Back for another week of EFL action, whilst the table still isn't a true reflection of how things will pan out, clubs at the bottom won't want to start getting cut adrift just two or three games in. In this week's hotpicks, all three teams yet to score in League One are involved, whilst there's also selections from both the Championship and League Two...
It’s not been a great start to life back in the Championship for last season’s League One play-off winners Millwall who have yet to win a game from their opening three matches in the second tier under boss Neil Harris. The Lions are currently sat in the bottom three and have been leaking goals, including conceding four goals at home to Ipswich Town in midweek, too. Goals haven’t been hard to come by for Saturday’s hosts Bristol City, however, with the Robins already having six strikes to their name. Millwall haven’t won in their last two trips to Ashton Gate, with their last victory on that patch coming seven years ago.
It’s been a summer of change at Northampton, and although we tipped them as dark horses in League One ahead of this season, we fancy Charlton to nick this one at The Valley at the weekend. The Cobblers have won just once in the last eight meetings, dating back as far as 1965! Charlton only conceded 19 times at The Valley in the division last term and, if they are to have a stronger campaign in Karl Robinson’s first full term in charge, they’ll need a similar mean defence. Following their opening day win, Charlton are yet to concede a goal on their own patch so far this season, whilst Northampton have yet to score a league goal from their first two games.
Bearing in mind neither team has scored yet in the league this term – being two of the three teams without finding the net in League One so far – this could well be classed as a dreaded six-pointer. Gillingham are likely to be fighting relegation under Aidy Pennock, whilst under Robbie Neilson, MK Dons’ chairman Pete Winkleman will be aiming for a play-off finish. Since MK Dons were founded in 2004 there has only been one draw in the 11 meetings. However, they have won the last two clashes against the Gills at Stadium MK, in games where both teams have scored – so that could well be a useful side bet for some of you out there!
A Brett Pitman brace sealed the points for Portsmouth on the opening day at Fratton Park and, following their 0-3 reverse at Oxford United last week, Kenny Jackett will be aiming to get his troops back on track on the south coast when Walsall come to town. The sides last met in 2013 in this same division with the Saddlers beating Pompey on both occasions in the league that season. However, that victory at ‘Fortress Fratton’ was their only one in the last eight trips there and we expect Pompey to get past them this time around, backed by over 18,000 supporters.
Two games, two wins for Coventry, who have reached the same wins tally as they did by the end of September last season. In fact, they are the only team in the fourth tier with a 100% record so far and will tackle a Newport side this weekend who have drawn both of their two games so far. This will actually be the first meeting between Cov and the reformed Newport County, but with the Sky Blues yet to concede a goal in the league this season, we fancy them to continue the momentum, especially when you look at their squad, which includes proven goalscorer Marc McNulty and experienced midfielder Michael Doyle, who skipper Portsmouth to the title last season.
Putting a £10 stake on our selections (Bristol City, Charlton, MK Dons, Portsmouth and Coventry) returns £188.46*
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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