WPL Preview: Matchday 12
Phase one of the Dafabet Welsh Premier League is about to reach its official halfway point, but the competition is showing no sign of stopping with some major clashes coming up this weekend.
Here, Clwb Pel Droed takes a look at Saturday and Sunday’s games in Wales’ top flight.
22/10/16 Airbus UK vs Carmarthen Town
A win for Airbus UK could lift them out of the relegation zone and dump Carmarthen into it on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams find themselves in the wrong end of the table, with Airbus coming off the back of a draw to Airbus despite leading 3-2 with just one minute left to play. Airbus share a victory in common with Carmarthen over Newtown, who they beat 4-2 a month ago with Carmarthen claiming a 3-1 victory over the Robins last week.
The game presents itself as very much even, with both sides failing to fire on all cylinders so far this season.
22/10/16 Bangor City vs Rhyl
The biggest game of the weekend is without a doubt ‘El Gogico 2′, or to those outside the Welsh football scene the North Wales Derby between Bangor and Rhyl.
Last month, Rhyl stunned their arch rivals with a 1-0 Rhyl at the Corbett Sports Stadium, but will face a much tougher test this time round against a Bangor side who are shaping up into Europa League contenders.
Third in the league and having not lost in their last three games, Bangor impressed many by nearly being the first to defeat Nomads last week. Indeed their last defeat was away to Rhyl, so Andy Legg’s men will be looking to put things right at the Bangor University Stadium this evening.
Rhyl meanwhile will seek to emerge from a poor run of results, which has seen them lose to Connah’s Quay, Cefn Druids and Aberystwyth where they lost 4-0. The spirit of the derby will surely motivate Niall McGuinness’ men in the live S4c game for a 5:15pm kick off.
23/10/16 Aberystwyth Town v Llandudno FC
Aberystwyth Town hope to build on their fantastic first win on their new 3G pitch over Rhyl last week with a result against Llandudno. Although the black and greens have struggled so far this season, an emphatic 4-0 win over Rhyl last week suggests Park Avenue may be the source of their success this season.
Llandudno have seen a mix of results so far this season, but will be certainly going for three points which could send them into the top six. They come off the back of a 5-0 defeat to The New Saints, where despite the scoreline they put on a respectable performance throughout.
23/10/16 gap Connah’s Quay Nomads vs Cardiff Met FC
An injury hit Connah’s Quay will be wary of in-form Cardiff Met when they arrive to Deeside on Sunday afternoon.
Connah’s Quay are still unbeaten, but are under the strain of injuries with the likes of Ian Kearney, Callum Morris and Mike Pearson all unavailable. They are still unbeaten but came under some serious fire from Bangor City last week, and know that Cardiff Met can be just as dangerous.
The last time the two sides met Cardiff were in the relegation zone, but have since surged into the top six with excellent wins including a 5-0 thrashing of Cefn Druids last week.
Both teams will be going for all three points, with a win solidifying Nomads’ 2nd place and Cardiff’s top six status.
23/10/16 Newtown AFC vs The New Saints
The Robins desperately need a win to lift them from the bottom of the table, but this seems unlikely against an ever in-form TNS outfit who have a 100% record so far, most recently beating Llandudno 5-0.
Newtown have struggled so far this season despite retaining their squad full of quality from last season, taking just two points from their last five games. Whilst the tight nature of the league means an escape from the bottom is possible, the race is on for Newtown to get back into their usual top six position with just over half of the remaining phase one games to play.