League One Predictions: Gameweek 18

Leon Legge

Leon Legge

In League One this weekend, Bradford face Gillingham, as both sides picked up a potentially pivotal late win the week before. Fleetwood look to continue their good home form against Walsall, who will be without top scorer Tom Bradshaw. Meanwhile, MK Dons will aim to complete rare back-to-back wins against Port Vale, who are making huge strides under their new manager, Robert Page.

Bradford v Gillingham

Bradford picked up a dramatic 2-1 win at Preston last time out, a result which could prove to be a turning point after a poor run of form. Mark Yeates scored the winner in that match, and after a difficult season last year, he seems to be flourishing in a role that allows him to operate inside and create for his teammates. Gillingham got a dramatic win themselves last week, as a late goal from Cody McDonald gave the 10 men a 3-2 win over Leyton Orient. The Gills have not scored too often from set pieces this season, but that was the source of all 3 of their goals in the match. Leon Legge, who appears to be very much a classic old-school centre-back, scored 2 great headers. In the case of both teams, there is a sense that a late winner last week has given the players an injection of confidence, and for that reason we may see an open, entertaining game at Valley Parade.

Fleetwood v Walsall

Walsall have extended the loan of midfielder Michael Cain from Leicester, which is excellent news for the club. Cain, who has proved himself to be an intelligent player, bossed the midfield in Walsall’s 0-0 draw against Peterborough last week, alongside Adam Chambers, who offers a strong physical presence. It is perhaps down to the quality of the midfield that teams do not create too many chances against the Saddlers, whose defensive record is bettered only by Notts County. Fleetwood have done well at the back too, conceding 16 goals, the same numbers as their West Midlands opponents. Graham Alexander’s side have not been beaten at home since February, if you include their League Two form. However, the concerning thing for both teams is that they do not have an in-form striker available. For Walsall, top scorer Tom Bradshaw is nursing an injury, and for Fleetwood, Jamie Proctor is suspended after a red card in the FA Cup, and Stephen Dobbie has not scored in 5 games.

MK Dons v Port Vale

‘Inconsistent’ may be a slightly overused cliché in the modern game, but it can be fittingly used to describe MK Dons, who have only had back-to-back league wins once since March. Every time they blow a team away with their attacking quality, they always seem to disappoint in their next match, which is a problem that Karl Robinson will need to address. On the other hand, Port Vale have won their last 3 games, which continues the good form they have been in since September, when manager Robert Page took over from Micky Adams. In fact, if the season started at that point, the Valiants would be in the automatic promotion places. MK Dons are odds on favourites, given the momentum Port Vale have picked up of late, this blog believes they will come away with a point.