A preview of all six Welsh Premier League fixtures this weekend.
Port Talbot (10th) v Carmarthen (9th) | Friday night – 19:30
Port Talbot start the weekend five points above the relegation zone and hope to open the gap with a victory against Carmarthen at the GenQuip.
We should see plenty of goals as these are the two teams with the worst defensive records in the league.
But the Steelmen have failed to score in their two games against Mark Aizlewood’s men this season, and the Old Gold won comfortably on their last trip to the GenQuip (0-3) with Liam Thomas netting twice for Carmarthen.
Rhyl (11th) v Aberystwyth (8th) | Friday night – 19:30
With nine games remaining, time is running out for Rhyl who are five points adrift of the safety of the 10th spot after failing to win any of their last 11 league games (lost 4, drawn 7).
No team has lost more WPL games than the Lilywhites this season (3/23 – 13%).
Aberystwyth are three points behind Bangor and have their eye on the 7th spot and a place in the play-offs.
Aber have scored five goals against Rhyl this season with three of those goals coming from Jamie Reed who has left to join MBi Llandudno.
Haverfordwest County (12th) v Bangor (7th) | Saturday – 14:30
Bottom side Haverfordwest haven’t played since losing 2-1 at Bangor in their last game before the split back on the 16th of January.
With just one win in their last 12 league games Haverfordwest are seven points from safety but have a game in hand after recent postponements.
Only the three teams at the top have won more games than Bangor this season (10/23 – 43%) who are three points clear of Aber in the race for 7th place.
No clubs have had less draws than these two teams with only two draws each in the WPL this season
Neville Powell’s men will be full of confidence after their recent dramatic win against Rhyl, but Bangor will be weary as they are one of only two sides to be beaten away at Bridge Meadow this season, along with MBi Llandudno.
Airbus UK (4th) v Bala Town (2nd) | Saturday – 14:30
Bala remain six points behind The New Saints and are keeping the pressure on the league leaders.
The Lakesiders secured their place in the Welsh Cup quarter final by beating Holyhead Hotspur last Saturday, and if Airbus win their re-arranged fixture against Guilsfield, then Airbus will meet Bala in the next round.
Of the Top Six sides, no team has scored less or conceded more goals than Airbus this season.
But they do have the league’s current top scorer in their ranks, and after already scoring twice against Bala this season, Tony Gray (15 goals) will be looking to add to his tally at the Hollingsworth Group Stadium on Saturday.
gap Connah’s Quay (5th) v MBi Llandudno (3rd) | Saturday – 14:30
MBi Llandudno have been the shock package this season, securing their place in the top six in their first season in the WPL… but gap Connah’s Quay are the in-form side at the moment.
The Nomads have faced league giants, TNS, in both of their last league matches without being defeated, and became the only team to beat the champions this season while drawing the away fixture, without conceding a single goal in both games.
gap Connah’s Quay sailed into the Welsh Cup quarter final last Saturday with a 4-1 win against Buckley Town who had knocked out MBi Llandudno in the 3rd round.
After a great run to seal a place in the top half of the WPL, Llandudno have only won one of their last five games, but remain in 3rd place, four points behind Bala, and are still in the race for 2nd spot and a ticket to the Europa League qualifiers.
Newtown (6th) v The New Saints (1st) | Saturday – 14:30
This might be a good time to play the Saints as they have only won one of their last six league games.
The New Saints will face Newtown in the next round of the cup in a repeat of last year’s final where TNS won 2-0 to complete an historical treble.
The last time these teams met at Latham Park it finished 2-2 and I’m sure Chris Hughes would be more than happy with a point for the Robins this Saturday.
On this day in 1961 one of the legends of Welsh football - Ian Rush - was born.