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EFL: Five things to look out for this weekend

28 October 2016

We've witnessed a thrilling round of EFL Cup action, we've seen a number of managerial changes, and we're now ready for another weekend of football across our three divisions.

Here are five things to keep an eye on this EFL Matchday...

1. Reds reunited

Lee Johnson and Paul Heckingbottom do battle for the first time since the former left Barnsley to take the reins at Bristol City.

After transforming Barnsley's fortunes last term, Johnson made his way to Ashton Gate, leaving his assistant 'Hecky' to finish the job and lead the Tykes back to the Sky Bet Championship.

The Robins are flourishing in sixth place this season, while Barnsley sit mid-table, and Johnson is not anticipating being welcomed with open arms at Oakwell.

“I am expecting a hostile reception but it's not about me, it's about the players performing to the best of their ability,” the 35-year-old told Bristol City's official website.

Read more: Lee Johnson predicts hostile reception

2. EFL Cup winners in action

Leeds United and Newcastle United both advanced to the EFL Cup Quarter-Finals in midweek, but it's back to the Sky Bet Championship this weekend.

For Leeds, it's a first-ever meeting with Burton Albion, while Newcastle travel to Preston. In case you missed it, the Lilywhites were Newcastle's victims in midweek, when the Magpies fired six without reply at St James' Park.

Read more: EFL Cup Round Four review

6️⃣ goals
6️⃣ wins in a row@NUFC 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/g9jrPlPtNM

— EFL Cup (@EFLCup) October 25, 2016


3. Rivalries renewed on Sky Sports

Sky Sports are screening two Sky Bet Championship derbies this weekend, with Queens Park Rangers and Brentford getting the EFL weekend under way on Friday night.

The pair met this time last season – the first clash for 11 years – and Brentford won under the lights at Griffin Park, but the Bees are without a victory at Loftus Road since 1964.

On Sunday, Birmingham City host Aston Villa in the Second City derby, in what will be a first league meeting between the pair since a top-flight encounter in 2011.

Villa came out on top in an EFL Cup tie last year, and are unbeaten in three under Steve Bruce's management ahead of the 12pm kick-off.

Those two matches sandwich a Saturday evening affair between Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.


TV Games: Sky Sports' EFL live selections

4. 14 not out

Carlisle United climbed to second in Sky Bet League Two after extending their unbeaten run to 14 games last weekend, defeating Stevenage 2-1 on the road.

They return to Brunton Park on Matchday 15 to will take on ninth-placed Crawley Town, who they did the double over last term.

The team they trail, Plymouth Argyle, are currently 12 games unbeaten having lost their opening two matches of the season, while Sheffield United have extended their undefeated run in Sky Bet League One into double figures.

The Blades failed to win their first four matches under Chris Wilder, but he has since guided them to fourth place after picking up 24 points from a possible 30.

5. Taking care

It's been a week of managerial changes, with four new clubs under caretaker management ahead of the weekend action.

Mark Venus continues in the Coventry City dugout, and Wigan Athletic, Wolves, Milton Keynes Dons and Grimsby Town join the Sky Blues as the clubs without a permanent manager.

Gary Caldwell, Walter Zenga and Karl Robinson have all parted ways with their respective teams after falling below expectations so far this term.

Read more: Karl Robinson's “immense contribution” to MK Dons

The reason for Grimsby's vacant position is due to Paul Hurst's appointment at Shrewsbury Town, and the new boss at Greenhous Meadow takes Sky Bet League One's bottom club to Southend United.

Follow, follow, follow...

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

>> Twitter.com/EFL
>> Facebook.com/TheEFL
>> Instagram.com/EFL

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