Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s FA Cup clash between Forest Green Rovers and Scarborough Athletic, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Forest Green Rovers will be bidding to avoid an FA Cup shock exit when they welcome Scarborough Athletic to The New Lawn for a first-round replay on Tuesday night.
The two sides could not be separated when they locked horns earlier this month, with Forest Green needing a 93rd-minute leveller through Olly Sully to prevent them from losing in North Yorkshire....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Forest Green were relegated from League One last season in 24th position, with a hugely disappointing campaign seeing them pick up just 27 points from their 46 matches.
There is no getting away from the fact that it has been another tough season to date for Rovers, with the team boasting just 13 points from 16 games in League Two to sit in 23rd position in the table.
David Horseman’s side were the huge favourites to beat Scarborough Athletic earlier this month, but they actually needed a late, late equaliser to avoid a shock elimination in the first round.
Forest Green have played twice since then, losing on penalties to Brighton & Hove Albion Under-21s in the EFL Trophy, before going down 3-0 at Tranmere Rovers in the league on Saturday.
The League Two outfit have won two of their last four matches in the FA Cup, but they have only managed to win one of their last five matches in all competitions, and the struggling team are now set to welcome National League North opposition to The New Lawn.
Scarborough Athletic took a 27th-minute lead in their clash earlier this month through Alex Wiles, and they were only moments away from recording what would have been a huge result.
The Seadogs, who were only founded in 2007, must do it all again on Tuesday evening, and the team have already demonstrated that they are capable of matching their League Two opponents.
Jonathan Greening’s side will enter this match off the back of a 3-1 victory over Alfreton Town in the National League North on Saturday afternoon, which made it three games unbeaten in all competitions.
Scarborough Athletic boast a record of seven wins, two draws and seven losses from their 16 league games this season, which has left them in 16th position in the table on 23 points.
The visitors are unbeaten in their last six matches in the FA Cup, meanwhile, with all of those matches taking place in this season’s tournament.
Forest Green Rovers FA Cup form:
Forest Green Rovers form (all competitions):
Scarborough Athletic FA Cup form:
Scarborough Athletic form (all competitions):
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Forest Green head coach Horseman is expected to make changes to his side following the defeat at Tranmere in League Two, with the likes of Charlie McCann, Sean Robertson and Teddy Jenks set to come back in.
Tyrese Omotoye has only scored once this season but is expected to again be given the nod through the middle on Tuesday evening.
The team could be identical to the one that started against the National League North outfit earlier this month, with Jacob Maddox also expected to be in the XI.
As for Scarborough Athletic, Frank Mulhern is the team’s leading goalscorer this season with five, and the 26-year-old is set to feature in the final third of the field once again.
Lewis Maloney has contributed three goals from midfield this term and will also see his spot, while Luca Colville should feature in an attacking area.
Wiles, who scored against Forest Green earlier this month, is also expected to retain his position in the starting side on Tuesday night.
Forest Green Rovers possible starting lineup:Belshaw; Bernard, Bunker, Welch, Robson; Jones, McCann; Jenks, Robertson, Maddox; Omotoye
Scarborough Athletic possible starting lineup:Whitley; Weledji, Gooda, Qualter, Thornton, Brown; Wiles, Maloney, Purver, Colville; Mulhern
We say: Forest Green Rovers 1-0 Scarborough Athletic
Scarborough Athletic are more than capable of picking up a win on Tuesday evening, and we are expecting a very close match. Forest Green should have enough quality to edge the game, though, and we are backing the League Two side to advance to the second round of the competition.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
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Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers to go four points clear at top of table
Arsenal move four points clear at the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in North London.
Arsenal have moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in North London.
Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard were on the scoresheet for Mikel Arteta’s side, who have opened up a four-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City in the division, albeit having now played a game more from the reigning champions.
Matheus Cunha had one back for Wolves late on, but the visitors could not find a second, with Gary O’Neil’s side suffering their seventh league loss of the campaign....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Wolves started full of confidence, but the visitors found themselves behind in the sixth minute of the contest, with Saka firing into the bottom corner after breaking into the penalty box.
