The EFL is back this Saturday, and we’re expecting plenty of goals across the three divisions. We’ve picked out four matches from the Championship, League One and League Two which should feature three or more goals.
Preston were hopeless on the opening weekend, with the Lilywhites struggling to get out of first gear at the Den. However, Alex Neil’s men were much improved when beating Wigan 3-0 seven days ago, and they stuck another four past League Two Bradford in midweek. After a false start, they seem to be firing on all cylinders with the likes of Sean Maguire, the ageless Paul Gallagher and Tom Barkhuizen all getting on the scoresheet. The Lancashire’s club XG rose from 0.2 to 1.6 in the space of a week, and they should be able find gaps amongst the Swans’ back-line here. The hosts held on for a goalless draw against Derby last weekend, with Steve Cooper’s taking a backs against the wall approach to securing a point at Pride Park. However, they will play in a very different way here, and are likely to get back to their expansive best at the Liberty. They produced a very impressive XG of 2.1 against Hull on the opening weekend, and they are fresh from notching three second half goals against Northampton in the EFL Cup. PNE have a terrible record at this ground, and have conceded 13 goals in their last five visits. We’re expecting a few more to be added to that tally on Saturday.
Rotherham were on the end of a harsh defeat to Lincoln last weekend, and the Millers will be desperate to bounce back on Saturday. The Imps are experts at picking up results, and they did a number of Paul Warne’s side, who were a little profligate in front of goal. They bounced back by battering Shrewsbury in midweek, and their squad has plenty of firepower. The Millers edged past AFC Wimbledon on the opening weekend in a very entertaining 90 minutes of football, and despite last week’s blip, they are likely to continue to create chances. Burton began with a defeat to Ipswich, but turned the tables on Gillingham seven days ago to earn their first victory of the campaign. Nigel Clough’s men are indebted to Nathan Broadhead, who looks like he could be a star in the making. The Brewers also have an excellent focal point in the shape of Liam Boyce, and they should create plenty of chances this season. Another entertaining game is expected between the pair, and this bet would have landed in three of the last four meetings between them.
Manfield have drawn each of their opening three matches, with each of those games ending 2-2. You can’t accuse John Dempster’s side of not providing enough entertainment. They picked up a point against Morecambe seven days ago before recording a carbon copy of that result in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. Part of their problem is that they are still getting used to the rookie manager’s tactics, and he has changed his formation on a couple of occasions already this season. That should be music to the ears of the Carlisle players, who have been quietly impressive so far. After beating Crawley on the opening day of the season, they lost 3-2 to Swindon, and although they were outplayed, they still managed to get on the score-sheet twice. In midweek, they barged their way past Championship Barnsley with some fans claiming that their side could have had five or six. The impressive Nathan Thomas looks happy playing football against whilst the classy Stefan Scougall has been helping his side push forward. Harry McKirdy looks sharp, and they could be one to watch over the next of weeks under Steven Pressley. They have goals in their side, and Mansfield have defensive errors in theirs.
Crewe were beaten easily on their seasonal debut at Gresty Road, although the score-line flattered Plymouth Argyle. The Railwaymen produced an XG of 1.9 in that game, and gave it a real go in the second half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Dave Artell’s men are still a little unreliable at the back, and have yet to keep a clean sheet in three matches, and they could concede to a decent Walsall outfit. The hosts are creating chances, with 35-year Chris Porter still proving prolific at this level. Walsall were victorious on the opening day, although they weren’t quite as good last week at the Bescott. Darrell Clarke is doing and saying all of the right things, and it was his subs which helped salvage something from last week’s match. The numbers behind the Saddlers performances are very impressive, and although they will need to improve their accuracy, they still should play their part in an entertaining contest.
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