WPL weekend preview

Sgorio will be live at the home of the WPL champions this Saturday night as The New Saints host Caernarfon before Scott Ruscoe’s side get their hands on the trophy for the eighth consecutive season.

But over the weekend, some other vital spots could be sealed as the race heats up for 2nd place (Irn Bru qualification) and 7th place (play-off qualification).

Friday, 19 April

Newtown v Bala Town | Friday – 14:30
Newtown have suffered three defeats on the bounce for the first time since October 2016 and will look to bounce back against a struggling Bala Town ahead of the play-offs.

The Lakesiders have lost seven of their last eight matches, but having qualified for Europe for the past four seasons, Colin Caton’s crew should certainly not be written off in the play-offs.

Bala Town have ended in the top four for the last four years, but now face their lowest WPL position since finishing 8th in 2013/14.

Last meetings:
Bala Town 2-2 Newtown (22/02/19)
Bala Town 3-2 Newtown (12/10/18)
Newtown 2-0 Bala Town (01/09/18)

Recent WPL form:
Newtown: ➖✅❌❌❌
Bala Town: ✅❌❌❌❌

Saturday, 20 April

Connah’s Quay v Barry Town | Saturday – 14:30
Both Connah’s Quay and Barry have already qualified for Europe, but the target now is to finish in 2nd place to seucre a place in next season’s Irn Bru Challenge Cup.

A point for the Nomads would be enough to clinch 2nd place, and after their success in the Irn Bru Cup this year, Andy Morrison will be eager to take another shot at the competition next season.

Connah’s Quay have qualified for Europe for the fourth season running, while Barry Town’s top three finish means they are back in Europe for the first time in 16 years.

Gavin Chesterfield’s Dragons are the only side not to lose to Connah’s Quay in the WPL this season.

Last meetings:
Barry Town 1-1 Connah’s Quay (23/02/19)
Connah’s Quay 2-2 Barry Town (10/11/18)
Barry Town 2-0 Connah’s Quay (01/09/18)

Recent WPL form:
Connah’s Quay: ✅❌✅❌✅
Barry Town: ❌❌✅✅❌

Cefn Druids v Carmarthen | Saturday – 14:30
Carmarthen will hope to climb above the Druids to the 9th position on Saturday.

But Huw Griffiths’ Ancients have won each one of their previous three meetings with the Old Gold this season, and Carmarthen have failed to score at the Rock in four years.

Cefn Druids are currently on a run of six games without defeat for the first time since October 2017 (won 4, drawn 2).

Last meetings:
Carmarthen 0-1 Cefn Druids (23/02/19)
Carmarthen 2-3 Cefn Druids (10/11/18)
Cefn Druids 4-0 Carmarthen (15/09/18)

Recent WPL form:
Cefn Druids: ✅➖✅✅➖
Carmarthen: ❌❌❌✅✅

Llanelli v Llandudno | Saturday – 14:30
Llanelli and Llandudno will both be relegated at the end of the season, but the two sides will be determined not to finish at the bottom of the table.

Llanelli must win on Saturday for any chance of not finishing bottom.

Alun Webb scored a hat-trick for Llandudno in their last meeting with the Reds.

Last meetings:
Llandudno 4-2 Llanelli (23/02/19)
Llanelli 2-1 Llandudno (05/01/19)
Llandudno 1-2 Llanelli (06/10/18)

Recent WPL form:
Llanelli: ❌❌❌❌❌
Llandudno: ✅➖❌❌❌

Cardiff Met v Aberystwyth | Saturday – 14:30
This could turn out to be the decider in the WPL Bottom Six as three points for the students would secure their place in the play-offs.

Aberystwyth are on a run of five games without defeat, but following their goalless draw with Cefn Druids, the Black & Greens slid down to 8th place.

Cardiff Met have finished 6th in their previous two seasons in the WPL, while Aberystwyth have not finished higher than 8th since the 2014/15 season.

The Archers have not won at home against Aberystwyth since September 2016.

Last meetings:
Aberystwyth 2-0 Cardiff Met (23/02/19)
Aberystwyth 1-3 Cardiff Met (26/01/19) Welsh Cup 4th Round
Cardiff Met 2-3 Aberystwyth (11/11/18)
Aberystwyth 1-4 Cardiff Met (17/08/18)

Recent WPL form:
Cardiff Met: ❌✅✅❌✅
Aberystwyth: ✅✅✅✅➖

The New Saints v Caernarfon | Saturday – 19:30 (S4C)
After seeing off Barry Town last weekend, The New Saints were crowned WPL champions, and this Saturday night they will get to lift the trophy for the 13th time in their history and for the eighth season on the trot.

The New Saints were in an unfamiliar position back in January, lying in 3rd place behind Connah’s Quay and Barry Town, but since their last league defeat in January, which was the last time Caernarfon visited Park Hall, Scott Ruscoe’s stars have gone 16 league games without a loss, winning 13 of those matches.

In their last 13 WPL matches, TNS have kept 11 clean sheets and scored 55 goals!

With three league games to play, TNS captain Paul Harrison has already broken a WPL record with the most clean sheets since the league structure change (19).

The attacking players have also broken some personal bests, scoring more goals this season than they’ve ever done in previous years – Greg Draper (25), Ryan Brobbel (15), Aeron Edwards (12), Jamie Mullan (10).

Caernarfon will be searching for their third consecutive win as the Cofis aim to finish in 4th place in their first season back in the top flight.

Last meetings:
Caernarfon 0-3 The New Saints (25/02/19)
The New Saints 0-1 Caernarfon (09/11/18)
Caernarfon 0-3 The New Saints (31/08/18)

Recent WPL form:
The New Saints: ✅✅✅✅✅
Caernarfon: ❌✅❌✅✅

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