In-form sides Tranmere Rovers and Stevenage Borough both have tough away games this weekend, whilst Scunthorpe's mini revival will be tested by the draw specialists Colchester United. Our League One expert Alan Dudman casts his eye over Saturday's fixtures.
Colchester sit in the bottom four, and have drawn four of their seven league games. A more miserable piece of information however is their inability to score away from home - none in fact - from 270 minutes .of football
Scunthorpe United v Colchester United, Saturday 15:00
Scunthorpe United 2.206/5 v Colchester United 3.55, the draw 3.4012/5
From their position of the League One strugglers, Scunthorpe have overcome their worst start in 40 years to put together a three game unbeaten run. It's not the stuff of greatness granted, but the point against nine-men Sheffield United two weeks ago really was a turning point - and now they have some momentum.
Manager Alan Knill made a vaild point regarding the additions of Leon Clarke and Karl Hawley. Both have added a new dimension (and quality) to the squad, and Clarke has scored early goals in his last two matches. The Iron play a 4-4-2 with some probing midfielders, and used that to good effect to beat Shrewsbury 1-0 last weekend, ending their hosts long established home record, and in the process gaining their first clean sheet of the season.
Colchester sit in the bottom four, and have drawn four of their seven league games. A more miserable piece of information however is their inability to score away from home - none in fact - from 270 minutes of football. Manager John Ward at least changed to a more attacking front three on Tuesday against Crawley, but once again they didn't really have any forward cohesion. Colchester have used a 4-5-1 this season too, but it's not suiting Clinton Morrison who is a poacher and needs the ball to feet.
On the plus side they were reasonably solid in midweek and created chances last Saturday against Brentford, and both might be solid at the back with the hosts perhaps the more likeliest to score.
Crawley Town v Tranmere Rovers, Saturday 15:00
Crawley Town 2.0621/20 v Tranmere Rovers 3.76, the draw 3.45
Remember Les Parry? Well I used to have a bit of a soft spot for the ex-Rovers boss, but those nervy days at the bottom are in the distant past. Step forward Ronnie Moore, the man who could be described as the Wirral's alchemist such has been the amazing turnaround for the club this season.
Tranmere are top of League One, and in the past week have maintained their 100 per cent home record with
wins against Bury (3-0 on Tuesday) and Coventry (2-0 on Saturday). Both games highlighted their skills at grinding out a win - as both the goals against Coventry came in the final 11 minutes. Moore's side are quick on the break with width and a strong backline, they also have wily old buzzard Andy Robinson scoring at will.
Crawley are a decent team, who are pacey and fairly fluid when they get it right. Manager Richie Barker had a spat with Graham Westley last Saturday after celebrating his side's 2-1 win at Deepdale. It was a real full-blooded match in which Town showed lots of work-rate and desire, plus they got their tactics right the way they forced themselves on North End.
The hosts have won two from three at home, but Tranmere will keep this tight for as long as possible and use their threat on the counter-attack. Both defend well and it's an ideal game to trade on a 0-0 and 1-1.
League One new boys Doncaster sit mid-table after seven games, and manager Dean Saunders will be no more
than satisfied with the start. Tuesday's 0-0 at Sheffield United was a typical derby where they looked reasonably dangerous on the break. They were also involved in a tight, scrappy affair earlier in the season - losing 1-0 at home to Crawley - a match where they couldn't get their passing game going at all.
I am a big fan of Stevenage, and growing more impressed with the work of their manager Gary Smith. Borough are now second and are proving last season was no fluke. On Tuesday, the Hertfordshire side out-muscled Walsall to win 3-1, a match where they barely allowed the Saddlers the ball.
Smith's side are extremely tough to break down, and away from home this term have won all three games (two of them 1-0). Their 4-4-2 is one of discipline and using the ball efficiently. This looks an ideal sort of Stevenage match, where they can grind the hosts down and maybe nick a goal.