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European Qualifiers Feature In Our Pick 15 Preview

James Davis returns with his preview of the weekend’s Pick 15 action. The associated Syndicate reference is: 243DFEJT

After a tough week in which he landed 8/15 selections but was let down by some last minute goals and perceived bankers, James is hoping to get closer to the top prize this time.

Onto this week’s fixtures…

Shrewsbury vs Portsmouth

Promotion hopefuls Shrewsbury haven’t lived up to expectations so far this season, languishing just above relegation in 18th place. However, the division is wide open and only two points seperate them from 12th  place Plymouth. With just eight games left in the season Shrewsbury need a win but Portsmouth are vying for automatic promotion and will be going all out for three points. Portsmouth clearly have the edge but Shrewsbury shouldn’t be entirely discounted and might scrape a draw.

Selection: Draw / Away

Coventry vs Oxford Utd

Coventry dispatched a couple of their nearest playoffs rivals, Fleetwood and Peterborough, recently and will be buzzing. On paper a home game against Oxford looks easy but I will cover the draw too, as don’t expect a team fighting for their lives in the relegation battle to lie down easily.

Selection: Home / Draw

Bradford vs Blackpool

Blackpool didn’t look up to the job during a 3-0 thrashing by Burton. Bradford are stuck at the foot of the table but won’t have given up hope yet, remaining just six points from safety. They’ll be fighting for their lives and have to attack. If this doesn’t inspire them to victory it will cause them to take a beating due to opening up too much at the back.

Selection: Home /Away

Plymouth vs Bristol Rovers

Plymouth might be sitting in 12th place but are only three points above relegation so won’t be resting on their laurels. These two are very closely matched and a draw is a decent bet but I’ll cover the home team as well who might just have the edge in quality.

Selection: Home / Draw

Burton vs Accrington

Burton aren’t far above Accrington in the league but the bookies have them nailed on for this despite Accrington’s convincing win over Wycombe. Sometimes you’ve just got to trust them the oddsmakers.

Selection: Home

AFC Wimbledon vs Gillingham

Wimbledon are on a roll having recently taken the scalps of Doncaster and Peterborough. After that, Gillingham should be a walk in the park.

Selection: Home

Rochdale vs Scunthorpe

It’s not going to be easy this week, that’s for sure. This is another tough fixture in which I can’t separate the teams. Both teams need a win so I’m covering home and away, under the assumption that they will be forced to attack.

Selection: Home / Away

Cheltenham vs Northampton

Northampton are climbing the table after four wins and a draw in their last five league games. They won’t find Cheltenham an easy task but I expect them to a victory nonetheless.

Selection: Away

Sweden vs Romania

Moving onto the European qualifiers, this really should be a banker for Sweden who are the superior side and possess home advantage.

Selection: Home

Malta vs Faroe Islands

The last time Malta won a game, footballers were still kicking around a pig’s bladder. Even the Faroe Islands should beat them.

Selection: Away

Wales vs Slovakia

Inspired by the rugby team’s brilliant display in the Six Nations, the Welsh football team will be determined to follow suit.

Selection: Home

Kazakhstan vs Russia

After their performance in the World Cup, I’m keen to keep Russia onside here. Kazakhstan just aren’t good enough to hold them off despite beating Scotland.

Selection: Away

Israel vs Austria

I’m a bit concerned about this game as Israel are a very hard working team but Austria’s superior ability should eventually prove decisive.

Selection: Away

Hungary vs Croatia

Croatia toppled Spain in the Nations League and held Portugal to a draw. Hungary should be an easier prospect and I expect them to win without too much trouble.

Selection: Away

Netherlands vs Germany

Gone are the days when you wouldn’t back the Netherlands against Germany with a penny you’d found on the floor. In their Nations League encounter, the Netherlands won 3-0 and Germany’s defence looked wide open. In the return fixture it was a draw so I’m covering this option as well.

Selection: Home / Draw

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