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Match Previews

Preview: Sky Bet EFL Weekend

18 August 2017

The EFL action continues this weekend, with a full programme of fixtures in the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two.

Here’s our preview…

Early pacesetters clash at Molineux

With Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City both boasting 100 per cent records so far this season, something is going to have to give this weekend.

The hosts continued their impressive start to the campaign with an excellent 3-2 away victory over Hull City on Tuesday night, with club-record signing Ruben Neves getting off the mark in style.

Their opponents on Saturday also moved onto nine points thanks to a routine home triumph against Sheffield United, with Sean Morrison and the in-form Nathaniel Mendez-Laing netting for the Bluebirds.

Grayson meets Leeds

Five years on from when he was in charge at the Whites, Simon Grayson welcomes Leeds United to the Stadium of Light, where they’ll take on his current club, Sunderland, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The two sides faced off in the FA Cup back in 2015, with the Black Cats edging out the men from Elland Road 1-0, but they’ve not met in the league for more than 10 years.

Sunderland prevailed on that occasion too, as David Connolly and Grant Leadbitter fired home in a 2-0 win.

Around the grounds

Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town are another side with a perfect start, and Brentford stand in the way of a fourth successive win for the Tractor Boys – the pair meet at Portman Road.

Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough do battle at the City Ground this Saturday, with Boro's record signing Britt Assombalonga set to lead the line against the club he departed last month.

At Craven Cottage, Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday, both play-off semi-finalists last term, meet in search of a first win of the new season.

The weekend’s action begins at the Pirelli Stadium however, where Burton Albion, who are yet to get off the mark this term, take on Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City.

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 4 fixtures (3pm unless stated)

Friday 18th August 2017

Burton Albion v Birmingham City (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 19th August 2017

Aston Villa v Norwich City
Bolton Wanderers v Derby County
Bristol City v Millwall
Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday
Ipswich Town v Brentford
Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough
Preston North End v Reading
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City
Sheffield United v Barnsley (12:15pm)
Sunderland v Leeds United (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Cardiff City

Appointments: Click here to see the match officials on weekend duty

League leaders go to Glanford Park

With maximum points under their belt after two fixtures, Oxford United – one of six sides to achieve that feat – travel to Scunthorpe United this weekend, targeting a third straight success.

Pep Clotet’s men have scored five goals in two matches thus far without reply, and sit at the top of the early Sky Bet League One table.

The Iron, who went unbeaten at home until February last season, are the only side in the division yet to taste either victory or defeat. Two draws to date, will Graham Alexander's men be able to go one better in Matchday 3?

Millers on a high

Following a resounding 5-0 success over Southend United last Saturday, Rotherham United go into their clash with Peterborough United full of confidence.

A first-half Kieffer Moore hat-trick set the hosts on their way, with Joe Newell and Ryan Williams also getting in on the act.

Posh, however, have started the campaign in fine style, and their 4-1 away triumph at Bristol Rovers took them to six points out of a possible six.

Around the grounds

Two defeats for Blackburn Rovers and two wins for Bradford City so far, and the pair go head-to-head for the first time since 1990 on Matchday 3.

After last week's win over Bury, Wigan Athletic face another Greater Manchester derby. This time it's the battle of the Latics, with Paul Cook's men visiting Oldham Athletic.

Milton Keynes Dons and Gillingham are both yet to find the net this term, but fans may finally have something to shout about when they meet at Stadium MK on Saturday afternoon. The other side without a goal, Northampton Town, travel to Charlton Athletic.

Elsewhere, Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury Town are at home as they bid to continue their perfect starts, with AFC Wimbledon and Rochdale the respective visitors.

Sky Bet League One: Matchday 3 fixtures (All 3pm kick-off)

Saturday 19th August 2017

Bradford City v Blackburn Rovers
Bury v Bristol Rovers
Charlton Athletic v Northampton Town
Doncaster Rovers v Blackpool
Fleetwood Town v AFC Wimbledon
Milton Keynes Dons v Gillingham
Oldham Athletic v Wigan Athletic
Peterborough United v Rotherham United
Portsmouth v Walsall
Scunthorpe United v Oxford United
Shrewsbury Town v Rochdale
Southend United v Plymouth Argyle

Appointments: Click here to see the match officials on weekend duty

Exiles face Coventry for the first time

Saturday’s meeting at the Ricoh Arena between Coventry City and Newport County is the first in the two clubs’ respective histories.

Coventry’s promotion bid has got off to the best possible start, with Mark Robins’ men yet to concede a goal in the league. Newport are unbeaten too, drawing their opening two fixtures.

The Exiles have scored in each of their last 14 EFL matches, stretching back to March, and the start of last season's great escape. Will they be the first to breach the stubborn Sky Blues defence?

Bees buzzing after dramatic win

Barnet will kick off against Crewe Alexandra this weekend on the back of a confidence boosting stoppage-time triumph over Luton Town last time out.

Jake Taylor’s 91st-minute winner gave the Bees lift-off in the league, and they head to the Alexandra Stadium sitting fourth in the standings.

The Railwaymen are still in search of their first victory in Sky Bet League Two, but can be buoyed by their fightback with 10 men against Newport last Saturday, earning a second successive draw.

Around the grounds

Following relegation into the division, Gary Caldwell’s Chesterfield have tasted back-to-back defeat, and they face Port Vale this weekend, who have won one and lost one since suffering the same fate.

Both sitting on four points, Morecambe face Swindon Town on home turf in the two sides’ first meeting for over five years. In three clashes to date, the Shrimps are yet to find the net against this weekend's opponents, losing all three.

Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City are also on four points and play host to Notts County and Lincoln City respectively, while second-placed Mansfield Town travel to Accrington Stanley.

Elsewhere, at least one of Crawley Town and Cambridge United will get off the mark when the two sides meet at the Stadium – both clubs are pointless after two matches.

Sky Bet League Two: Matchday 3 fixtures (All 3pm kick-off)

Saturday 19th August 2017

Accrington Stanley v Mansfield Town
Carlisle United v Cheltenham Town
Chesterfield v Port Vale
Coventry City v Newport County
Crawley Town v Cambridge United
Crewe Alexandra v Barnet
Exeter City v Lincoln City
Forest Green Rovers v Yeovil Town
Luton Town v Colchester United
Morecambe v Swindon Town
Stevenage v Grimsby Town
Wycombe Wanderers v Notts County

Appointments: Click here to see the match officials on weekend duty

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