EFL WEEKEND: There’re no League One or League Two this week due to the start of this season’s FA Cup, but the Championship presses forward for its first weekend of November action.  We preview two games from England’s second division below, alongside some of our recommended BETDAQ bets.

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CHAMPIONSHIP

Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday – Saturday 15:00

Bristol City made the shock decision to part company with boss Nigel Pearson following last weekend’s 2-0 defeat on the road at Cardiff. His departure came with the Robins just five points outside the play-offs after 15 games and was met with a hugely negative reaction from large sections of the Ashton Gate fanbase. That dismay is only enhanced by the fact that their three most recent defeats have all come against teams in the top six ahead of the round, while they’ve actually beaten every team they’ve faced this season who start this weekend below them in the table.

That’s a worrying stat for Saturday’s opponents Sheffield Wednesday, who fall into that category as the current bottom side of the Championship, eight points adrift of safety. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as new boss Danny Rohl got his – and the club’s – first win of the season last time out by beating Yorkshire rivals Rotherham 2-0, while they’ve won four and lost just one of their last six games against Saturday’s opposition.

Bristol City have one of the poorest home records in the league so far, with only three teams picking up less than their eight points from seven games in front of their own fans, which is presumably a factor in them being priced at above even-money for victory this weekend. Despite this, Sheffield Wednesday have lost six of their seven games on the road this campaign – failing to score in any of their last five – and will likely some up short in Gloucestershire this weekend. Backing Bristol at 2.18 is the play.

Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday markets


Birmingham City v Ipswich – Saturday 15:00

Birmingham City were beaten 3-1 by Southampton last Saturday as Wayne Rooney’s poor start in charge extended to three consecutive defeats. The Blues are five points behind the play-off places ahead of this round following the defeat on the south coast, with a top-six finish what Rooney and the new ownership expect after the club’s long absence from the Premier League.

The hosts now run the risk of losing four Championship games on the bounce for the first time since February as they prepare to face high-flying Ipswich Town at St Andrew’s. They haven’t lost at this venue to the East Anglian club in six meetings though, and considering Birmingham have collected four of their five league wins this season at home, Rooney will hope to see his side claim their first win under his tenure.

Taking anything from the current Ipswich side is likely to be a huge challenge though, as the Tractor Boys extended their remarkable start to this campaign with a 3-2 triumph over Plymouth Argyle last Saturday. That result made it nine matches unbeaten in the Championship and four consecutive victories, meaning they now have the chance to become the first newly promoted English second-tier team since Brentford in November 2014 to make it five on the bounce.

Such a scenario would extend their already-comfortable hold on the runners-up spot in the league standings as the Suffolk outfit sit five points behind leaders Leicester City with a game in hand. Kieran McKenna’s side have been exceptionally strong on their travels, remaining undefeated in away league encounters this season, with four of those wins accompanied by clean sheets.

Ipswich seem fairly generously priced given the disparity in form and overall mood around the two clubs. With that in mind, we’re backing the away side at 1.98 to keep the pressure on league leaders Leicester City.

Birmingham City v Ipswich Town markets


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