Our League Two Tips for the Weekend - 09/01/22

league two

Jacob Walstow

Carlisle United vs Bradford City - Carlisle United to win 1-0

Bradford City make the trip north on Saturday as they head to Carlisle, with the hosts looking to get further clear of the relegation zone. After no win in their previous 12 left Carlisle United rooted in the relegation zone, three wins in their last four, including away wins at relegation rivals Stevenage and Scunthorpe, leave the Blues sitting three points clear of danger and looking to build momentum.

The Bantams, who were one of promotion favorites at the start of the season, will be rueing their indeficiency to win games, drawing half of their 22 matches.

This leaves City in 12th, six points off the play-offs, but a 2-1 away win at Barrow last time out could be the platform that manager Derek Adams needs in West Yorkshire.

Newport County vs Salford City - Newport to win 2-0

Newport County will look to further cement their place in the play-offs on Saturday, as they host mid-table side Salford City. Newport’s annual attempt of promotion has shown no sign of changing this season, as the Exiles look to make it third time lucky in the play-offs.

Impressive wins at the start of December against Sutton United and Port Vale were followed by a 3-0 thrashing at Rochdale and a 3-3 draw in Walsall. The draw was even more agonising, as they led the game on three separate occasions. Salford City again seem to be not living up to expectations, sitting in 16th place with inconsistency stopping their rise up the table.

Only one defeat in their last six, however, could point to a sign that the Ammies could make a late-season dash for the play-offs. Salford may have won the reverse fixture 3-0 back in August, but the Exiles are much improved now and a comfortable home win, despite a lack of fans, is fancied here.

Tranmere Rovers vs Scunthorpe United - Scunthorpe United to win

Tranmere Rovers will look to climb into the automatic promotion places on Saturday as they host 23rd place Scunthorpe. Tranmere are on a roll in League Two in their quest for a return to League Two as the Rovers have won their last five league games, and have not conceded a goal since the 23rd November, when they won 2-1 at home to Bradford City.

Scunthorpe's defensive record is leaving them a mountain to climb in their fight for survival, conceding 38 goals so far this season, with only bottom side Oldham having a leakier defence. This ultimately cost them in their last game as they lost the relegation ‘six-pointer’ to Carlisle United.

Scunthorpe got a shock 1-0 win at the start of the season against Tranmere, and despite their defensive frailties, another shock could be on the cards on Merseyside this weekend.

Oldham Athletic vs Sutton United - Sutton United to win and over 2.5 goals in the game

Bottom side Oldham Athletic face the daunting challenge of hosting high-flying Sutton United on Saturday. Having not dropped out of the football league since their acceptance into it in 1907, Oldham are staring down the barrel of non-league football.

Having not won in their previous seven, draws against Barrow, Hartlepool and Forest Green, the latter being a 5-5 classic at Boundary Park, will not be enough to get the Latics out of the bottom two. Sutton, who unlike their hosts are currently playing their 1st season in the EFL, have taken to the task like a duck to water.

Winning 12 games out of 23 this season, including their last two to Exeter City and Harrogate, the men from Gander Green Lane are looking to make their stay in League 2 a flying visit. Sutton’s away performances are vastly improving and having scored two in each of their last two away games, another high scoring win could be on offer.

Northampton Town vs Crawley Town

Crawley face the trip to Northampton on Saturday with their hosts looking to close the gap on runaway leaders, Forest Green. Northampton have recovered well from relegation in League 1 last season. Having three games postponed because of Covid outbreaks, Northampton’s four game-winning run was halted on New Year’s day, squandering a 2-1 lead to lose 5-2 at Swindon Town.

Before that game, the Cobblers had only conceded 17 goals in 21 games. Crawley’s stylish brand of football seems to be more style over substance this season, as the Red Devils languishing in 14th in League 2. Wins against Colchester United and Leyton Orient either side of three postponements however show that John Yem’s side can adapt to difficult circumstances.

Northampton have drawn three of their last four against Crawley, two of these games finishing 0-0. Both teams cancelling each other out here is not a bad shout.

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