EFL TIPS: With the new EFL season under way, the tables are starting to shape up as clubs battle for early dominance. We’ve taken a look at the best bets from the key fixtures across the Championship, League One and League Two this weekend.
Preston v Watford: Saturday, 15:00 BST
We’re four fixtures deep into the Championship season and Watford will be pleased with how their season is shaping up so far on their path back into the Premier League, with two wins and two draws. They’ll head up to Deepdale for their fifth outing full of confidence since they’re undefeated this term, while they also picked up a 1-0 win on their last visit there in 2021.
Preston will also be relatively pleased with how their season has kicked off, currently sitting seventh, that is despite only having one win (and one goal) to their name thus far. They haven’t managed to finish in the top six in the Championship over the past decade so staying up in the top half of the table will be important here for Ryan Lowe’s men. With that in mind it looks as though Watford should still take the win here, and they’re our selection to back at 2.9.
West Brom v Hull City: Saturday, 15:00 BST
Hull City have started off with a bang, winning two and drawing two to leave them second in the table, though having finished 19th last season, it’s obviously still early days for the Tigers. Oscar Estupinan will be a key player to watch during Saturday’s game, having netted two for his side this season during their clash with Norwich City.
West Brom, on the other hand, have had a nightmare start to the season, with one loss and three draws. They will have the roar of the crowd behind them at The Hawthorns, but it may not be enough to better The Tigers despite what may look like an advantage for them on paper. Steve Bruce will be feeling the pressure and is no doubt anxiously anticipating this weekend, as another loss here could make for a long period ahead for the club in climbing back up the table. Given both teams’ current form, backing Hull City at 7.0 seems the value bet from this match-up.
Shrewsbury v Ipswich Town: Saturday, 15:00 BST
It’s still only August but Ipswich Town may just be dreaming of title glory following their impressive start to the season, which has seen them win three and draw one to leave them top of League One. They will be looking to make that four wins this weekend in what could arguably be Ipswich’s most exciting campaign in years.
Shrewsbury’s start, meanwhile, has been more of a mixed bag, having won one, lost one and drawn two, though as some people’s tip for relegation they’ll perhaps be content with that record. They currently sit 16th in the Legue One table. Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill will lead his side out to a home crowd at New Meadow this weekend, which may give them the boost they need against superior opponents, particularly given last season’s result here was a 1-1 draw. That said, the best bet seems to be backing Ipswich Town at 2.06 given their early season form.
Colchester v Leyton Orient: Saturday, 15:00 BST
Leyton Orient enjoyed three straight League Two wins to kick off their season, showing some early dominance before drawing earlier this week to Swindon Town. That will have been a frustrating 1-1 draw since Orient had three times the number of shots on target than their opponents and dominated possession. Nevertheless, the O’s are off to a cracking start and sit in second place in the table.
Colchester, on the other hand, have endured more of a stuttering start to the season with one win from four league games, leaving them 15th in the table. That sole win against Bradford City came earlier this week and may just give them the confidence boost they need heading into this one in front of their home crowd. Saying that, Orient’s quality should shine through and backing a 2-1 win for the visitors at 4.6 could prove fruitful.