The Near Post’s EFL Weekend Preview (24th & 25th September 2022)

The Near Post’s EFL Weekend Preview (24th & 25th September 2022)

“Happy International Break!” said no one, ever.

There are no games in the Championship this weekend; however, there are eight games in League One and a full slate of 12 games in League Two.

In League One, leaders Ipswich Town travel to 3rd-place Plymouth Argyle, Sheffield Wednesday host Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United, who have lost their last four league games, take on Port Vale.

Here are our six picks from six of the eight games in League One:

TNP says: Grant McCann’s Peterborough have been on a dreadful run, but we sense that the tide may just be turning. Posh beat Spurs U21s 3-0 in the Papa Johns’ Trophy and their game at home to Port Vale represents an excellent opportunity for them to register their first league win since 20th August. After travelling to Hillsborough last weekend, Ipswich face another difficult away game – arguably the most difficult in League One. Plymouth have been exceptional at home this season. They’ve won their first four home league games and they’re yet to concede on their own patch. We’re big fans of Kieran McKenna’s Ipswich, but we also really like the look of Steven Schumacher’s Argyle and we think the odds on another home win are a little too long.

We struggled to pick potential goalscorers in League One this weekend, but we’re backing Josh Windass to score against Wycombe and Paul Digby to score against Morecambe. Windass has enjoyed an excellent start to the season and we’re still concerned about Morecambe’s defending of set pieces.

The Saturday lunchtime game between Forest Green and Exeter has the makings of a cagey, low-scoring affair with both sides short on goals of late and desperate for three points. On the other hand, Bristol Rovers’ game against Accrington Stanley has the potential to be a bit of a goalfest. Rovers’ last game was a nine-goal thriller and their nine league games so far have produced 32 goals, while John Coleman’s shot-monsters will be eager to start turning their attempts into goals.

In League Two, there’s a top of the table clash as leaders Leyton Orient, who will be looking to make it nine wins from ten league games, travel to 2nd-place Barrow. Elsewhere, Northampton Town take on Stockport County and Stevenage host Harrogate Town.

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

TNP says: Stevenage will be eager to bounce back from their 3-0 defeat at Bradford last weekend and their home fixture against Harrogate provides an excellent opportunity for Steve Evans’ side to do just that. Stevenage have a 100% home record in the league this season and, despite ending their losing streak last weekend, Harrogate are winless in their last five games in the fourth tier. Elsewhere, we’re tipping up Keith Curle’s Hartlepool to beat Gillingham. Pools haven’t won any of their nine league games – a run which cost Paul Hartley his job – but a new man in the dugout could bring about a change in fortunes. It’s also worth noting that Gillingham haven’t won a league game since the start of August and they haven’t won a league game away from Priestfield since 26th March.

Andy Cook is averaging a goal every 67 minutes in League Two this season, so we’re more than happy to back him to score against an AFC Wimbledon side who have really struggled of late. No team in League Two has a higher xG from set plays than Sutton. The south Londoners face a tricky tie against Salford but the Ammies haven’t always looked comfortable when defending set pieces, so the likes of Joe Kizzi and Louis John could be a decent shout to get on the scoresheet.

Doncaster’s game against Crawley is a good bet to go under 2.5 goals. Donny have lost their last three league games; scoring just one goal in the process, but they’ll fancy themselves to keep out a shot-shy Crawley who sit rock-bottom of League Two’s shots per game stats. Finally, we fancy Stockport’s trip to Northampton to go over 2.5 goals. Cobblers are the only team in the division to average over two goals per game and Stockport have gone over 2.5 goals in all four of their league games away from Edgeley Park (three 2-1 defeats and one 3-2 defeat!)

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 – Ben Watts)