Gills v Fleetwood: Preview & Predictions 

Saturday 8th August, just before 5pm.

The MEMS Priestfield is jumping in glorious sunshine having just seen the Gills beat Sheffield United to the tune of 4-0.

The Kent side have gone top of an embryonic League 1 table after a scintillating 90 minutes.

Has everyone expected too much after our opening day thumping of the Blades?

Cue expectations for the next nine or so months going through the roof, something that Justin Edinburgh was keen to keep a lid on.

Yes it was a fantastic performance – he wasn’t disputing that – but it was just one game into a 46 match campaign.

Even in the midst of masterminding the Gills’ seven game unbeaten start he was keen to stress that at some point his young side would encounter a bad patch, games where situations and results wouldn’t go there way.

Edinburgh will hope to see his side bounce back after two defeats on the spin.

More pressingly he spoke about how they respond to such a period would go a long way in determining what they can achieve this season.

Let’s be honest, the performance levels – perhaps Wigan aside – haven’t really come anywhere near to the demolition of the Blades on the opening day, but that is understandable.

Beating the league favourites 4-0 doesn’t happen everyday, especially not at Gillingham Football Club.

Back to back away defeats in the last two games will though go some way to see how Edinburgh’s charges react to the difficult periods he spoke about.

The visit of struggling Fleetwood – ironically the last away side to leave with three points back in April – to Kent on Tuesday night will represent a good chance to right the recent wrongs.

And let’s be honest here, as much as the opening day performance didn’t win us the title, the last two games don’t mean we are in a crisis.

We still sit third after nine games with 17 points from a possible 27, so hardly a disaster despite the two reversals.

If we can get back to doing what we were doing so well earlier in the season, and take maximum points from what are two winnable home fixtures versus Fleetwood and then Oldham we will remain right in contention at the top of the table.

Gills Team News

Justin Edinburgh has already talked about potential changes after two disappointing defeats, and he will have pretty much everyone available for selection.

It will also be a chance to see how he himself reacts after suffering consecutive losses for the first time since arriving at the club.

Could Glash return to offer pace and width to a Gills side that drew a first blank of the campaign last time out?

Deji Oshilaja will be the only absentee, but Edinburgh is hopeful he will be back in contention for the weekend visit of Oldham.

Could we see the likes of Bradley Garmston, Aaron Morris, Jermaine McGlashan or Rory Donnelly restored to the starting eleven?

And could we also see a change in system to perhaps offer us some extra width?

As we have already said, performance levels have dipped slightly recently, and goals have also dried up after the early season rush, but we are by no means playing poorly.

Yes last Saturday at Barnsley was probably the most frustrating so far, but we still had periods in the game where we threatened.

It’s just about cutting out the annoying little errors that weren’t happening earlier on in the season.

Up against a visiting side who have lost all but one of their four away fixtures so far – drawing a blank in two of them – the boys in blue have a good opportunity to get over what is currently just a little blip.

It is worth remembering that we have won our last seven games at a home – with an aggregate of 14-2 – which is fast becoming the tough place to visit that Edinburgh craves.

Gillingham 3 Fleetwood 1

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