WPL weekend preview

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The two at the top go head-to-head on Saturday with only a single point separating league leaders The New Saints and second placed Cardiff Met.

Friday, 27 October

Bangor City v Cefn Druids | Friday – 19:45
Despite their strong start to the season, Bangor City have slid down to 4th place after losing four out of their last five matches in all competitions, and are now five points behind leaders TNS.

Cefn Druids start the weekend in the 5th position following a positive run of six games without defeat in the WPL (won 3, drawn 3), and a win on Friday would lift them above Bangor into 4th place.

The Citizens have won their last four league games against the Druids and have not lost against the Ancients since October 2014.

Huw Griffiths’ Druids have only lost one of four away games this season, and that was against the champions at Park Hall.

Last meeting:
Cefn Druids 2-3 Bangor City (28/10/16)

Saturday, 28 October

Llandudno v Newtown | Saturday – 14:30
Alex Gibson will take charge of his first game as Llandudno caretaker manager since Alan Morgan was relieved of his duties on Monday.

Newtown travel to Parc Maesdu on Saturday in search of their first away win, and their first away goal of the season in the WPL.

In five away games in the league this season the Robins have lost three times and have had two goalless draws.

But Chris Hughes’ side did win on the road in the League Cup on Tuesday night as they beat Carmarthen (0-2) to secure a place in the semi final where they will face Cardiff Met.

Both clubs could do with a win as Llandudno and Newtown are both on runs of five league games without a win.

Looking at previous meetings, a draw is highly likely as half of their meetings in the WPL have been drawn (4/8).

Last meeting:
Newtown 2-2 Llandudno (19/03/17)

Prestatyn v Aberystwyth | Saturday – 14:30
Prestatyn claimed an impressive 4-2 win over Bangor City last weekend which lifted them up to 8th place.

Reaching the Top Six would’ve been a dream for Neil Gibson at the start of the season, and with only two points separating Prestatyn and 6th place at the start of the weekend, Gibbo’s gang could start to be tempted to look up rather than down the table.

Prestatyn’s matches have been full of goals lately with an average of six goals a game scored in their last three matches (Pres 4-2 Ban, TNS 6-1 Pres, Pres 3-2 Cam).

Aberystwyth’s match against The New Saints last weekend was tighter than expected with Neville Powell’s men losing 1-2 after going ahead in the first half.

Prestatyn won comfortably when these clubs last met back in the Welsh Cup 4th round in January with James Stead grabbing a hat-trick on that day.

Last meeting:
Aberystwyth 1-5 Prestatyn (28/01/17) Welsh Cup 4th Round 2016/17

The New Saints v Cardiff Met | Saturday – 14:30
The biggest game of the weekend will be held at Park Hall as the two at the top go head to head for the second time this season.

It finished goalless when TNS met the students at Cyncoed Campus earlier in the season, but it will be a tougher challenge for Christian Edwards’ crew at the home of the champions where TNS have won all four of their league games this season, scoring 14 goals and conceding only once.

Cardiff Met have been the surprise package this season and are in second place after winning their last six games in all competitions (4 WPL, 2 League Cup).

It’s no surprise that TNS have the best attacking record this season (26 goals in 10 games), but the students share the best defensive record with Connah’s Quay (conceded 7 goals in 10 games).

Cardiff Met have not won any of their previous five meetings with TNS in the WPL (lost 4, drawn 1).

This time last season (after 10 games) TNS were eight points clear of Connah’s Quay at the summit, and were 20 points clear of 8th placed Cardiff Met.

Both clubs secured a place in the League Cup semi final with midweek victories over Caernarfon and Barry Town.

Last meeting:
Cardiff Met 0-0 The New Saints (15/09/17)

Carmarthen v Bala Town | Saturday – 17:15 (S4C)
It could be a very long season for Carmarthen manager Mark Aizlewood as his side sits rock bottom of the league, five points from safety after losing eight of their opening 10 fixtures.

The Old Gold did pick up a point at the Rock in their last league outing as Carmarthen kept a clean sheet for only the second time this season.

Their only other clean sheet came against their opponents this weekend, Bala Town, in what was a remarkable 0-4 away win at Maes Tegid back in September.

Bala Town recently went on a disappointing run of six games without a win, but after back to back wins in their last two matches it looks like the Lakesiders have finally turned a corner.

10 points separate Bala and the league leaders at the start of the weekend, and although they could be considered out of the title race, they should definitely be contenders for an European spot once more this season.

Bala Town have a good record at Richmond Park where they have won three of their last four league matches and not lost since November 2013.

Last meeting:
Bala Town 0-4 Carmarthen (16/09/17)

Sunday, 29 Hydref

Barry Town v Connah’s Quay | Sunday – 14:30
Connah’s Quay will aim for nothing less than three points at Jenner Park on Sunday to stay tight at the heels of the league leaders.

After dominating the first half against Llandudno last weekend, Andy Morrison will feel frustrated that his side couldn’t see out the game which finished 1-1 in the stormy conditions.

The Nomads have been solid defensively conceding only seven goals in their 10 league games to date.

Barry Town have the worst attacking record in the league this season (8 goals from 10 games), and after losing their last three matches in all competitions, Gavin Chesterfield will hope to cause an upset this weekend.

It will be the first meeting between the two sides since Barry were relegated from the WPL in 2004.

Connah’s Quay beat Airbus UK (0-2) in the League Cup on Tuesday night to secure a place in the semi final where they will face TNS for the second consecutive season.

Last meeting:
Barry Town 0-2 Connah’s Quay (06/03/04)

Highlights of all WPL matches will be on Sgorio every Monday at 5:35 on S4C.