There’s another bundle of games in the EFL this week and instead of spending a good 20 minutes looking at all the fixtures and deciding who’ll be who, we feel the best bet is to carry on reading this blog as we’ve studied the form, the head to head records, everything and have managed to narrow it down to five certainties, that will probably, maybe happen this weekend in the Football League…
Poor old Sunderland. For years they’ve been absolutely crap and just when their fans may have hoped relegation could assist in them actually winning more than two games a season, the campaign goes pear shaped in typical Sunderland fashioned. The Black Cats sit in the bottom three at the moment and with no way out of it unless they win and win big, the possibility of a second successive relegation is a realistic fear. They travel to an energetic, young Brentford side this weekend in the Championship who are unbeaten in their last five which has helped them climb clear of the relegation zone and into lower mid-table. The last meeting was in 2006 in the FA Cup and Brentford are unbeaten in their last three against the Black Cats.
Great on the eye and flying high in their first campaign back in the Championship, Sheffield United have had a terrific start to life in the second tier and know a win could potentially put them top of the table on Saturday evening, depending on results for Cardiff City and Wolves. Reading ended their poor run of form with a win at Leeds United last weekend and upon heading back to Yorkshire this weekend, Jaap Stam won’t need reminding what a tough place Bramall Lane is to go to, with the Blades losing only one of the last six against the Royals and losing just one league game at home this season – winning the other five. Backed by over 20,000 supporters in the Steel City, we’re sticking the Blades down on our acca this weekend.
Decent on the road but dreadful at home, it’s been consistently inconsistent for fans of Crawley this season under Harry Kewell, with their latest home loss to bottom of the table Chesterfield in midweek, prompting many of the home fans to call for Kewell’s head. The Australian boss will still be in charge for the visit of table topping Luton this weekend, however, and despite the fact the Hatters have scored 11 goals in two games in a week, Crawley have a pretty good record against the Bedfordshire based side, winning their last two home clashes against them. James Collins will return to his former club this weekend hoping to add another goal or two to his tally and will likely partner Danny Hylton in attack. Crawley struggle to score and Luton have no issues in finding the net so expect another heavy home defeat in this one.
Exeter will be hoping to bounce back from their midweek defeat to Luton as they take on a revitalised Port Vale side who have won their last two games and head to Devon in confident mood under new boss Neil Aspin. The hosts have won four of their last five against Vale, dating back to 2008, and with the lure of a return back to the summit for the Grecians, they’ll have hopes of getting the job done against their Stoke based opponents. Another win could take Aspin’s side further clear of any relegation battle but Exeter is a tough place to go – scoring plenty but also conceding a fair few, too. Expect a BTTS in this one but Exeter will triumph in our view.
Stevenage came back from the dead to get a home win against Accrington in midweek and they’ll have a chance to make it two home wins in a week when relegation threatened Forest Green travel to Hertfordshire. A win will keep Stevenage in the play-offs, but the three points for FGR will take them out of the bottom two is Port Vale lose, so there’s a lot to play for at Broadhall Way. These two had plenty of battles during their time in non-league football but this will be the first clash for both in the EFL. The last clash came in 2010 when Stevenage ran out 2-0 winners, with the last Forest Green victory coming just over ten years ago. We fancy Stevenage to continue their good form for this one and it really wouldn’t surprise us if this is a BTTS.
Pretty dismal at home, Swindon play host to free scoring Wycombe Wanderers, who continue to find the net on a regular basis despite playing three strikers in the form of Adebayo Akinfenwa, Nathan Tyson and Craig Mackail-Smith, who have a combined age of 238. Okay, we may have gone slightly overboard on that figure but the trio are a big reason as to why the Chairboys find themselves on the cusp of the automatic promotion places. A win will take them into the top three depending on Notts County and Exeter dropping points. Swindon have been lacklustre this term, scoring plenty of goals but also conceding far too many for a team who has hopes of an instant return to League One. Swindon have had the upper hand in recent times and haven’t lost to Wycombe in the last five meetings, but having lost six of their eight home games this season, it’s easy to see why we’re plumping for Gareth Ainsworth’s Wanderers for this one.
A £10 stake on our six selections (Brentford, Sheffield United, Luton, Exeter, Stevenage and Wycombe) returns £550.21*
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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