This weekend in football presents a series of compelling matchups, each with its unique narrative. Fleetwood faces a tough challenge against a formidable Peterborough side, Stevenage looks to capitalize on their strong home form against struggling Exeter, and a local derby sees Ipswich and Norwich clash in what promises to be a high-scoring affair. These fixtures offer a blend of tactical battles, defensive tests, and attacking displays, setting the stage for an enthralling round of football.
Fleetwood vs Peterborough
Peterborough should have too much for a poor Fleetwood side that struggling for points and goals whilst allowing opposition to regularly find opportunities to score.
The hosts have only won four games this season whilst losing 11 of their 20 games, keeping just three clean sheets. Their home form is poor with W2-D1-L6 conceding an average of 1.89 goals and recently they have lost their last three games conceding three in all of them –losing 3-0 to Northampton, Wigan and Stevenage. In all competitions its now five defeats on the spin, failing to score in all five and conceding 16 goals.
Its clear they struggle against better opposition with their record against sides 15th and above W0-D2-L10. Against these 12 sides they have conceded 2+ goals in nine games with no clean sheets. Last season at home their record at home was W3-D7-L8 against sides that finished 20th and above.
Sacking Scott Brown and appointing Lee Johnson hasn’t made much difference with four wins from 13 games, but these have been over Orient, Cheltenham, Reading and Exeter all sides that are struggling this term. Over Johnsons 13 games they have conceded 1.85 goals. Its appears that the players aren’t playing for Johnson. The manager has publicly stated that the players aren’t good enough with many expecting to be moved on next month, which isn’t good for morale.
I have them 17th on xPTS and 12th on xG ratio. No side has conceded more goals at home than Fleetwood with only two sides conceding more shots and just one side conceding more shots on target at home.
Posh have scored in 19 of 20 games this season averaging 2.0 goals per game, although in their away games this does drop down to 1.5 per fixture. Their underlying performances have been strong. The highest xG in the league, 2nd for xPTS and top for xG ratio.
It was an indifferent start to the season for them winning their opening three games but then losing the next three and winning just one of their following five games. However, since mid-October its five wins from seven games, losing just once and scoring 2+ in five.
The front four for Posh are exceptional. Mason-Clark, Jones, Randall and Poku have scored 22 goals and contributed 18 assists so far this season
- Peterborough to score over 1.5 goals – 3/4 with Betfair
Stevenage vs Exeter
The hosts are W4-D5-L1 at home but it’s important to note that they have only conceded a total of nine goals, five of which came in a 3-1 defeat to Oxford and a 2-2 draw with Posh, both of whom sit in the top five. Home games have generally been tight with five clean sheets and they have only conceded two or more in a match in three at home and six overall this term. I have them 2nd on home xPTS and 3rd on home xG ratio
Boro have lost just once against sides outside the top 10 this season with W10-D4-L1
Exeter go into the match on the back of a tough 11 game winless spell in League One and come up against a Stevenage side in good form and currently sitting third in the League. The hosts have a home record of W3-D0-L6 averaging 0.78 goals per game on the road but conceding a massive 2.22.
Their record against top half sides on the road W0-D0-L5 scored 1 and conceded 17 which is a clear indication of why they are struggling to stay in the league.
Their goalscoring issues are so bad this term that if you ignore the sides below them, they sit 20th, then they have scored just 6 goals, 3 of which came in their 3-0 win at Wycombe and that was the opening weekend of the season!
On the road I have them 20th on away xPTS and 19th on xG ratio. Given they struggle for goals and Stevenage are strong defensively its hard to see them scoring.
- home win but we can add under 4.5 goals to boost the odds to 5/6 with Skybet
Ipswich vs Norwich
Ipswich are flying and should be too strong against local rivals Norwich on Saturday lunch time.
The tractor boy home games are averaging 4.17 goals per game and they have scored 2 or more in all 10 and three or more in eight. However, they have kept just two home clean sheets this season against Stoke, in their opening home game this season and Hull. Both teams to score and over 2,5 goals has landed in 8.
Ipswich manager McKenna said at the start of the season that his side would attack the league and give the fans something to enjoy and be proud of. Its safe to say that this has worked. The side sit 2nd after 21 games with the best home record in the league and a victory in the early kick off will put them top of the table and a massive 13 points ahead of the 3rd placed Leeds.
Norwich are also used to seeing goals in their away games with an average of 4.5 per game. Their manager Wagner is under real pressure despite an uptick in recent results and performances but a defeat here will add more weight behind the fan pressure. Their midfield is lightweight but creativity and they have scored in all but one away game and you would expect them to create chances against Ipswich. However, they will leave huge gaps in midfield which McKenna will have noted and Ipswich will therefore exploit.
In midweek Sheff Wednesday managed 21 shots at Carrow Road and if they are that open against an Ipswich side they could easily end up conceding three, four or five goals.
- Ipswich vs Norwich – Both sides to score and over 2.5 goals – 10/11 with Bet365