EFL WEEKEND: There’s no Championship action this week due to the international break, so instead we bring you two elongated previews from League One and League Two as the division continues into its seventh round of fixtures.
Exeter v Leyton Orient – Saturday 15:00
Exeter have made a promising start to their second successive League One campaign, winning four of their opening six games and sitting in first place on 13 points. What’s been encouraging about Gary Caldwell’s side this season is their ability to score late in games, with five of their eight goals so far arriving in the 68th minute or later. Just two goals conceded as well makes it a tidy start for the Devon outfit, who will harness ambitions of improving on their admirable finish of 14th last year – a finish that could have been a lot better after they lost six of their final seven games towards the end of the season.
Leyton Orient have had an understandably tough start to life in League One. A 3-0 loss at home to Stevenage last weekend made it four defeats in their opening half-dozen games, with a concerning 11 goals conceded across those fixtures. Their away record in particular has been underwhelming – only three teams have amassed less points on the road than them this season, so it may be a case of damage limitation when they make the trip south-west to the league leaders on Saturday afternoon for Richie Wellens’ men.
Exeter have certainly enjoyed the better of the head-to-head meetings between these two sides in recent matchups, losing just one of the last 10 stretching back to 2012 and winning seven of those in the process, and we’re backing them at 1.81 to add to that impressive record on Saturday.
MK Dons v Notts County – Saturday 15:00
It’s first versus second in League Two as table-topping Notts County make the trip down south to Milton Keynes. The Magpies have made a dream start after achieving promotion from the National League last season, winning four of their opening six fixtures – something that would have seemed unfeasible after a sobering 5-1 loss to Sutton United on the opening day. Whilst their attack has looked solid, there remains question marks about their defensive record with 10 goals conceded – even Colchester United in 21st have conceded less!
MK Dons have also won four of their first half-dozen games, but find themselves a point behind County by virtue of losing their other two. One of those defeats came in their most recent fixture – a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Crewe Alexandra after being 1-0 up at half time. Like County, fans of the Dons will be happy with the number of goals in their games – netting 13 so far – but will likewise be wary about the fact they’ve shipped 11 in those games, a lot of that owing to their bonkers 5-3 win over newly-promoted Wrexham on the opening day of the season.
Both teams offer good value for victory here and it’s perhaps surprising that Notts County are the slight favourites with the bookies. The away side will have to overturn a miserable recent head-to-head record against their hosts if they are to claim victory on Saturday, losing each of their last seven matchups going back to 2013, but we reckon the spoils will be shared in Buckinghamshire. Backing the draw at 3.8 is the play, whilst over 3.5 goals at 2.53 could also be considered as a side bet.