EFL WEEKEND: The EFL returns to action this weekend after some midweek Carabao Cup action. We’ve got three games to bring you below, alongside some of our recommended BETDAQ bets.
Sunderland v Southampton – Saturday 12:30
After losing their opening two Championship games either side of being eliminated from the EFL Cup, Sunderland are showing signs of improvement by following up a 2-1 win over Rotherham with a hard-fought 0-0 draw away to last season’s play-off finalists, Coventry. A return to the Stadium of Light might help the Black Cats get their attack going again, having scored in each of their last 19 games in front of their home fans.
Attack might be the best form of defence when promotion-chasing Southampton come to town, against whom they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet en route to winning only one of the last seven head-to-heads. The first meeting in that seven-game sequence saw Southampton inflict that historic 8-0 demolition of their hosts, in what remains their joint-biggest victory since 1921. Their most recent clash saw them halve the margin when winning 4-0 in February 2017 at the Stadium of Light, so history is certainly on the Saints’ side for this one.
Southampton are the favourites with the bookies but still offer decent value. Given their unbeaten start to the season, including three wins in four games and 10 goals scored, we’re backing the Saints at 2.56 to continue their strong form.
Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City – Saturday 15:00
It’s looking like it’s going to be another season of damage limitation for Bristol Rovers after one win and five points from their opening five League One games. They performed admirably to secure their survival with a handful of games to spare last season, but their form since beating Fleetwood Town in April reads just one win and seven losses in their last 12.
Lincoln on the other hand have started strongly, with last week’s 3-0 win against Blackpool their third win in their last four league games. The Imps currently sit third just two points behind league leaders Oxford United and will be looking to build upon a good recent away record that has seen them lose just 4 of their last 14 games on the road.
Rovers will go into this game as the slight favourites according to the odds, but we like the look of Lincoln here. Mark Kennedy’s men look to be in good goalscoring form and have won each of their last three games against Saturday’s opposition, scoring eight goals in the process. Backing the away side at 3.0 is the play.
Tranmere Rovers v Wrexham – Saturday 12:30
Tranmere have endured a difficult start to their domestic season after losing four of their opening five league games, which comes as a surprise given the strong nature of their finish last term. It’s still early days but two clean sheets in their last nine games stretching back to last season means they’re often going to have to put two or three past each opposition in order to get a positive result.
Wrexham have made a predictably box-office start to their EFL campaign, to such an extent that their 1-1 result away at Barrow last week felt relatively low-key. An absurd 28 goals from their opening five games makes them the team with the leakiest defence and second-strongest attack so far, though interestingly both of their away games this season have both been comparatively tranquil 1-1 draws.
This is these sides’ first meeting in any competition since 2005, where Tranmere trounced Saturday’s opposition 5-1 in League One. We don’t think there will be a repeat of that result however, and backing Wrexham at 2.04 seems a reasonable price.