You don’t need to be a Believer to know that Friday equals “good”. All Fridays usually are – because it’s the one period of time that stands between you and the weekend. This one, however, also means a day off in these here erstwhile isles of ours, which means it’s festive football time. And a four-day weekend, which goes down easier than a vintage New Zealand Viognier.
BUT! You often have to make compromises in this world and, for your early start to the weekend, you have to accept that this weekend’s visitors are Tranmere Rovers. Sorry – that’s not our doing, but the fixture computer. What we can do, instead of us moaning about it, is get ourselves geed up because we haven’t won for a while now and three points makes things good.
Our guests might well be feeling the pinch at the moment – the last round of games saw Hartlepool United, who are ironically overseen by Ronald Moore, fall behind Tranmere Rovers in the race for the GM Vauxhall Conference. This should have alarm bells ringing louder than Brian Blessed because a double relegation is very much on the cards for the Wirral outfit.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. We haven’t won in four games now and, while a point at Burton is hardly rubbish, the draws need to be turned into wins toto keep us in that playoff hunt. Mind you, looking at the table suggests those above us are hardly in a rush to get away from us. Not only have Lootown fallen off the pace, but we’re still or now only five points off fifth!
Indoors, our form remains healthy and away from home, Tranmere’s remains filth. That didn’t stop the Daggers pillaging the win off us, so let’s not expect a foregone conclusion here. We should win this, but that doesn’t mean we will. And yeah, now is the time to be precious about these things – we’re seven games out from the death of the 2014-5 term. No time for messing.
We’re unbeaten in three at home to Tranmere and have a 66 per cent win rate against them. Even when we were at our most – let’s say vulnerable – last season, we still saw them off by a clear two-goal margin. Come on – we ought to be circling this one with murderous intent, but complacency is a cruel mistress and we don’t want to be belly-button gazing come Sunday.
The bookies have us down as marginal favourites to take the points here; odds of 39/40 (BetVictor) the best we’ve seen being served up. Away from their own patch, our guests have failed to score in 10 of their 19, but have conceded just 26 – with that, it will be 10/11 on No when asked “both teams to score?” and 3/4 on Under 2.5 Goals. Guy Madjo is 14/5 anytime, meanwhile.
By no means are Tranmere looking forlorn and lost at the arse end of the table, nor are we drifting away from the playoffs. It does mean, though, that the stakes are high for both sides and that’ll give the game an edge. A first win in five would be super duper from our point of view and Tranmere? Well, they can just rise again on the third day – ‘tis the season, after all…
If you say Tranmere Rovers three times, the BoroGuide club profile will open just like that