Saturday Select #22

Last week the FA Cup fourth round giant killings rocked the footballing world but we stuck to the relative safety of the league matches with success. This weekend’s #22nd edition of our English Football tips article ‘Saturday Select’ is back again and features five clashes from a full League programme. You can use them for a fun accumulator or sign up to our free picks to find out how we go about using them. Check out which key matches we have identified this time around.

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Manchester United v Leicester

Man United survived an FA cup 4th round of giant killings last weekend and will be looking to get back to winning ways in the league against bottom of the league Leicester City at Old Trafford. With Southampton’s emergence as a genuine Champions League spot contender, Man Utd are under pressure not to drop points. Arsenal are hot on their coat tails in fifth and are just one point behind. United have only lost one game in their last 14 across all competitions- against Southampton in their last home match- but back to back home defeats is a rarity for them. They have strong home form this season winning 8 of 11, it is there away form which has cost them so far having only won 3 of 11 on the road.

Leicester have played really well of late winning four and losing just once in their last six matches. However two of those wins have come in the FA Cup so their good form of late hasn’t really benefited them too much in the league standings; they are still bottom by two points. They of course can take confidence from their fantastic result in the first fixture back in September where they came from 3-1 down to win 5-3, but the element of surprise is definitely gone now. Leicester have lost 8 of 11 away from the King Power Stadium meaning only QPR are worse on away turf. Form may give them a chance but they won’t remain consistent; that’s why they are bottom.

Crawley v Preston

Crawley Town are well and truly bottom of the League One form guide. They have lost their last 3 matches on the spin and have not won a single match in their last 15 fixtures, a winless run stretching back to October 21st 2014. They have plummeted to the bottom of the division and at the moment look doomed for relegation. They have the worst defensive record the division and have conceded 8 goals in their last 3 games.

Preston are winless in their last 6 games in all competitions. They have drawn their last 4 consecutive matches. They lie in 4th place in the table and need to start winning if they want to achieve an automatic promotion spot. The Lilywhites have good quality in their team and it seems inevitable that they will pick up a win sooner rather than later.

Newport v Shrewsbury

Newport’s incredible run of wins has come to an abrupt end. In their last 2 matches they have been thumped by Cambridge United 4-0 and again took a 3-0 hammering against Northampton Town. Has something gone wrong in the Newport dressing room? They do have a strong home record but will have to play a lot better than in recent weeks to beat a strong and largely consistent Shrewsbury side.

Shrewsbury Town are fighting for the League Championship along with Wycombe and Burton. They sit in second place just one point behind the leaders. They won last time out against a Stevenage side that was bang in form. The Shrews boast impeccable home form; they are unbeaten at the home with 12 wins from 14. Their away record certainly doesn’t match up to their home record but of late they have looked stronger on their travels and a win could potentially see them hit the top of the league.

Wycombe v Portsmouth

The Chairboys are top of League Two and have not lost in their last 8 matches. They seem to know how to grind out results and are very hard to beat. Only York City have drawn more games than them so far this season but Wycombe don’t lose many at matches all. Just 3 losses in 27 matches is an impressive feat for Gareth Ainsworth’s side and reflects their excellent consistency levels.

Portsmouth by contrast are in woeful form ahead of their trip to Adams Park. They haven’t won in their last 8 matches and have lost 5 of those 8 games. Pompey have slipped to 18th spot and sit just 2 points ahead of Carlisle who are in the relegation zone. The club that were the 2008 FA Cup winners and the team that started the season as the favourites to be promoted, must now be seriously worried about being relegated from the Football League into the Conference Premier. Punters have waited and waited and continued to back Portsmouth to come good this season but the fact is they are not good enough.

Grimsby v Telford

Grimsby have won their last three matches on the bounce with impressive victories over top of the league Barnet and playoff hopefuls Eastleigh. They currently sit in 4th place and are 7 points ahead of 5th placed Kidderminster. They are the second highest scorers in the division having netted 50 goals in 31 games.

They host Telford at Blundell Park who remain rooted to the foot of the Conference Premier. After a couple of decent wins in early January Telford were back to their usual losing ways last time out against Halifax. Just 5 wins in 30 makes for grim reading.

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