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Match Previews

EFL Matchday 5: Preview – five things to look out for

26 August 2016

Winless streaks, water-tight defences, EFL Cup hangovers, and a Lancashire derby.

1. Perfect record

Bolton Wanderers have enjoyed their best start to a season for 82 years and are the only side in the EFL to have won all of their games so far.

They put their 100% record on the line away at Charlton Athletic this weekend.

The Trotters could extend their lead to five points at the summit of Sky Bet League One ahead of closest chasers Scunthorpe and Bradford. They visit The Valley having failed to defeat Charlton in their last seven attempts.

New signing Mark Beevers has got off to a strong start partnering David Wheater at the heart of the defence and told the club's official website that the perfect start is due to the relationships in the side.

“There is an understanding throughout the team

“I’ve settled in really well and the lads have been fantastic. I’ve formed a decent partnership with David Wheater so far. There is an understanding there out on the pitch.”

2. Iron fire v Valiant defence

Scunthorpe are the only side in the EFL to have reached double figures in the scoring charts.

This has been largely down to the form of duo Josh Morris and Kevin van Veen, who have scored seven goals between them. Morris has been involved in the most goals in the division also, having provided two assists.

The Iron ran out 5-0 winners against Gillingham last weekend and on Saturday face Port Vale, who have only shipped one goal this campaign. The water tight Vale defence, which is statistically the best in the EFL, will face its toughest test yet when they come up against Morris and van Veen at Vale Park.

GOAL PHOTOS: Here is Josh Morris scoring and celebrating his strike against Bristol City tonight. pic.twitter.com/6YWYFpnJ9s

— Scunthorpe United FC (@SUFCOfficial) August 23, 2016

3. Stalemate

Northampton Town have drawn all of their games so far this season, and face Coventry this weekend as they put their 28-game unbeaten league streak at stake.

The 17th October 2015 marks the date that Northampton Town were last defeated on the road the EFL. But the Cobblers and the Sky Blues are both part of a five-team group who remain winless this season - they head into this weekend along with Rochdale, Wimbledon, and Sheffield United in search of their first win.
 
Cobblers manager Rob Page is a former Coventry player and told the club website that three points is all that matters on Saturday.

“I had three good years at Coventry under Micky Adams but business is business at the end of the day and I’ll be desperate to get three points on Saturday.

“We are going there to do a job and we want to get the first league win under our belts.”

4. Top-flight topplers

Fulham, Northampton, Accrington Stanley and Gillingham all return to EFL action following memorable midweek EFL Cup ties, having  defeated Premier League sides on their way into Round Three.

Gillingham and Northampton beat Watford and West Brom respectively on Tuesday night and Fulham and Accrington carried the upsets into Wednesday night when they saw off Middlesbrough and Burnley.

In Round Three, only Fulham from the four have not been drawn against top-flight opposition again, they face Sky Bet Championship compatriots Bristol City, whereas Northampton face Manchester United at Sixfields, Gillingham travel to Tottenham Hotspur, and Accrington have a trip to West Ham for the first domestic cup clash in their new London Stadium.

The trip to West Ham is something Stanley’s goal hero Matty Pearson is looking forward to:

Tough game last night against a very good side. Lads were top draw. Made up to have scored the winner!Bring on the next round West Ham away⚒

— Matty Pearson (@mattypearson5) 25 August 2016

5. Derby Day

Accrington Stanley follow up their EFL Cup success with a Lancashire derby at the Wham Stadium in Sky Bet League Two against table-topping Morecambe. They boast an impressive record over the Shrimps having only ever lost once to them in 18 EFL meetings.
 
A win for Morecambe will make it four in a row this term, with their only taste of defeat coming on the opening day at Grimsby.

Stanley boss John Coleman made more than 250 appearances for Morecambe as a player, and told his club website that a win over their rivals would be more significant than the midweek cup triumph.

“It’ll be a tougher game, definitely not as high profile but it certainly means more to me.”

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Follow the EFL's social media channels to keep up-to-date with the Matchday 5 action:

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