Hartlepool v AFC Wimbledon – Sat 6th Aug 15:00 BST
Hartlepool have had a lot of squad turnover in the offseason and will need time to gel. Eight of The Pools starting eleven on the opening weekend were making their club debuts and that showed in a dis-jointed performance. If last week’s four nil defeat is anything to go by it could be another long season for Hartlepool fans.
AFC Wimbledon started their campaign with a professional victory (2-0) over Gillingham and will be looking to gain promotion back to League One at the first time of asking. The Dons have kept most of their squad from last season and should be a force to be reckoned with at this level. At 17/10 they look a brilliant bet to take all three points this weekend.
Stevenage v Stockport – Sat 6th Aug 15:00 BST
Newly promoted Stockport were highly touted in pre-season but fluffed their lines last weekend versus Barrow. County started the game in shocking fashion conceding three silly goals in the first 33 minutes. If they are to live up to their billing as one of the title favourites they’ll need to eliminate those individual mistakes. Although they lost the game (2-3), it wasn’t all gloom for Stockport and they can take great heart from their second half performance. Paddy Madden is proven at this level and having him already on the scoresheet is a positive.
Stevenage pulled off a shock victory away at Preston last weekend and will be buoyed from that. Boro though have struggled for attacking consistency for sometime and will find it tough to out-gun this Stockport side.
Charlton v Derby – Sat 6th Aug 15:00 BST
I’ll be attending this game and it looks setup to be a cracker. Both of these sides carry the weight of high expectations and both come into this season with something to prove. Charlton under-performed last term and were consistently inconsistent leading to a dissappointing 13th place finish. The Addicks will be looking to push for the playoffs this season but if they’re to do that, they’ll need to see games out better than last weekend. Having dominated the game and twice taking the lead the South-East Londoners will be reeling form conceding an equaliser with the last kick of the game.
Derby were relegated from the Championship and will be looking to bounce straight back. The Rams got off to a perfect start, a sublime Conor Hourihane goal enough to take all three points versus Oxford. Hourihane will be a key man for Liam Rosenior’s side given his quality and experience.
Betting wise the selection for me is over 2.5 goals. Charlton showed their defensive fragilities last weekend but also boast a good attacking threat. With Derby having removed some of the pressure with three points in their opening fixture this could turn into a classic.
Hartlepool v AFC Wimbledon – AFC Wimbledon Win (2 points @ 17/10)
Stevenage v Stockport – Stockport Win (1 point @ 6/4)
Charlton v Derby – Over 2.5 Goals (1 point @ 11/10)
Above in a treble (1 point @ 13/1)