Shrimps to regather early season momentum
Two of the pre season relegation favourites go head-to-head on Saturday afternoon with Derek Adams’ early highflyers Morecambe hosting a Stevenage side who looked destined for National League football this season until the Macclesfield Town catastrophe. The bookmakers are unsure as for who to side with in this encounter, leaving a juicy price in play on all outcomes, for me you have to look towards the hosts. Both teams will be looking to save themselves the relegation battle stress that they had to endure for the majority of last term, however Adams’ men are poised more favourably to do so, Boro have been struggling.
One to watch
Do not ask me how or why a silky Senegalese-born winger who had his footballing education in the Atletico Madrid academy ended up with North West Counties League Division One South side West Didsbury in 2016, but just trust that I am grateful. The 21-year-old was just 16 then and made his move to Morecambe at 19, after a couple of campaigns adjusting to the pace and physicality of the English professional game, Mendes Gomes is set to take the football league by storm. One of few true ‘edge of your seat’ players in the fourth tier, Gomes can drift across all positions behind a central striker, threatening not only with his mesmerising dribbling ability but also pulling players out of position, sometimes more than one to allow space in behind for the likes of Adam Phillips and Ben Pringle. Mendes Gomes has already equalled his modest goal tally of two from last season and will look to kick on as clubs from higher levels admire.
Stevenage failed to score in seven consecutive league games before their last League Two outing, a 3-1 loss to Colchester United. Boro have also conceded in nine of their last 12, not too bad considering their 21st league position but they have overperformed in terms of expected goals against, so expect a match where they ship a few to be on the horizon. Morecambe have scored in eight of their last nine domestically and conceded in seven of their last eight, with both teams finding the net in four of their last five league matches. However Stevenage’s attack is too blunt for me to consider that as an angle. The Shrimps have underperformed defensively, conceding around six more goals than the chances they had allowed equated to, so a shutout should be around the corner.
Get on side with Morecambe, I will play it safe, but there is value in Morecambe to Win to Nil at 4.75 with Betfair, Morecambe to Win at 2.50 with Betfair.