Date: Wed 24 Aug 2016

Dafabet WPL Match Day 3 Preview

Well the experts told us this was going to be the most exciting Dafabet #WPL season for a long time, and we’re glad to say that so far they have been proven right!

With 25 goals scored in the two matchdays to date, WPL nets have been bulging aplenty in a season that is still very much in it’s infancy, and this weekend promises to add yet more excitement as Welsh football fans have a Gwynedd Derby to look forward to, the league’s two newest teams face off on Saturday, and last season’s Europa League Playoff contenders will meet each other at both ends of the country.

An excellent weekend of Dafabet Welsh Premier League football lays ahead for sure, and you can find our preview to the weekend’s action below:

Bangor City vs Bala Town | Saturday 27th of August (17:15 KO) Live on Sgorio

A third home game in succession for The Citizens also sees Andy Legg’s men welcome their third North Walian opposition of the term so far to The Bangor University Stadium in this weekend’s live game against Bala Town.

Legg, a former Welsh international, has repeatedly voiced his opinion that his new side will be playing catch-up this season regardless of what their eventual position in the standings might be, but already there are plenty of encouraging signs for fans of The Citizens looking ahead to the rest of the season.

Playing 3-4-2-1 in their opening WPL gambit against Cefn Druids, Bangor switched systems within the game, and did the same against GAP Connah’s Quay last weekend, so there is a certain flexibility about this new City side that will be very interesting to keep an eye on as the season develops.

Speaking to FAW.Cymru recently, Legg had this to say of his hopes for Bangor’s progression throughout the first half of this season:

"There’s no pressure on us and we can go out there and just give it our best shot, whatever the result – that doesn’t bother me.

"I just want to show progression every week, make sure we don’t go backwards and if we can better the last performance then I’ll be happy, no matter the result – as long as we show progression I’ll be quite pleased."

Bala’s Colin Caton speaks to FAW.Cymru for their Dafabet WPL weekend preview this week, and you can find that on their website on Saturday, but, having made two away trips to Newtown and Cardiff MET so far, The Lakesiders are yet to concede a goal and have continued to flex the defensive muscle that has made them such a success in recent years.

Having won 3-0 and drawn 1-1 with The Citizens last season, Bala have a history of taking points from this weekend’s opponents and no doubt it will make for a very entertaining game.

Bangor City 16/17 Form: WL
Bala Town 16/17 Form: DW
Dafabet Match Odds: Bangor City 15/8, Draw 12/5, Bala Town 5/4

Carmarthen Town vs Airbus UK Broughton | Saturday 27th of August (14:30 KO)

Handing Cardiff MET a slender 1-0 defeat in their first game of the season, Andy Thomas got his reign as Airbus manager off to the perfect start after the unexpected resignation of Andy Preece as the club’s gaffer less than 48 hours before The Wingmakers’ opening fixture.

Second-half dominance against Aberystwyth Town last weekend wasn’t enough for Thomas’ men to overturn a 1-0 first-half deficit as Airbus lacked a cutting edge in the final third, leading Thomas to look for new recruits that he can bring in to sharpen his side’s scoring touch.

You can listen to Thomas discuss the Aberystwyth defeat and his desire for new signings here!

Carmarthen, on the other hand, showed exceptional solidity against GAP Connah’s Quay in their opening game of the season as the scores finished 0-0 in the first Sgorio broadcast of the new term – which is no mean feat given The Nomads’ emphatic attacking display against Bangor City last weekend – but a 4-2 defeat to Newtown burst that positive bubble somewhat.

Carmarthen will be looking to get a good result in this game between two of last season’s Europa League Playoff contenders to stop a gap opening up between themselves and the top six so early on in the season.

Carmarthen Town 16/17 Form: DL
Airbus UK Broughton 16/17 Form: WL
Dafabet Match Odds: Carmarthen Town 17/10, Draw 12/5, Airbus UK Broughton 11/8

Cefn Druids FC vs Cardiff Metropolitan | Saturday 27th of August (14:30 KO)

As a promoted team, you want to make an instant impact, and it is fair to say that both of these teams have done that in their own way so far this season.

Druids, for example, find themselves occupying the lofty heights of fifth place after two games, accumulating one loss and one win from their opening fixtures against Bangor City and Rhyl away from home.

