The Saturday Preview

NOW within the final 10 games of the Sky Bet League One season, the battle for promotion and to avoid relegation intensifies with Argyle in 12th place, but still technically not safe from the dreaded drop.

Statistically, over the last 20 years, a points tally of 49 points will be enough to ensure survival in Sky Bet League One, so four more points are required, going by that logic.

Our opponents today, Fleetwood Town, are currently two places above us in 10th, and on the magic number 49. However, the Trawlerman are without a win this month, starting with a draw at home to Gillingham (1-1) then a disappointing loss to Walsall (2-0) and, most recently, narrowly lost out to Coventry City on March 12.

In terms of goals, Irishman Paddy Madden is top of the Fleetwood charts with 13 and, incidentally, he always seems to find the net against Argyle, scoring four goals in his last four games against us. Ched Evans is another major threat, with 12 goals this season.

With safety all but assured, Joey Barton’s first season in management can surely be considered a success, as Fleetwood only sit seven points short of the play-off places. His side are middle of the pack when it comes to the points they have picked up at their Highbury home this term, 27 points from 18 games. Their away tally is 22 points, so they are only marginally better at home. 

It is clear that this side do possess goals and are among a clutch of teams, including Argyle, who have scored 47 times. It is defensively where the stats would suggest Fleetwood are better off, as they have conceded 16 less than us (41).

Argyle were buoyed by the return of Antoni Sarcevic from suspension for the midweek victory over struggling Shrewsbury Town and he will come up against another of his former employers in the Cod Army, a club that Sarce says he still has a soft spot for.

The midfielder was part of the Trawlermen team that won promotion to League One in 2014 and Sarce’s goal enough to win the play-off final at Wembley.

It is going to be another fascinating day in Sky Bet League One.

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