We’re back in competitive action this weekend at Sincil Bank and for me, it’s a first proper game at home since Colchester, thanks to my failed back operation.
The Swindon we’ll see this weekend will be very different to David Flitcroft’s side that visited earlier this year, with Phil Brown now at the helm, a manager much more flexible in his approach to matches. I’m told he’s more likely to come and combat us as he is to formulate a game plan of his own.
Swindon have already played one game more than us, they kicked off the EFL Trophy earlier this week with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea U21s. However, a Michael Doughty hat trick ensured they opened their league campaign with a win, albeit via two last-minute penalties against a resilient and obtrusive Macclesfield side.
They like to line up 4-3-3, with the midfield trio the real danger for them. My piece with Ben Nicholls explains their dangers, with Doughty and Alzate two players who will be catching the eye this season.
It’s very tough to preview a side this early on, apart from a rough line up and formation there’s little in terms of stats or form
The three up front is likely to be Jermaine McGlashan, Elijah Adebayo and Keshi Anderson. McGlashan will likely play out wide, with Fulham loanee Adebayo in the centre and Anderson on the left of the front three. After one game it is hard to imagine if that will be a success or not, but with the talent they have pushing through the midfield it might not be as crucial as one might think.
They did lose Marc Richards to an injury pre-season, he’s a seasoned campaigner and goal scorer and his presence will be sadly missed.
It’s very tough to preview a side this early on, apart from a rough line up and formation there’s little in terms of stats, form or the like to go on. On the face of it, being 2-1 down to Macclesfield, at home, on the opening day of the season doesn’t point to them being a dominant force, but similarly the opening day means very little. After all, we weren’t great at Northampton.
Last year we scraped a 2-2 draw at our place after some horrendous defending / keeping led to them taking a 2-1 first half lead./ In the end, Michael Bostwick was credited with the goal that earned us a point, although it is far.
Lincoln haven’t beaten Swindon at Sincil Bank since 1981, so for those who like to see records broken a City win would be a first in 37 years. Tony Cunningham and an own goal gave us a 2-0 win, whilst we also won in 1977. Peter Graham, Dennis Booth and Phil Hubbard scored for us that day, in front of little over 4,000 fans. There’s a 9,000+ crowd expected this weekend and it would be nice to see a repeat of the score line.
It was a lacklustre Imps that earned the draw with Swindon last season and before that another below-par performance saw us lose the previous meeting between the two sides. In March 2007, when a win could have left us on the brink of automatic promotion, we lost 3-2. Mark Stallard gave us an opening after just 13 minutes in front of the Sky cameras, but Lee Peacock, Barry Corr and Christian Roberts. A late consolation by Stallard left us teetering on the edge of the automatic promotion race.
Like last season, both of the away legs had ended in joy for City. In 2007 a Jamie Forrester goal sent us top of the table after a month which included wins against Rochdale (7-1) and Barnet (5-0), whilst last season our 1-0 win there gave us a fifth game unbeaten after a tough start to life in the Football League.
If I was pushed I’d have to go for a 2-1 win for City, I can see Swindon carrying a threat, but at the same time I expect a very different Lincoln to turn up this weekend. Much depends on our team selection and whether we can find the right penetration, and if Phil Brown second guesses our line up adequately.
As for betting tips, I got just one of the three I picked out on last week’s accumulator, Southend were soundly hammered by Doncaster and Notts County laboured to a draw, meaning my three team accy was, effectively, rubbish.
This week I’m getting on Nottingham Forest who, after an undefeated start to the season, should turn over Reading at the City Ground. Throw in MK Dons to beat Bury and Northampton to win away at Carlisle for a £43 win from a fiver. It won’t make you rich though.