ENGLAND: FA Cup
Time: 8:45 PM
Venue: Victoria Road (London)
Salford City square off against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Cup first round on Monday night looking for improvements after a poor start in League Two. Meanwhile, high-scoring Dagenham have recently dropped down to ninth position in the National League after failing to build on an excellent opening to the fifth tier.. Having narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season, everyone associated with Salford were expecting to make a sustained push for promotion this time around.
However, the North-West outfit have struggled this campaign, winning only four of their 15 league matches to sit just four points above the relegation zone. On a positive note, there are only seven points separating Salford and the playoffs, but that will not be a realistic aim until Gary Bowyer’s men can record successive wins for the first time this season.
Their most recent two fixtures have ended in defeat, Salford taking an early lead before losing at leaders Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City netting a last-gasp winner to win 2-1 last weekend. Three clean sheets have been kept in six league outings, although that currently matters little with none of this squad scoring more than three league goals. There was a time earlier this season when Dagenham were outclassing the opposition with six wins being recorded from their opening eight fifth-tier contests.
However, four defeats have been posted from their last seven in all competitions, while they let slip a two-goal lead at home to Chesterfield last time out. Even though the Daggers remain just two points outside of the top seven, Daryl McMahon cannot be happy with their current trajectory heading into an encounter of this magnitude.
Nevertheless, Salford will have more concerns about their hosts than vice-versa, and that could create the ideal scenario for Dagenham to cause one of the upsets of the round.
- Dag & Red’s form in last 5 matches: DLWWL.
- Salford’s form in last 5 matches: WLLDW.
PREDICTION: Home/Draw and Over 1.5