Our League 1 & League 2 Tips for the Weekend - 04/02/2022

Jacob Walstow

Sunderland vs Doncaster - Sunderland to win 3-0

Managerless Sunderland will look to get their season back on track as they face bottom of the table Doncaster at the Stadium of Light. Lee Johnson’s 14-month time in charge of Sunderland came to a traumatic end at the weekend, as the Black Cats were pumped 6-0 at Bolton Wanderers.

This came on the back of Sunderland starting to stumble in League One, winning just one of their previous five, including conceding a 98th minute equaliser to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park. Doncaster Rovers have not been able to build upon their shock 1-0 win at MK Dons two weeks ago and remain bottom of the League 1 table.

Crushing home defeats, 3-1 to Plymouth Argyle and 5-0 at home to Rotherham have left the South Yorkshire side 11 points from safety and a return to League 2 for the first time in five years a high possibility. With Sunderland never losing a league game to Doncaster, we think it’ll be a comfortable game for the Black Cats, despite being managerless.

Rotherham vs Accrington Stanley: Rotherham to win and over 3.5 goals

Top of the table Rotherham will look to continue their fine form on Saturday as Accrington Stanley make the trip to South Yorkshire as Rotherham have started to turn the screw in their quest for an immediate return to the Championship.

Having the best attack and the best defence in the league to date, the Millers, who have only lost two of their last 22 league games, look an ominous task for any League One team at the moment. This was proven in their last game, going to Doncaster Rovers and hitting five past them in the South Yorkshire Derby.

Accrington Stanley’s away form has been their Achilles heel this campaign, stopping any chance of a push for a play-off spot. Collecting 12 points from 13 away games this season, Stanley’s trip to the New York Stadium looks like a perilous one as well. Drawing four of their last five games both home and away, Stanley are proving that they are hard to beat, shown in their last game cooking from 2-0 down to secure a point at home to Morecambe.

Oxford vs Portsmouth - 1-1

The Kassam Stadium will see play-off chasing Oxford United host underperforming Portsmouth on Saturday. After a wobble at the beginning of the year, claiming only a point from their first three games of 2022, the U’s have regained their form.

This has included eye-catching results, including a 7-2 mauling of Gillingham at the Priestfield stadium. This was followed by a 1-1 draw away at Wigan, the current form team in League One. Portsmouth's start to 2022, similar to Oxford United, has been poor. Unlike their opponents on Saturday however, Pompey have yet to turn it around, collecting just two points out of a possible 15.

Defeats against play-off rivals MK Dons and Sunderland, 2-1 and 1-0 respectively have left Danny Cowley’s side stuck in midtable, 12 points off the play-offs which would’ve been seen as a minimum for the south coast side. With this fixture providing five draws in its last six, we think Portsmouth could frustrate Karl Robinson’s men here.

MK Dons vs Lincoln City - Lincoln to win and BTTS

MK Dons will look to continue their charge towards the automatic promotion places on Saturday as they host relegation-threatened Lincoln City. Russel Martin’s departure on the eve of the season cast doubt on whether MK Dons could build on steady progress in League 1. With half of the season gone, the Dons have made giant strides and recent form points at a possible surge for the top two. With only one defeat in their last eight, Liam Manning’s side have found the formula for grinding out results recently.

This included their last game, a 1-0 win away to promotion rivals Wycombe Wanderers. Lincoln City’s inconsistencies have been holding the team back from progressing up the league and escaping the threat of a relegation battle.

Away wins in their last five against promotion chasers such as Sunderland and Plymouth Argyle, have not led to progress due to disappointing home losses against Cambridge United and Burton Albion. This has left the Imps in an uncomfortable 18th place.

Forest Green Rovers vs Newport - Forest Green to win 2-0

It’s a top of the table clash in League Two on Saturday as first-placed Forest Green host third-placed Newport County. Forest Green have been by far the standout team so far in League Two and a promotion to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history looks on.

Having lost only two league games all season and being unbeaten in their last 16, Rovers 12 point buffer to the play-off places will be a reassurance for Rob Edwards. This comes as Forest Green have drawn four of their last eight games. Newport County have hit a rich vein of form with four wins on the bounce seeing the Exiles climb to third in the League Two table, enough to secure them an automatic promotion place. Back in front of fans after restrictions ended in Wales, Newport recorded a 2-1 win against struggling Barrow, despite an own goal from long time servant, Mickey Demetriou.

This is the first meeting since the epic 4-3 in the League 2 play-offs last season and with the most common scoreline in this fixture being 2-0, we’d go for a 2-0 home win this time.

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