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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big Match Preview - Swindon vs. Dagenham

Swindon Town vs. Dagenham & Redbridge
Saturday March 12, 15:00, County Ground

Two teams desperately scrapping for survival in League One meet in a crucial six-pointer this weekend as Dagenham & Redbridge make the trip to face Swindon Town.

Just three points currently separate the two sides with Swindon propping up the rest of the division and the Daggers just outside the bottom four on goal difference alone.

The East Londoners, in their first ever year at this level, have found the step up a struggle, but a recent revival has given them a great chance of beating the drop.

Four wins and two draws from their last eight matches have lifted John Still's men from rock bottom to 20th though.

With Dagenham still holding at least three games in hand over the teams below them, then they have the opportunity to put further distance between themselves and the danger zone.

On the road this term they've recorded four victories - at Yeovil, Carlisle, Hartlepool and secured a 2-0 win in last weekend's crucial fixture against fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers.

However, with nine losses from their 16 away games, Still be aware that just a slight improvement on the road could be the difference between maintaining their place in the third tier and losing it.

Outstanding performers for the Daggers this season include Frenchman Romain Vincelot, their top scorer with ten. Midfielder Danny Green has also chipped in with half a dozen strikes.

New Swindon boss Paul Hart is once again fighting against relegation

Their opponents this weekend have drafted in an experienced football firefighter to aid their own battle against relegation.

After Danny Wilson's resignation, Town have turned to Paul Hart - who successfully kept Crystal Palace in the Championship last term - to help them beat the drop.

It's been a nightmare campaign for the Wiltshire outfit, who have fallen spectacularly after appearing in the League One play off final at Wembley last May.

Hart's first game saw them held to a 0-0 stalemate against relegation rivals Walsall before their midweek loss to another struggler, Plymouth, dumped the Robins to the very bottom.

With a woeful away record, their form at the County Ground looks like it will make or break their survival hopes, so Hart will be desperate to add to their five wins - over Southampton, Huddersfield, Bristol Rovers, Colchester, and Sheffield Wednesday.

After the sale of top scorer Charlie Austin to Burnley, the burden of scoring the goals to keep Town up has fallen on new transfer window signing Elliott Benyon as well as on-loan Leeds striker Mike Grella.

Swindon are badly struggling to find the back of the net though, and they will find themselves in for a tough battle against a typically competitive Dagenham side fighting for their lives.

Much will depend on how the home side react to hitting bottom spot after Tuesday night, and all the prior evidence points to badly. The Daggers revival may well continue.

Nobes' Prediction: Swindon Town 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

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