EFL WEEKEND: There’s no Championship action this week due to the international break, but it’s full steam ahead in League One and League Two. We give one elongated preview from each division below, alongside some of our recommended BETDAQ bets.

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Cambridge United v Shrewsbury Town – Saturday 15:00

Cambridge’s fine start to the season seems to very much be a thing of the past, with two points picked up from their last five league games somewhat undoing the four wins from six at the start of the campaign. Monday night’s 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion leaves the U’s in a very congested 15th place position, with just three points separating 10th and 19th position, and Mark Bonner will know that his side will need to get off to a good start if they are to detach themselves from this worrying vein of form – in the six games where Cambridge have conceded the first goal, they’ve gone onto lose five of them.

Shrewsbury aren’t exactly in the greatest of nick either, but they will be buoyed from last weekend’s stoppage-time victory over Northampton Town – their first win in six attempts. The west Midlands side were also a team that started their campaign strongly before falling off – winning three of their opening five fixtures – but endured a miserable five week period where they didn’t even score a goal. Only Cheltenham Town in bottom have netted less strikes than their five goals from 11 league games.

Both teams are above even-money for victory, which is perhaps unsurprising given the nature of their retrospective form, but we’re leaning towards a Cambridge victory here. The U’s have a decent home record so far – notably beating promotion-chasing Oxford United on the opening day of the season – and will be encouraged by the fact that Shrewsbury have lost four of their five games on the road, scoring just one goal in the process. With that in mind, we’re backing Cambridge at 2.01 to click themselves back into form.

Cambridge United v Shrewsbury Town markets


Notts County v Mansfield – Saturday 12:30

Table-toppers Notts County looked like they were about to consolidate their three-point lead at the summit of the League Two table, but a 79th minute equaliser away at Barrow means their advantage has been cut to just a singular point. Despite that, it’s been a mesmerising start to life in the EFL for the Magpies, who have still lost just two league games out of 12 since being promoted from the National League in summer. A defensive record that reads 21 goals conceded and two clean sheets in 12 games will be of some concern to manager Luke Williams, but he will nonetheless be over the moon at the rate his side are cutting open opposition defences, with only Crewe Alexandra scoring more than their 27 goals this season.

Mansfield remain the only side in the division not to have lost a game so far, with a second successive 0-0 stalemate against AFC Wimbledon last weekend meaning the Nottinghamshire side have remarkably drawn eight of their opening 12 fixtures, winning the other four. It’s not the most handsome win percentage – Newport County in 19th have won an equal amount of games as them – but their defensive resilience has earnt them a hard-fought fifth position after a dozen matches, conceding a league-low nine goals in the process, including just two in their last seven games.

This matchup seems to be a case of full-throttled football against a more conservative and intricate approach, making it difficult to predict. Notts County have won every game at home so far, scoring 15 in five in front of their fans, whilst Mansfield’s six matches on their travels have yielded five draws. Something needs to give, so we’re bolding backing the draw here at 3.9, particularly given it’s an early lunchtime kick-off.

Notts County v Mansfield markets

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