Football – England – League One
Saturday 17th November 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
A revived mid-table Bournemouth outfit take on 19th placed Oldham Athletic on Saturday afternoon with the home side looking for a fourth successive League One win to push them nearer to the play-off pack.
This improved run of form after former manager Eddie Howe re-joined the club is no coincidence, and since his return, The Cherries have put together a six match unbeaten run that includes five straight wins and a draw. Former manager Paul Groves was sacked following the 1-3 defeat at Crawley Town but since Howe was re-installed, Bournemouth haven’t looked back.
The south coast side have also progressed to the second round of the FA Cup after a resounding 4-0 win over League Two Dagenham & Redbridge, so things are looking very rosy for Howe’s charges at the moment.
An improved home record now stands at 3-4-1 13/9 thanks to three straight wins over Leyton Orient 2-0, league leaders Tranmere Rovers 3-1 and Shrewsbury Town 2-1, and they’ll certainly be looking for a fourth when Oldham come to town.
Bournemouth also have a number of players capable of match-winning performances such as leading scorers Lee Barnard and Marc Pugh (4 goals apiece) while midfielder Pugh has also contributed with 3 assists. Then there’s the support players such as highly-rated Harry Arter who scored the winner at Doncaster Rovers last weekend, Charlie Daniels, Matty Tubbs and Lewis Grabban (3 goals each) who provide manager Howe with numerous attacking options.
Onto Oldham Athletic now – what can we say about Oldham apart from how the mighty have fallen? Part of the inaugural Premier League in the 1992-93 season led by manager Joe Royle, the glory days are now well and truly behind them. The job to return The Latics to the top-flight has now fallen on the shoulders of Paul Dickov whose unenviable job is to first get them moving up the league.
No mean feat given the fact that Oldham have won just once in their last six League One matches and are now four matches without a win following defeats against Carlisle United, local rivals Bury and Tranmere Rovers, and the club that were once rubbing shoulders with England’s footballing elite such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, are now sitting two places and just one point above Scnthorpe United and the relegation places in League One.
Oldham’s away record stands at 2-2-3 6/8, and you’ll notice a lack of goals scored straight away; only Leyton Orient (with 5 away goals) have scored fewer than The Latics on their travels even with the likes of Jose Baxter and Matt Derbyshire in their ranks. I wonder how long these two will stick around before searching for greener pastures and better prospects?
A recent FA Cup first round win at Blue Square Premier Kidderminster provided the Oldham fans with a brief silver lining to the gathering, darkening clouds, but I fear they’ll be tasting further disappointment at Bournemouth on Saturday as the hosts are currently on cloud nine.
Could be a 2-0 home win for Bournemouth.
Pick: Bournemouth straight win @ 1.73 Coral looks a nailed-on cert