Opposition view: Stevenage (H)

Before we look at the game, could you give us a memory from previous games against the Gas?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

It’s not like we’ve had many! As we refuse to believe the 2019-20 season ever happened, we can only go with our 2-1 win at your gaff in November 2015. It was Teddy Sheringham’s first away league win as Boro’ boss and it’d taken long enough in coming around…

BoroGuide

The last memory I have was travelling down to see Boro play at your place in the EFL Trophy nearly 2 years ago! We were having quite possibly the worst season as a club, although went reasonably far in the Trophy. We won at your place on a cold Tuesday night 1-0. Great journey back after.

How has your season been going so far?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

Well, can’t complain at all – three points on matchday one and a Carabao Cup win against near neighbours Luton Town. The only gripe anyone could have is that we had to do it on penalties against the Hatters in the end.

BoroGuide

We’ve had a SUPERB start! Coming into this season with players we had recruited I think all of us Boro fans would agree that we’ve got something special this season, demonstrated in our opening two games.

We won our opening League Two game 1-0 against barrow and to be quite honest we could’ve scored 3 or 4. Looked comfortable the whole game and dominated. As I’m typing this I’m trying recover from Tuesday nights events where we witnessed one of the best nights at Boro for a long long time. Drawing 2-2 with Luton, then beating them on penalties to go through in The League Cup. The performance was outstanding, the togetherness and belief in our squad is ever growing. As said in the above, we’ve got a special team.

And what would you say your ambitions are for the rest of the campaign?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

The main aim is to build on the second half of last season and get ourselves into a nice, comfortable mid-table position. The dream will be to keep our mathematical hopes of a playoff place alive until the final weekend.

BoroGuide

Every season as Boro fans we always say to at least stay up in the League. Being a smaller club and where we’ve come from, that always seems a reasonable target. However, the foundations were built last season to be successful and the players we have recruited are all used to be up the top of the league.

Along with this, the management team have put a plan together and a style of play that the players can relate to. With this project improving week on week, we all certainly believe this season is a season where we will be successful. I think top 7 this season is a very achievable target for us!

How is your form coming into the game?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

Not one for reading too much into pre-season results here, so we only have to games to go off. Again, how much do you want to read into that at such an early stage of the season. No matter which way this result goes, it won’t necessarily define either of our campaigns.

BoroGuide

As mentioned in the above, we’re unbeaten in our opening two matches of the campaign. As a whole we hardly lost in pre season either, so we’re coming into Saturday in superb form.

How do you think you’ll setup for our game?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

It looks like we’re going to be wedded to a 4-2-2-2 formation for the season, which will restrict our width (apart from the full backs). It’s early days too, so the gaffer might be learning and tweaking as we go for the first few weeks.

BoroGuide

We’ll be playing 4-2-2-2. The management team have implemented a new style of formation where we play two number 10’s behind our strikers. We’ll play attractive football, where the ball is on the floor, but will occasionally look for a ball over the top with Elliot List using his pace to get on the end of it. The two ball players will be just in front of the back 4 and will look to get through the lines once received off the back 4.

Any weak links in your side?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

Not having any natural wingers in the side could be a problem if other sides line up with a conventional 4-4-2 formation or similar. It could leave our full backs exposed if the guys in the middle aren’t able to cover the ground.

BoroGuide

The only weak link we’ve had as a team in recent times would be our goal scoring. In the past we’ve struggled to turn draws into wins, however, this season seems very different as we’ve scored 3 goals in the opening 2 games and we’ve signed some good goal-scorers prior to the season.

Who are your standout players?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

Elliott List came on strong last season and has the pace to terrify any defence. Jake Taylor’s a wise hand in the middle of the park. And Charlie Carter could well be a vital creative force for us as the season goes on.

BoroGuide

We have a few that are standouts in our side. Jake Taylor has made a big start with us. Previously known for being Exeter City’s captain, Jake has been absolutely terrific in the middle for us, his ability on the ball has been excellent. Elliot List up top is a serious talent. The fastest player in League Two, Elliot can get clean through at anytime in the game, all it takes is one decent ball through or over the top and it’s a goal! Lastly, Terrance Vancooten has been on form for about 6-7 months. Playing at the back, Terrance is probably playing the best football in his career and certainly is at the heart of one of the best defences in the league!

Game prediction

The Stevenage FC Podcast

1-1. Still not 100% sure that we’ve cracked the scoring issue. But we’re good for one, at least. And we have a 100% unbeaten record against the Gas. Two wins from two at the Memorial too. Don’t worry – can’t see us making that a hattrick.

BoroGuide

Any game away in League Two is always tough, especially at the start of the season. I really do believe in our team at the moment, we’ve worked long and hard to have the team that we have now and ultimately I think this is the season where will get promoted as a club. I’m going for a 2-0 Boro win on Saturday, Elliot List with both goals.

Where do you think you’ll be come the end of the season?

The Stevenage FC Podcast

10th-12th. It’s progress and we’ll take it.

BoroGuide

I think we’ll finish 5th place. We’ll contend for the automatics and then I think we’ll comfortably finish in The Play Offs!