The EFL column hit the ground running last Friday with a win but things went downhill after that and the Colchester v Swindon game was cancelled.
Championship Bets for Matchday Two
Ipswich v Stoke City
Sat 12 Aug 3:00 pm
Ipswich returned to The Championship with a bang last Saturday beating a highly touted Sunderland side in their own backyard. That will be a massive boost for the Tractor Boys and some at Portman Road will be thinking a return to the promised land of the Premier League could be on the cards. While it’s hard to knock the result, I do think Sunderland played into Town’s hands somewhat. Tony Mowbray’s side love to play on the front foot and Ipswich were able to capitalize on that, by counter-attacking. Kieran McKenna’s men only managed 33.7% possession and ended the game in desperation mode, the width of the post being the difference between winning and drawing despite holding a two-goal lead until the 86th minute. Back in front of an expectant home crowd, I’ll be interested to see how they adapt their playing style and I think they could be vulnerable.
Stoke also picked up three points on the opening day and did so in some style, thumping Rotherham by 4 goals to one. That wasn’t exactly a shock given they were 4/7 favourites pre-match, but the manner of the victory was very impressive. The Potters were pretty relentless throughout the game, opening the scoring in the 5th minute and never looking back. New signing Andre Vidigal netted twice and he could be a key man for City this season. Vidigal enhanced his reputation on Tuesday night in the EFL Cup scoring just four minutes after entering the field as a substitute, a goal that ultimately saw Stoke progress. If Vidigal can continue to pose the attacking threat City have been missing in recent seasons, it could turn out to be a decent campaign for Alex Neil’s men. Priced at 12/5 to win this weekend, they look underestimated and are a value bet.
League One Bets for Matchday Two
Bristol Rovers v Barnsley FC
Sat 12 Aug 3:00 pm
Bristol Rovers’ defensive frailties once again reared their head last weekend as Portsmouth netted in the 90th minute to take a share of the spoils. While a point on the road at a difficult venue is not something to be sniffed at, it now means Rovers are winless in the league since 10th April – a run of 8 matches (W0, D3, L5). Joey Barton’s men conceded an average of 1.73 goals per game last season so a clean sheet would have a major confidence boost.
Barnsley showed there was no hangover from last season’s Playoff Final defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday by routing Port Vale in their opening game. Striker Devante Cole bagged himself a 30-minute hattrick in what was a truly clinical display. Unsurprisingly, given their exploits last year The Tykes are amongst the favorites for promotion, and I’m confident they’ll enhance that reputation this weekend.
Exeter City v Blackpool
Sat 12 Aug 3:00 pm
Exeter got off to the perfect start to the season beating Wycombe by three goals to nil on the road. Wycombe are a good yardstick at this level having finished in the top half of the table in three of the last four seasons, the exception being an ill-fated spell in The Championship. The Grecians were priced up as significant outsiders at nearly 3/1 but made a mockery of those odds easing to victory. Last weekend’s success was followed up in midweek with a come-from-behind victory to progress in the EFL Cup.
Blackpool present tough opposition having dropped down from The Championship. The Tangerines also picked up three points in gameweek 1 however they faced a much easier task against a Burton side I expect to be in trouble at season’s end. This should be a decent game of Football and the price of 9/5 about the home side looks like value in my mind.
Ipswich Town v Stoke City – Stoke Win @ 12/ 5 (1 Point) BET365
Bristol Rovers v Barnsley – Barnsley Win @ 6/5 (3 Points) BET365
Exeter City v Blackpool – Exeter Win @ 9/5 (1 Point) BET365
Above in a Treble @ 19.9/1 (1 Point) BET365