WPL weekend preview

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This weekend The New Saints of Oswestry Town could have their hands on the JD Welsh Premier League title for the seventh consecutive season.

Friday, 23 March

Bala Town v Connah’s Quay | Friday – 19:45
Bala Town are the only club who could mathematically finish level on points with TNS, therefore if the Lakesiders slip-up against Connah’s Quay on Friday night, the Saints will be crowned champions without kicking a ball.

Connah’s Quay and Bangor can still secure an European spot via the Welsh Cup, but as Bala are out of the cup there is a little bit more pressure on them to finish as league runners-up.

TNS are the only team to beat Bala in their last 12 matches (won 8, drawn 2, lost twice vs TNS).

Despite the strong run, Bala have not scored more than twice in their last 19 matches, since winning 1-3 away at Newtown in October.

The Nomads haven’t lost any of their last seven meetings with Bala, and the games tend to be tight affairs as there hasn’t been more than two goals scored in any of the last eight matches between the two sides.

Last meetings:
Connah’s Quay 1-1 Bala Town (01/02/18)
Bala Town 1-1 Connah’s Quay (10/11/17)
Connah’s Quay 1-0 Bala Town (08/09/17)

Saturday, 24 March

Aberystwyth v Barry Town | Saturday – 14:30
Barry Town are the only team to have won all their league games since the split in the WPL, and Gavin Chesterfield’s side have gone six points clear in the race for the play-offs, with a game in hand.

Barry have not conceded more than once in any of their four games since the split, and have secured their place in the league for next season.

Aberystwyth have only lost once in their last nine games (won 5, drawn 3), and now only two points separate the Black & Greens and Llandudno (9th).

December 2003 was the last time Aberystwyth tasted victory over Barry Town in the WPL.

Last meetings:
Barry Town 3-1 Aberystwyth (03/02/18)
Aberystwyth 0-0 Barry Town (07/10/17)
Barry Town 1-1 Aberystwyth (13/08/17)

Prestatyn v Carmarthen | Saturday – 14:30
The bottom two clubs go head to head on Saturday with the losing side facing a possible relegation by the end of the afternoon.

Aberystwyth will need to beat Barry if any team is to be relegated this weekend.

If Prestatyn beat Carmarthen, and Aber beat Barry then the Old Gold will be relegated.

If Carmarthen beat Prestatyn, then Aber will need to beat Barry and Llandudno will need at least a point against Newtown to relegate Prestatyn.

If the game is drawn, Carmarthen could be relegated, but only if Aber beat Barry and Llandudno avoid defeat against Newtown.

Prestatyn are on a run of 13 games without a win in all competitions (drawn 2, lost 11) and are likely to drop down into the Huws Gray Alliance after one season back in the top flight.

It would be a bigger blow for Carmarthen if they were to be relegated as they have been members of the WPL since 1996-97.

Last meetings:
Carmarthen 3-1 Prestatyn (03/02/18)
Carmarthen 0-3 Prestatyn (18/11/17)
Prestatyn 3-2 Carmarthen (07/10/17)

Newtown v Llandudno | Saturday – 14:30
A win for Newtown on Saturday would secure their place in the WPL for next season.

Llandudno also have a chance to seal their place in the league for next season, but only if they win and Prestatyn fail to beat Carmarthen.

The Seasiders have only won three of their 15 league games since Iwan Williams took over in November (vs Prestatyn, Bangor and Carmarthen).

This will be the fifth meeting between the clubs this season, with Newtown winning their last three encounters with Llandudno, including the latest win in the Welsh Cup quarter finals.

The Robins have not lost at home to Llandudno since November 2015 – three draws and one win since then.

Llandudno have conceded at least twice in all six matches since releasing goal-keeper Dave Roberts in January – Roberts had kept eight clean sheets in 21 WPL games this season before switching to Airbus UK.

Last meetings:
Llandudno 0-2 Newtown (06/03/18) Welsh Cup Quarter Final
Llandudno 3-4 Newtown (03/02/18)
Newtown 2-1 Llandudno (14/12/17)
Llandudno 2-1 Newtown (28/10/17)

Sunday, 24 March

The New Saints v Cefn Druids | Sunday – 14:00 (S4C)
The New Saints only need one point to secure the league title, but could potentially be crowned champions on Friday night if Bala fail to beat Connah’s Quay.

It will be the Saints’ 12th league championship, and the seventh consecutive title for the WPL’s most decorated club.

Cefn Druids will be without their top scorer and star man, Alec Mudimu, as the 22 year old midfielder has been called up to the Zimbabwe international squad to take part in the ‘Four Nations Tournament’ against Zambia, Angola and South Africa.

There’s been over a decade since Cefn Druids’ last league win against TNS (1-0, Ricky Evans – August 2007), and the Saints are on a run of 12 league games without defeat against the Ancients (won 10, drawn 2).

TNS have scored at least three times in their last eight home matches against Cefn Druids in the WPL!

February 2001 was the last time the Druids picked up a point away from home against the Saints (3-3), and 18 years have passed since their last away victory against TNS back in January 2000 (0-3).

Last meetings:
Cefn Druids 2-2 The New Saints (02/02/18)
Cefn Druids 1-3 The New Saints (28/11/17)
The New Saints 4-0 Cefn Druids (08/09/17)

Cardiff Met v Bangor | Sunday – 14:30
It hasn’t been an easy spell for the students recently as Christian Edwards’ side have lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions, with their only win coming against 11th placed Carmarthen.

Bangor will be determined to claim three points to stay in the race for 2nd place.

The Citizens have kept four clean sheets in their last six outings, which is bad news for the students who have only scored two goals in their last seven games.

With five games remaining, Met winger Eliot Evans (13) is only two goals behind league top scorer Greg Draper (15) in the race for the Golden Boot.

None of the seven WPL meetings between the sides have been drawn, with an average of 4.1 goals scored in each game.

Last meetings:
Bangor 3-0 Cardiff Met (03/02/18)
Bangor 2-3 Cardiff Met (14/10/17)
Cardiff Met 3-1 Bangor (19/08/17)

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