EFL WEEKEND: The EFL returns to action this weekend after some big midweek scorelines across all four divisions. We preview four of the fixtures below, alongside some BETDAQ tips.


CHAMPIONSHIP

Blackpool vs CoventrySaturday 15:00

Blackpool stunned QPR on Tuesday – and presumably the rest of the Championship sides involved in a relegation scrap – by putting six past the west London side to record only their second league win in 20 fixtures. The win puts the Tangerines four points off safety with nine games to go and helped maintain an impressive recent home record that has seen Mick McCarthy’s side lose none of their six games at Bloomfield Road in 2023. You feel sustaining this strong home form will be a catalyst for escaping the drop.

Coventry will be disappointed with their late 1-1 draw with Wigan on Tuesday night, but the result did at least continue their own unbeaten record that has seen Mark Robins’ men lose none of their last eight league matches. Having endured a difficult winter period after the World Cup break, fans of the Sky Blues will at least be content that their side still have a shot in finishing in the playoff places for the first time since the Championship’s inception in 2004.

This is a tricky one to call and the prices for both teams certainly reflect that, with each side above even-money for victory. Having said that, we like the look of Coventry here – the away side have conceded just once in their last four games on the road, scoring seven times in the process, and will be looking to avenge their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Blackpool earlier in the season. Backing Coventry at 2.32 is the play here.

Blackpool vs Coventry markets

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Stoke City vs Norwich CitySaturday 15:00

Stoke continued their good form since the beginning of March with an impressive 1-1 draw away at high-flying Middlesbrough on Tuesday, adding to their free-scoring victories over Blackburn and Sunderland in successive weekends. Whilst the Potters are unlikely to trouble the playoff places, nor be dragged into a relegation dogfight, Alex Neil will demand his team finish strongly in what has otherwise been an unremarkable season for the Staffordshire side, who are almost guaranteed to secure a sixth consecutive season in the Championship next year.

Norwich’s push for a playoff place was sobered by both last weekend’s loss to Sunderland and then Wednesday’s draw away at struggling Huddersfield. The Canaries are four points below Millwall in sixth and will understand the importance of picking up clutch victories at this stage of the season if they are to continue their remarkable yo-yo relationship with the Championship and the Premier League.

Stoke lost the reverse fixture 3-1 between these sides back in October, but we think the Potters can get a result here. Norwich have won only once in their last four games on the road, whilst Stoke seem to be hitting a rich vein of attacking form at just the right time. Laying Norwich City at 3.2 is the selection for this one.

Stoke City vs Norwich City markets


LEAGUE ONE

Wycombe Wanderers vs BarnsleySaturday 15:00

Wycombe put their disappointing defeat to Burton Albion last weekend behind them with a solid 2-0 win away at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, meaning Matt Bloomfield’s men remain three points off the playoff places with a game in hand. Their spurt of five wins in a row and four clean sheets between the end of January and February has somewhat faded after a run of two victories in five, but they will fancy themselves to get a result at home where they haven’t tasted defeat in five fixtures.

You could definitely make a case for Barnsley being the most in-form side in the division alongside Sheffield Wednesday at the moment. Last week’s second-half romp over second-place Plymouth fully outlined their automatic promotion credentials, with the Tykes now eight points off Plymouth with two games in hand and having netted 17 goals in their last six league games.

Against most other opposition, Wycombe would be good value for victory in front of their own fans, but there seems to be a euphoric sense of optimism and momentum behind Barnsley at the moment. Their away record is slightly patchier than it is at home, but they should still have too much for Wycombe on Saturday, so we’re backing the away side at 2.72 to pick up their seventh win in eight.

Wycombe Wanderers vs Barnsley markets


LEAGUE TWO

Harrogate Town vs BarrowSaturday 15:00

This is a big game for Harrogate. The west Yorkshire side seem unable to string together successive victories to really pull away from the relegation zone – the last time they managed that being Boxing Day – and remain just six points ahead of Crawley in 23rd, having played two games more. That Boxing Day victory was the last time they picked up three points in front of their own fans, and their 27 goals conceded at home is the second worst in the division, so there is plenty of evidence that the Sulphurites urgently need to improve at Wetherby Road.

Barrow are one of a selection of sides that could force themselves into the playoff places if they can compose a winning run between now and the end of the season. Last Saturday’s goalless draw against Sutton means Pete Wild’s men are unbeaten in five league games, whilst their two goals conceded in that time is the second lowest out of any League Two side in that time.

Barrow look good value here. They are slight favourites in the betting against a Harrogate side who have won just two of their last 15 games, whilst the Bluebirds will be buoyed by successive 1-0 wins on the road against Bradford and Walsall in their two most recent away games. Backing the away side at 2.56 looks an attractive punt.

Harrogate Town vs Barrow markets


DAQMAN Weds: Oaks ABC Guide
DAQSTATS Weds: Newton Abbot NAP
THE ULTRA Weds: Europa Conference League Final
BARRY CAUL: Greyhound Derby Second Round (Friday)
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