolton Wanderers. Everybody that is paying attention to the EFL is well aware of the current disaster over at Bolton, but I don’t feel that should take away from Tranmere’s 5-0 win earlier today. The Rovers had 4 different goal scorers and held their opponents to 0 shots on goal and 8 shots total for their first win in League 1 this season (newly promoted out of league 2).

Tranmere is a new following for me, as I played with them frequently in FIFA 19, so I will be watching them closely this season. After struggling in their season opener against Rochdale, where they played with 10 men and lost 3-2, they then got blanked 2-0 against Portsmouth last weekend. Will this be the beginning of brighter things ahead for them, or was this a “garbage win” against a team that is struggling mightily to stay alive and can’t seem to get out of their own way? Either way, keep your eyes on the Merseyside squad because they are a fun bunch to watch and quite often put on a great show.

Today’s scorers:

  • Ollie Banks 38′ (1)
  • Morgan Ferrier 40′, 46′ (2)
  • Connor Jennings 63′ (2)
  • Stefan Payne 75′ (1)

On Bolton: Yes, they essentially put out a U-23 squad today and it did show on the pitch. That being said, I do hope the Wanderers find their way soon because football is a sport we can/should all enjoy and discuss. Seeing any team in a struggle to stay above water saddens me and I want them to be able to get their ship righted and get back to being the competitive we are used to watching.

My love of the game

This is my first ever, so please stick with me while I find my groove here. Soccer, henceforth called football whenever I post, is by far my favorite sport. It brings together so many different types of people. All races, orientations, gender identities, and others are welcome. When I was in high school, football was not a widely popular sport to watch on tv and I thought myself kind of a loner because nobody I knew talked about it.

My first New England Revolution game was 5 years ago and I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere at the stadium. I joined the midnight riders when I got home that evening and rambled non-stop about how much fun I had. Fast forward 5 years and I am now a 4th year season ticket holder and the riders are my family. This is one of the first places I’ve ever felt accepted for who I am and not expected to act a certain way to fit in. How could you not fall in love with a sport and people that give you what you had been searching for your entire life?