The Fleet's coming in
And what better time to play them at Valley Parade. The Fleet seemed to have hit bumpy waters of late and slipping down the table and with such patchy form from a club that we knocked out of the play offs a few months ago, you would expect them to still pose a real dangerous threat especially with ex Bantam striker Devante Cole who will want to get one up on a club and manager that palmed him off to a smaller club. But smaller club or not, we will need to be 100% focused to get anything from a wounded Fleetwood with a striker wanting to shove it to the ones that didn't want him.
Will the Fleet be sunk?
With only 1 loss in the league which is going back a month we have played 7 games since, drawing 2 and winning 5, our form is actually pretty good, I would even say impressive when you see who we have beaten. We haven't conceded in the past 2 matches against teams that can score especially in the case of Rotherham United and McCall will want to build on that. Fleetwood have conceded 8 goals in their past 2 matches and confidence won't be at their best. If we can get an early goal we have an excellent chance to put the game to bed early on.
A Bantam in a Cole mine
Devante Cole we seemed surplus to requirements at Valley Parade and didn't feel he could be part of a successful team. Well, in 2017/18 young Devante, son of legend Andy Cole has scored 6 goals in 10 games this season including a goal in his past 2 matches. Cole is on fire and has to pose a very real threat to our defence which is prone to conceding. Cole has scored in each of his away games thus far this season and is only 2 shy of leading League 1 leading scorer at this stage. If Devante keeps focused, he could easily be a 20 plus striker come May, but realistically I can see him ending around the 15 mark. Of course, 1 man doesn't make a team, Fleetwood finished above us last season in the play offs and will want to achieve the same very minimum.
Head to head and form
It is a little over 5 years ago our 2 teams first met each other since the reformation of the new club 20 years ago. In the 10 games that have occurred City have won 5 and drawn 4 meaning just a sole Fleetwood victory. The last 3 matches at Valley Parade City have been won by a single goal margin including the play off last season As earlier mentioned form is in the favour of the home side, 5 wins in our last 6 with an away draw 3 games ago splitting that form. Fleetwood come off the back of 2 losses conceding 8 goals and have only managed a sole away victory away to Northampton towards the start of the season.
Boz's match verdict: Draw
5 Fun Facts
1. Current players linked to both teams are Devante Cole, Adam Chicksen, Jordy Hiwula-Mayifuila, and Matt Urwin who is currently on loan to Chorley AFC.
2. Fleetwood manager Uwe Rosler has links to both City chairmen and helped put them into contact with a few English clubs before getting involved at Bradford City which he said had no part of. Rosler was highly linked to the City manager's position, attending Phil Parkinson's last game before he departed.
3. Fleetwood Town are now in their 4th season in League 1, their first foray they had 3 leading scorers on 8 goals, 2 of which may be a bit familiar with some fans, Josh Morris and Jamie Proctor.
4. Talking of Jamie Proctor, back in 2016 City traded strikers with Fleetwood, we took in Proctor and Devante Cole went the opposite way. Since that move Proctor has scored 12 times playing for 4 clubs and Cole 16 goals to his name and still with the same club. Not much difference between the 2 hitmen over the past year and half.
5. Every season to date barring last season, City has accrued 4 points from the Fleet, a win and a draw. Last season we got a win and a loss, but the play offs continued the familiar pattern of a win and a draw end of last season. Could we see a win and a draw again this season?