Smart work from Gabriel Jesus led to Takehiro Tomiyasu having space on the edge of the box, and the defender fed the ball into Saka, who managed to break past Craig Dawson before picking out the back of the net.
Arsenal then doubled their advantage in the 13th minute through Odegaard, who found the bottom corner with a smart finish after Oleksandr Zinchenko had picked out his teammate following a one-two with Gabriel Jesus.
Jose Sa made a smart save to deny Leandro Trossard in the 22nd minute, but the Wolves goalkeeper then had to leave the field with an injury shortly after, which led to Daniel Bentley being introduced.
The chances kept coming for Arsenal, with Odegaard missing the target after Gabriel Martinelli had a shot blocked, with Wolves struggling to get out of their own half at the Emirates Stadium.
Martinelli then hit the post for the home side in the latter stages of the first period, before Jesus somehow fired over the crossbar from close range after an excellent delivery from Saka.
Wolves had a chance to halve the deficit in the latter stages of the first period when Hwang Hee-chan burst through on goal, but Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya was quick off his line to deal with the danger.
The Gunners called for a penalty early in the second half when Jesus went down inside the box under pressure from Max Kilman, but the referee was not interested and VAR agreed.
Wolves then came close to registering in the 54th minute through Matheus Cunha, but the forward’s powerful strike was kept out by Raya during an open period of the match.
Trossard lifted one over the away side’s crossbar just before the hour, before Declan Rice missed the target after smart work from Odegaard, with the score remaining 2-0 heading into the final 25 minutes of action.
Saka came close to his second of the match in the 76th minute, but the England international’s strike from distance just missed the top corner, with Bentley getting nowhere near it.
The Wolves goalkeeper managed to make two excellent saves to deny Trossard and Saka in quick succession in the 83rd minute, and the visitors then scored, with Cunha smashing into the far corner from just inside the box after Arsenal had failed to clear their lines.
Bentley tipped an effort from Eddie Nketiah onto the post in the 87th minute, with the visitors staying alive heading into stoppage time, but they were unable to find a second, as the Gunners managed to secure a huge three points in their battle for the title.
Arsenal will be aiming to make it a sixth straight win in all competitions when they head to Luton Town on Tuesday, while Wolves will be bidding to bounce back from the loss when they host Burnley on the same night.
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Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘hoping Manchester United deal will be completed by Christmas’
Sir Jim Ratcliffe hopes that his 25% purchase of Manchester United will be completed by Christmas, according to a report.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly hopeful that his 25% purchase of Manchester United will be completed by Christmas.
An announcement on the 71-year-old’s arrival as a minority shareholder was expected to be made during the November international break, but there was a delay due to the complex nature of the deal.
According to The Mirror, the process is now reaching its final stages, and Ratcliffe is hopeful that he will be able to take over football operations at Old Trafford before Christmas....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
The report claims that INEOS performance director Sir Dave Brailsford is set to make the move to the club, and he will play a leading role in the changes that will be made to the sporting department.
Richard Arnold’s departure as CEO has already been confirmed, with Jean-Claude Blanc widely expected to arrive in that position once Ratcliffe’s deal has been announced.
Blanc worked for the French Tennis Federation as a chief executive before switching to football, and he has previously been the Juventus CEO and marketing executive of Paris Saint-Germain.
The 60-year-old is currently the chief executive of INEOS Sport, and it is believed that he will be Arnold’s permanent replacement in the senior position.
John Murtough could remain as football director for now, but it is understood that a change will also be made in that position, with Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman regarded by many to be the frontrunner.
The role of director of football operations David Harrison is also in severe doubt, with Ratcliffe seemingly preparing to make a number of changes to what he views to be a failing department.
Ratcliffe is said to be taking advice from Man United’s legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson when it comes to his overhaul of the football side of the business.
At one stage, it appeared that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani would be completing a 100% takeover of Man United from the Glazer family.
However, the Qatari banker recently withdrew his offer due to his frustrations in dealing with the Glazers, who signalled last November that they were open to discussing a potential sale of the club.
Ratcliffe is coming in at initial 25%, but it is understood that the Brit wants to complete a staggered takeover in the coming years.
Man United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday evening following their 3-3 draw with Galatasaray in the Champions League, facing a trip to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle United.
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