Swindon Town were tipped in the summer to be there or thereabouts come the end of the 2019/20 season in League Two. However, it’s easy for fans and pundits to predict a solid season, but it’s another thing actually backing up those claims on the pitch.
The Robins have made a steady start to this season’s league campaign, with their odds of promotion falling progressively since August. In fact, they’re now around third or fourth favourites to win the league. If you fancy a punt, find the best odds and back them. There are many good resources online, just as there are UK online casinos tested and reviewed by industry experts. And sometimes, they might overlap, if the site in question has a sportsbook and casino. Have a read of some reviews and make your own mind up. Some sites are better than others, that's for sure.
How have Swindon coped against the so-called bigger sides in the division so far? What lies ahead for Richie Wellen’s men? Let’s dig a little deeper to answer these questions.
13 Games Down, 33 To Go
At the time of writing, Swindon had most recently let a 1-0 lead slip to draw at home to Plymouth Argyle. It did end a run of two defeats in a row and three defeats in their last four, so the draw can be seen as a positive in that regard.
The season started well with an away win at Scunthorpe and a home win against Carlisle. They’ve also played and drawn against two of the sides currently above them in Exeter and Cheltenham, but it’s the recent defeats that are concerning for some. A month ago it was just one league defeat since the start of the season, but losses at home to Colchester and Newport as well as a 2-1 loss at Valley Parade against Bradford have seen Swindon slip to seventh.
Seventh is by no means disappointing. There’s a long way to go but it’s been a good start to the season when you look back on the first 13 games. It could have been better looking at their recent form, granted, but they’re in a good position. Their next game against league leaders Crewe will probably tell you where they are in terms of quality and having the ability to fight with the title challengers for the rest of the season. A win or a draw would be fantastic.
What’s the Christmas Period Looking Like?
As every football fan knows, the Christmas period in England is a congested one. Six games in three weeks will shape Swindon’s season and they’re all winnable. Here’s their Xmas schedule:
- 14 Dec – Oldham (H)
- 21 Dec – Forest Green (A)
- 26 Dec – Cambridge Utd (H)
- 29 Dec – Port Vale (A)
- 01 Jan – Plymouth (A)
- 04 Jan – Bradford (H)
Oldham are fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table, so the Robins will expect three points there. The two fixtures that stand out over the Christmas period are Forest Green away and Bradford at home. Two sides who are fighting for promotion alongside Swindon. Two wins from two would set Swindon up nicely for the remaining few months of the season.
Do Swindon Have Enough Strength in Depth?
It’s always a tough question to answer. Most League Two squads have enough strength in depth, but that strength may come from youngsters within the squad. Sometimes an injury allows a youngster to come into the side and shine.
One player Swindon probably don’t want to lose is Jerry Yates. The 22 year old is already proving to be a key player for Richie Wellen’s side. He’s already bagged six league goals this season on loan from Rotherham, and if he can stay fit then they’ll be hopeful that he can get close to the 20 goal mark. He’s on loan for the season, but if he continues his rich vein of form, don’t be surprised if Rotherham look to recall him. That would really dent Swindon’s promotion chances, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
Even at this stage of the season, it’s so difficult to predict how the league table is going to pan out, but if the Robins can continue to take points off of the teams in and around them, they should at least secure a playoff place. They were relegated from League One at the end of the 2016-17 season, and it’d be great to see them back there after a three-year absence.