The Near Post’s EFL Weekend Preview (27th & 28th August 2022)

The Near Post’s EFL Weekend Preview (27th & 28th August 2022)

In the Championship, last season’s defeated play-off semi-finalists, Luton Town and Sheffield United, meet at Kenilworth Road on Friday night. On Saturday, Norwich City will be looking to make it three league wins in a row when they travel to 5th-place Sunderland and Coventry City will play their first game since 13th August when they take on Hull City at the MKM Stadium.

Here are our six picks from six games in the Championship:

TNP says: Middlesbrough have had a difficult start to the season. They’re yet to win in league or cup, but their underlying numbers are good. They’ve got the highest open play xG in the Championship (6.89) and, with Swansea coming to town, we can see their luck changing. Elsewhere, Sky Bet have Hull as outsiders to beat Coventry; a stance that we don’t agree with. Despite their defeat to West Brom, Hull have enjoyed a positive start to the season and they’ve won both of their home games to date. Coventry, on the other hand, haven’t played since their defeat to Millwall two weeks ago and they will be missing the influential Gustavo Hamer through suspension.

Chieo Ogbene has enjoyed an excellent start to the season. The Ireland International has flourished in a more advanced role; scoring three times in the league and once in the cup. With Birmingham next on Rotherham’s agenda, Ogbene could well add to his tally on Saturday. Bristol City youngster Tommy Conway has scored in his last two Championship outings and we’re backing him to make it three in a row against Blackpool. According to Sky Bet, there are five players who more likely to score than Conway, which we simply don’t agree with!

In terms of our goals bets, we’re predicting Cardiff v Preston to go under 2.5 goals. Only one of Cardiff’s games in the second tier this season has gone over 2.5 goals and Preston’s five league games have seen just the one goal scored! We’re also tipping Sunderland v Norwich to go over 2.5 goals. Sheffield United are the only side to score more goals than Sunderland in the Championship this season and, with the likes of Josh Sargent and Danel Sinani beginning to click, Norwich should have a substantial goal threat as well.

Moving into League One, leaders Ipswich Town host Barnsley, Peterborough United face a trip to Derby County and Portsmouth will be looking to make it four league wins in a row when they take on Port Vale.

Here are our six picks from six games in League One:

TNP says: Portsmouth have won their last three league games and we believe they’ll make it four in a row against Port Vale. We also fancy Cheltenham to get their second win of the season when they take on Oxford. Karl Robinson’s U’s have had a difficult start to the season and they’re missing a number of key players; something which the bookies don’t seem to have taken into account.

Aaron Collins is loving life in League One. The Bristol Rovers forward already has four league goals to his name and we fancy him to get another one against Shrewsbury on Saturday. Exeter City have also enjoyed their return to the third tier and we’re backing Tim Dieng to get on the scoresheet when the Grecians travel to Accrington.

MK Dons’ trip to Morecambe on Saturday looks set to be a cagey affair. Both teams have struggled for goals so far this season (five league goals between them) and Morecambe will be more than happy to sit in and let Liam Manning’s Dons dominate possession. On the other hand, Wycombe’s game with Charlton could well be good for a goal or three. All of Wycombe’s games this season have gone over 2.5 goals and Charlton have also shown that they are more capable of hitting the back of the net.

In League Two, leaders Leyton Orient face Hartlepool United, Stevenage travel to Salford and Rochdale will be looking for their first point of the season against Carabao Cup giant-killers, Crawley Town.

Here are our six picks from six of this weekend’s games in League Two:

TNP says: We fancy leaders Leyton Orient to maintain their 100% home record when Hartlepool come to town on Saturday. We’re also backing Crawley to build on their cup success with a win against hapless Rochdale.

No player in the top four tiers of English football has scored more goals in 22/23 than Sam Hoskins. The former Southampton man his scored seven goals in five games and Doncaster will have their work cut out to keep him quiet. Elsewhere, we’re backing Stevenage’s imperious centre back Carl Piergianni to come back and haunt his former club, Salford City, on his return to the Peninsula Stadium.

Finally, we can see Carlisle’s game with Gillingham going under 2.5 goals. Gills have only scored once in League Two this season and, despite creating plenty of chances, Carlisle have also been far from prolific. On the other hand, we fancy AFC Wimbledon v Barrow to go over 2.5 goals. Wimbledon have scored twice in four of their five League Two games and Barrow have gone over 2.5 goals four times already this season.

If you are placing a bet this weekend, please be gamble aware. Do not bet more than you can afford to lose and do not chase your losses. For more information, please head to the Be Gamble Aware website.

(Photo Creds – Alex Taylor)