EFL WEEKEND: We are two weeks into the EFL action and below, we preview one game from each of the three divisions alongside some of our recommended BETDAQ bets.
Cardiff City vs Leicester City – Saturday 15.00
This week’s battle of the cities sees Leicester welcome Cardiff to the King Power Stadium in search of a perfect three from three for this year’s Championship campaign. The hosts come into Saturday’s fixture on the back of a grueling 1-0 victory away from home against Huddersfield where both sides created plenty of chances without conversion. Harry Winks and Stephy Mavididi have been key to the Foxes’ brilliant start to the season and with their experience of football in the top tiers of European football, they are going to be a formidable force this year.
As for the visitors, they have just one point to their name in the league standings, however, they will have a point to prove having played good football without fruition. The Bluebirds held recently relegated Leeds United to a two-all draw on the opening weekend having gone two goals up before the half-time whistle, only for Leeds to equalize the contest in the dying embers of the match. Following that, Cardiff showed a good level of domination against QPR during their 2-1 win on the road.
Despite being at varying ends of the table, Leicester City and Cardiff City are closer together than some people may expect, so a chance could be taken on the match finishing a draw at 4.5 on the BETDAQ market.
Bolton Wanderers vs Wigan Athletic – Saturday 12:30
The early kick-off in this week’s League One is a tasty match between top and bottom of the table as table toppers Bolton Wanderers will see Wigan Athletic make the eight-mile journey to the Toughsheet Community Stadium. Although the Latics are rooted to the bottom of the table thanks to a nine-point deduction they received ahead of their campaign starting, they have been in great form thanks to two wins, one draw, and five goals scored. Their prolific nature in front of goal has been thanks to a duo of Charlies, as Charlie Wyke scored a brace against Derby County two weeks ago before his third goal of the season last time out, whereas Charlie Hughes, alongside Callum McManaman, scored in their 2-1 win over Northampton Town last weekend. Continuation of this form will be difficult this weekend, but if any team can do it, Wigan can.
As for the league leaders Bolton, they have scored four more goals than their opponents with only one hitting their own net in a 3-1 victory over Fleetwood Town on Tuesday evening. Although they are a perfect three from three so far, the red card of Dion Charles will be a tough one to take within the camp having found the scoresheet twice against Cheltenham Town last Saturday. That being said, his absence will be sweetened by the knowledge that strike partner Victor Adeboyejo bagged a first-half hat-trick earlier this week.
Although Wigan will be Bolton’s toughest test so far this season, the preference is with the Trotters to see out the match at 1.85.
Mansfield Town vs Grimsby Town – Saturday 15:00
Finally, in League Two, fifth-placed Mansfield Town will take on ninth-placed Grimsby Town with just one point separating the two teams. Unlike their opponents, Mansfield are unbeaten with two draws and one win, however, the Stags will be frustrated with the lack of maximum points. With 19 shots, seven shots on target, and 68% of the possession, Mansfield outperformed hosts Doncaster throughout the 90 minutes on their last outing, yet they relied on two equalisers from Louis Reed and George Maris to keep them in the game. A more solidified defence this weekend will greatly benefit Mansfield and if so, they could be hard to stop.
On the other side of the fixture is Grimsby Town who are unbeaten at Blundell Park in the domestic season with their one loss occurring away from home at Notts County. The Mariners have scored four goals in their last two games thanks to three separate players, so there is no lack of scoring power in the outfield to take advantage of any gaps in the backline. However, both of these sides have already faced each other this month in the EFL Cup, a fixture that saw Mansfield come out on top in a convincing 2-0 success. That margin could be difficult to overcome, but they’ll be hoping the home advantage swings the match in their favour.
In what is set to be a competitive match, Mansfield looks to be the play to continue their good run of form at 2.31.