Not quite the belated Christmas present we wanted on Boxing Day, but it’ll do us to start with. To be fair, GW’s first game back in charge couldn’t have been much worse than that 5-1 tonking against Crewe. A clean sheet and a hard-earned point against a team fighting away at the right end of the table ain’t to be sniffed at, though – is it? Not that it gets any easier in the short term, however. Plymouth away we go – to another playoff contender.
Plymouth Argyle v Stevenage: The Preview…
Plymouth Argyle – who are they?
It’s now more than a year since we last played Plymouth; the Pilgrims ending our hopes of an FA Cup run in 2018-9. After their promotion to League One in 2017, we’d had no other cause to come up against them – and that was probably for the best. Our record had gone sour; Boro’ now on a run of four defeats on the spin. And the best we’ve done at their gaff is a 1-1 draw back in August 2014; Plymouth scoring a 98th minute equaliser that day.
Our Record vs Plymouth Argyle: P 7 — W 2 — D 1 — L 4 — F 9 — A 12 — Pts 7
Last time out: Plymouth Argyle 1-0 Stevenage, 10 November 2018
How are Plymouth Argyle doing so far this season?
Now just a point and a place outside the League Two playoff spots with one game in hand, recent weeks have been kind to the Pilgrims. For the season, the stats show they’ve taken an average of 1.67 points per game. But look at the last eight in isolation and that goes up to 2.25 points per game. Six wins and two losses is their return from that period. Of course, it might all look a bit different if two games in that time hadn’t been postponed.
But that’s how it goes.
Dig deeper and we find a side with a very healthy home record. The last four at Home Park went in their favour; the Pilgrims scoring at least twice in each of their last five indoors too. It’s quite a mean defence we’ll have to crack too. They’ve conceded 22 – nine of which have been at home. And they don’t half know how to hang onto a lead. Of the 13 times they’ve gone in front, the other side got back on terms on just three occasions.
The moral here? Don’t fall behind. Simple, huh?
Tell us something we don’t know about Plymouth Argyle
Had England’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup won, Home Park would’ve been one of the 12 host venues – taking the tournament into every far flung part of the country. But, as we all know, England didn’t win the right to host the World Cup.
What are the bookies’ odds for this game?
Well, whaddya know? The hosts are overwhelming favourites with the bookies to win this one. Not that we hold it against ’em, you understand. The Pilgrims are coming in at a best price at 3/4 (multiple), while we’re out at 22/5 (Marathon) if you look hard enough. If you’re thinking we’ll see more than 2.5 goals in one form or another, it’s 93/100 (Marathon). And Kurtis Guthrie is landing at 10/3 (multiple) to score at any point if you’re feeling brave.
Don’t forget – be responsible. And when the fun stops, stop.
Which Plymouth Argyle player should we watch out for?
The goals are nicely spread around the Argyle squad (if you like that sort of thing) – but it’s Antoni Sarcevic with the bulk of them. With six goals and four assists in all competitions from midfield, he’s certainly pulling his weight for the Pilgrims. From mid-November going into early December, he was scoring one every two games. But it’s now two goals without a game, so no doubt the lad wants to fix that. Not that we have to let him…
Who is our ref for this match?
Two out of two from the Football League’s official appointments list have proved wrong so far, so take this one with a pinch of salt. It should be John Busby, but don’t pin your hopes on that. Things go either one way or the other for us on his watch – and it flip-flops as well. Our current record reads W L W L W L. Now, we didn’t go to that Eton or Oxbridge or ‘owt like that. But it doesn’t take a degree to work out that next in that order comes a W for win.
If he’s even our ref at Home Park.
Our Record: P 6 — W 3 — D 0 — L 3 — F 11 — A 8
Last time out: Stevenage 0-1 Bury, 09 March 2019
And, finally, what do you reckon?
A hard-fought point that should’ve been three against FGR is a nice building block for the road ahead. But there’s just too much about a trip to Home Park that ain’t sitting well with us. It’s a big enough ask to go to a ground where you’ve never won and bring home three points. It’s an even bigger one when you’re not in great nick and struggling to score goals, while the oppo are in the groove. We’ll put in the hard yards, but – for us – it’ll be in vain.
Plymouth Argyle v Stevenage scorecast: 2-1