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EFL Matchday 9: Five things to look out for

23 September 2016

Unbeaten streaks, European glory, and Gary Johnson.

Another weekend of EFL action is upon us, and we've picked out five things for you to watch out for...

1. Gary Johnson returns

Gary Johnson returns to his spiritual home this weekend when he takes his Cheltenham Town side to Huish Park, where he had two successful spells as Yeovil Town manager.

During his terms in charge, he guided the Glovers to promotion three times. His most memorable moment with the Yeovil faithful was undoubtedly the Sky Bet League One Play-Off run which saw them defeat Sheffield United in the semi-finals, and then Brentford in the final at Wembley.

Now in charge at Cheltenham, he led the Robins straight back to life in the EFL last season, in what was his fifth promotion as a manager.

The two sides currently sit 20th and 21st in the Sky Bet League Two table, tied on seven points.

🎥 ROBINS TV: Gary on returning to @YTFC & an injury update on Storer, Holman & Morgan-Smith:

▶️ https://t.co/8xKKK7nH1F#ctfcpic.twitter.com/xuEawzCEVr

— Cheltenham Town FC (@CTFCofficial) September 22, 2016

2. Unbeaten streaks


Bradford City and Carlisle United are now the EFL's only unbeaten teams.

The Bantams sit fourth in Sky Bet League One and face Bolton Wanderers this weekend, but are looking to pick up their first win since the 20th August after drawing their last four fixtures.

Keith Curle's Carlisle currently occupy eighth spot in Sky Bet League Two, but are still unbeaten, despite only winning twice.

The Cumbrians' six draws from their opening eight fixtures is a club record, but it's also their longest undefeated run at the start of an EFL season since the 1994/1995 campaign. They host Wycombe at Brunton Park on Matchday 9.

VIDEO | 🎥 Stuart McCall gave us his thoughts ahead of the weekend's trip to @OfficialBWFC. #BCAFChttps://t.co/ZDV2uWJlUR

— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) September 22, 2016

3. But can they do it in the Sky Bet Championship?


Two Champions League winning managers will watch their sides do battle from the touchline in a Sky Bet Championship fixture for the first time this weekend, when Newcastle United travel to Aston Villa.

Rafa Benitez famously won the Champions League in dramatic fashion with Liverpool in 2005, and Roberto Di Matteo led Chelsea to European glory in 2012.

The two sides bring the weekend's EFL action to a close on Saturday evening in front of the Sky Sports cameras - they kick off at 5.30pm.

After a five-game winning streak in the Sky Bet Championship, the Magpies suffered defeat last weekend, while Villa have only picked up one three-point haul from their first eight Championship outings.

📸 SQUAD PHOTO: Here's your Newcastle United squad photograph for the 2016/17 season! ⚫️⚪️ #NUFC#WeAreUnitedpic.twitter.com/XHQvrolNxt

— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 22, 2016

TV Games: Click here to see a list of scheduled EFL games to be shown live on Sky Sports

4. Unstoppable Argyle
 
Plymouth Argyle are currently EFL's form side, having extended their winning streak to six games with victory in the Devon derby against Exeter City last weekend.

Derek Adams' side opened the season with two defeats, but have since put a magnificent run together which sees them at the summit in Sky Bet League Two, two points clear of their closest rivals Doncaster Rovers.

The Pilgrims owe their fine run to their resolute defence; they boast the second-best backline in the division with just six goals conceded, and only two of those have come in their six-game winning run.

Argyle face Hartlepool at Home Park this weekend who, on the contrary, possess the division's leakiest defence.

#GREENARMYpic.twitter.com/MzjzcHJPTA

— Gary Miller (@GazMilla) September 17, 2016

5. Loan Stars:
Tammy Abraham and Alex Jones

Many EFL clubs benefit from the loan signings of young stars, but few expect them to hit the ground running like these two have.

Tammy Abraham is currently recognised as the form striker in the EFL, having notched nine goals in 11 appearances for the Robins. He is also the joint leading scorer across England's top four divisions, alongside Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.

Another loan star shining is Alex Jones - the 21-year-old is currently with Port Vale from Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham City.

He's managed five goals in just 356 minutes of football for Vale, and boasts a 100% success rate when his shots find the target. His goals have contributed towards Bruno Ribeiro's fine start to life at Vale Park - they have a perfect home record and sit eighth in Sky Bet League One.

9 - No player has scored as many goals for an English top four tier side this season than Tammy Abraham (level with Sergio Aguero). Lethal.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 21, 2016

Follow, follow, follow...

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

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

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