The loss to The Citizens was a narrow one, and Huw Griffiths’ men suffered with one of their players being hauled off injured at a key point in the first half, before succumbing to two quick goals in the second half that killed the game off, but the Wrexham-based side responded excellently against Rhyl to win 3-0 against Niall McGuinness’ men.

Cardiff MET, although they’re yet to register any points on the board after two 1-0 defeats to Airbus and Bala, have shown impressive fitness thus far, as well as real resolve and fighting spirit. Having played two of last season’s top teams in their opening two games needs to be taken into account, and going into the weekend Druids should pose another interesting test to the team from the capital.

Cefn Druids 16/17 Form: LW
Cardiff Metropolitan 16/17 Form: LL
Dafabet Match Odds: Cefn Druids Evens, Draw 12/5, Cardiff Metropolitan 12/5

gap Connah’s Quay vs Newtown | Sunday 28th of August (15:00 KO)

The other two teams that contested last season’s Europa League Playoff face off against each other at The Deeside Stadium this Sunday and are separated in the standings merely by the formality of goals scored, with Newtown taking the advantage there having scored four goals to GAP’s two – otherwise, with four points and a +2 goal difference, both sides are inseparable thus far.

Had The Nomads been more clinical in their opening two games though, they could have been joint top of the league with TNS at this point, but they’ve squandered some glorious chances in their opening two games, as Andy Morrison alluded to here after the club’s 2-0 victory over Bangor City last weekend.

Newtown came out on top after a six-goal encounter against Carmarthen last week, after starting their season with a draw against Bala Town – a game Colin Caton admitted Newtown probably should have won, given the amount of chances they created – so expect plenty of goalmouth action from these two teams at The Deeside Stadium on Sunday!

gap Connah’s Quay 16/17 Form: DW
Newtown 16/17 Form: DW
Dafabet Match Odds: GAP Connah’s Quay 4/6, Draw 13/5, Newtown 15/4

Llandudno FC vs Aberystwyth Town | Sunday 28th of August (15:00 KO)

Aber will certainly be looking to avenge two high-scoring defeats to Alan Morgan’s men last season as these two sides face each other at Maesdu Park this weekend.

Securing 3-2 and 4-1 victories against the 2013/14 Welsh Cup Finalists were among the more astounding results of Llandudno’s debut Welsh Premier League season last term, but Morgan’s men are yet to find their scoring boots at all this season, securing a goalless draw away to Rhyl in their opening fixture, before suffering a heavy 5-0 defeat to champions TNS last week live on Sgorio.

Aberystwyth have also been beaten by The New Saints this season, suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat at Park Hall in their first game of the season, before grinding out a victory against Airbus last week.

Marc Williams in particular carried most of the scoring load for MBI last season, and he’ll be very eager to start finding the back of the net again soon in order to keep his side in with a chance of repeating last season’s incredible success – the former Welsh under-21 international spoke to Sgorio last week, and you can find out what he had to say here!

Llandudno FC 16/17 Form: DL
Aberystwyth Town 16/17 Form: LW
Dafabet Match Odds: Llandudno FC Evens, Draw 12/5, Aberystwyth Town 12/5

The New Saints vs Rhyl FC | Sunday 28th of August (15:00 KO)

Speaking to FAW.Cymru last week ahead of their clash with Llandudno, Craig Harrison said he was happy with his side’s start to the domestic season but would have preferred them to be top of the tree on their own, instead of sharing the top spot with Bangor City. After his side’s 5-0 destruction of Alan Morgan’s men last Saturday, Harrison got his wish as The New Saints now occupy the top spot outright, and will be looking to tighten their grip on 1st place in this game at Park Hall.

Adrian Cieslewicz will be missing for The New Saints after the horrible injury he sustained to his skull against Llandudno last week – we wish him all the best with his recovery, of course, and hope to see him gracing Welsh Premier League pitches again soon.

Niall McGuinness’ men will have been encouraged by the draw with Llandudno in their opening game, but less so with the 3-0 defeat to Druids – as McGuinness said ahead of that match though, the club will need as much support as possible going forward in order for them to climb the table, and we all know how passionate the Rhyl fans are, so McGuinness should have no problems in that regard.

The New Saints 16/17 Form: WW
Rhyl FC 16/17 Form: DL
Dafabet Match Odds: The New Saints 1/6, Draw 6/1, Rhyl 10/1

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WPL Preview: Bangor City v The New Saints 01/12/12