EFL League One Preview: Matchday Nine

league one preview

Welcome to the ninth edition of our League One preview series for the 2019/20 season. We will analyse the weekend’s key fixtures as well as having a crack at predicting the results.

League One Preview: Matchday Nine

This Week’s Biggest Clashes

Gillingham v Ipswich Town

With Coventry City taking a backseat due to their scheduled game with Bury being cancelled, Ipswich have the opportunity to leapfrog the Sky Blues and return to the top of League One. The Tractor Boys held on at MK Dons on Tuesday evening to register a 1-0 victory at Stadium MK; however, Coventry’s last-gasp winner over AFC Wimbledon pushed the Suffolk outfit off top spot.

The Tractor Boys are one of a handful of English sides who remain unbeaten. Gillingham, meanwhile, have won only twice this season with both of those coming at their Priestfield home. Despite good form on home soil, we can’t see Gillingham getting much out of this fixture, it should be a fairly routine win for Paul Lambert and his troops.

Doncaster Rovers v Peterborough United

Both of these sides had pre-season aspirations of making promotion challenges. Up until last weekend Doncaster were unbeaten (W3 D3); however, the Yorkshire-based outfit fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Blackpool.

In contrast, the Posh have been scoring goals for recent fixtures, back-to-back defeats in the League was followed by a 2-2 draw with Ipswich and then 17 goals in five games without conceding – including a 3-0 victory over Sunderland after a 4-0 thrashing of MK Dons.

League One Preview: Predictions

Accrington Stanley v Blackpool

Stanley fans have found this fixture a frustrating tie in recent years having failed to win in their previous five meetings (3L, 2D) and it is likely to be another difficult afternoon for the Lancashire-based side. Blackpool sit fifth in the standings thus far in comparison to Stanley’s position of 20th. The hosts have picked up eight points from their last five matches whereas Blackpool have collated seven from the same time frame. It’s close to call but we think the Tangerines will edge it.

Accrington Stanley 1-2 Blackpool

AFC Wimbledon v Bristol Rovers

The London-based hosts are one of two sides yet to register a win this season. They host a side hopeful of recording a victory which will push them closer to – or even into – the play-off spots. Rovers have won only once on the road this season; however, the Dons’ ill-fortune in holding onto a lead (D2 L3) makes us think they’ll have further woes inflicted this weekend.

AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Bristol Rovers

Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland

There’s been plenty of improvements since what seems to be an end to Bolton’s financial woes. The Latics had not scored in the League until last weekend and have been on the receiving end of three 5-0 defeats and a 6-1 loss; however, a 0-0 draw with Oxford United suggests things may be on the rise. It seems to early to call if it’s the beginning of something or a mere anomaly and for that we predict Sunderland to return from Lancashire victorious.

Bolton Wanderers 0-3 AFC Sunderland

Doncaster Rovers v Peterborough United

Up until last weekend, Doncaster were unbeaten (W3 D3); however, the Yorkshire-based outfit fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Blackpool. On the other side, Peterborough have certainly found their goalscoring boots with 17 goals in five matches. It’s difficult to call but we think this has all the markers to be an entertaining draw, certainly not a bore 0-0.

Doncaster Rovers 2-2 Peterborough United

Fleetwood Town v Rochdale

Fleetwood are making signals suggestive of a rise up the table. The Fishermen have the third-best record at home in the League, behind just Coventry (P5 W5) and Wycombe (P5 W4), with three victories from four ties on home soil. However, Rochdale have recorded the same set of points as Fleetwood from their last five matches, seven points, but the hosts are unbeaten in two matches.

Fleetwood Town 2-1 Rochdale

Gillingham v Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town fans will be hopeful of following up a hard-earned 1-0 victory at MK Dons on Tuesday with a victory at Gillingham to send them top of the league. The Tractor Boys are one of a handful of English sides who remain unbeaten and they have the best record away from home (W3 D1) but Gillingham’s two victories of the season have both been on home turf. With Ipswich’s rampant current form, though, it’s difficult to see anything but a victory for the Tractor Boys.

Gillingham 0-2 Ipswich Town

Lincoln City v Oxford United

The departure of management pair Danny and Nicky Cowley was always going to shake Lincoln City; however, a 1-1 draw at Rochdale ended a run of three consecutive defeats. Oxford United, meanwhile, failed to show their true colours with a disappointing 0-0 draw with Bolton. We can see this being a draw between two sides slipping in and out of form.

Lincoln City 1-1 Oxford United

MK Dons v Southend United

Tactical changes against Ipswich Town led to a much better performance and almost saw them snatch a draw against the Blues. The Dons have won four and lost four this term but face a side who have not yet won and only have one point to their account this year. It’ll be a routine win for the Dons on Saturday.

MK Dons 2-0 Southend United

Rotherham v Shrewsbury

Promotion-aspiring Rotherham take on Shrewsbury at the New York Stadium and it’s difficult to call how this will finish. The Shrews are one point above their opponents but a negative goal difference suggests the Yorkshire side will narrowly win.

Rotherham 2-1 Shrewsbury

Tranmere Rovers v Burton Albion

Tranmere Rovers find themselves in a sticky spell of form in which they are winless in five (2L 3D). They face a Burton side unbeaten in five (3W 2D) where they have scored eleven goals. Tranmere have conceded ten goals in five matches and it could be a difficult job for Micky Mellon’s side to claim victory.

Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Burton Albion

Wycombe Wanderers v Portsmouth United

Portsmouth are beginning to creep up the table after a slow start to the season. The South Coast side are unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions and travel to a side who have lost only once in the same timeframe. Wycombe have started the season excellently and Gareth Ainsworth’s side will grab a draw.

Wycombe Wanderers 2-2 Portsmouth United

Main Photo

Embed from Getty Images