EFL TIPS: The EFL action this weekend poses some tantalising matchups across the leagues. We preview the best of the fixtures with our favourite bets.
QPR v Reading: Friday, 20:00
This Friday, our first game sees us head over to Loftus Road, where fourth ranked QPR will be taking a shot at stealing the third spot in the table from their visitors, Reading. During their last clash in January, QPR thrashed The Royals 4-0, and will look to take home the win this weekend to mark their first consecutive league victories over Reading since 2017.
Michael Beale’s side also look to make it five games without a defeat, and a player who could help contribute to this is Lyndon Dykes, who has scored three goals from three league appearances against Reading.
Reading do have one stat on their side however, QPR’s appalling home game record on a Friday, having lost 10 of their last 14 league games taking place on a Friday. The Royals will have some concerns despite their strong position in the league, since they are the second lowest scoring side in the top 10 and also are one of the only top 10 sides to have a negative goal difference.
Our value bet for this first game, which should be full of excitement, is backing QPR at 1.99.
Norwich City v Preston: Saturday, 15:00
Following a disappointing draw against Reading last weekend, Norwich City will be chasing their eighth league win, having only lost two games so far this season. The Canaries currently rank second in the table, tied for points with first placed Sheffield united, and also boast an impressive goal difference of +8, only five behind Sheffield. Norwich are unbeaten in the league at Carrow Road, a record which many sides will envy.
Preston will be hunting down a record themselves, going unbeaten playing away so far this season, the Lilywhites even more impressively are yet to concede on the road, and if they can make it six away fixtures without conceding then they will be the first Football League team to ever do so.
Despite their solid defence away, Preston currently sit 11th in the table and have only won three times including last weekend’s win against West Brom. It seems unlikely they will better the Canaries, but considering their clean sheet on the road so far there might still be value in laying Preston at 5.6.
Plymouth Argyle v Accrington Stanley: Saturday, 15:00
Plymouth Argyle have taken the top spot in the league after bettering previously undefeated Ipswich Town three games ago, and followed that with two good wins over Wycombe and Sheffield Wednesday. This brings Steven Schumacher’s side to nine victories from 12 games so far, more wins than any other side in the league. Sam Cosgrove’s extra time winner last weekend was crucial in bagging Plymouth those extra points to stay at the top of the league.
There is no doubt we should keep eyes glued to him, with a current goal rate of 1.94 per 90 minutes and also having scored Plymouth’s lone goal in their win over Wycombe the fixture before last.
Accrington Stanley have quite the challenge on their hands visiting this fiery Plymouth side, however, they have won three from three in their latest games landing them ninth place in the league.
They averaged four shots on target from those games, so Plymouth’s Michael Cooper will remain alert in goal. Down at Home Park, our value bet is backing Plymouth to continue their steam rolling of the league, at odds of 1.72.
Doncaster v Leyton Orient: Saturday, 15:00
For our League Two fixture, Doncaster welcome tough opponents in Leyton Orient to the Eco-Power Stadium. Coincidentally, this is another first ranked versus ninth ranked match up. Leyton Orient have had a stellar start to the season, having won nine from 11 played, and despite being one game behind are still comfortably sitting at the top of the table.
They head into this game off the back of their first defeat of the season against Newport County last weekend and will be looking to right the mistakes from that game.
Doncaster on the other hand have had more of a mixed bag of games, winning half of their matches played. They also head into this fixture off the back of a loss, having been defeated away against Hartlepool last weekend. Considering their position in the table, Doncaster have still managed to find the back of the net, currently on 17 scored so far, just two behind their opponents at the top of the league.
With the home crowd behind them, Doncaster will be formidable opponents, but we still make Leyton Orient our value bet, backing them at 1.95.