Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007, Nottingham Forest, top of the table...

2007 begins for Oldham Athletic with the visit of Nottingham Forest. What has been an unexpectedly successful season would enter a new stage with victory, which would propel Latics into the automatic promotion positions for the first time all season, and the first time at such an advanced stage of the season since Iain Dowie's expensively assembled side managed it in around 2002. Three consecutive victories, each achieved with the scoring of three goals, have given Latics sight of automatic promotion spots. Victory over Forest earlier in the season provided the catalyst for the run of form which has seen Latics rise from bottom of the table to very near the top. Can another win begin a spell of the season in the promotion places?

Forecasting the attendance in this match is tough. The previous two home matches are not a very good guide, not least because they were before Christmas, not least because they were before two excellent away victories which surely must fuel belief amongst the people of Oldham that the team can do things this season, not least because the visit is of Nottingham Forest, by some distance the biggest team in the division, and not least because it's New Years Day.

My model gives a prediction not a million miles out from what I'd expect: 8,401. Enough people (like me!) should be still around the North West who haven't yet gone home, to help the gate display holiday season effects, as well as the visit of a huge and successful team, on the back of a monster run of form that could result in Oldham topping the league table by 5pm.

Come on Oldham!


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