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Five things: Storylines to look out for in the EFL

16 November 2017

The Championship returns and, after a few years away, so does Mark McGhee. Those, and more, are among the storylines to look out for in the EFL this weekend...

McGhee's Bees

Without a win in League Two since 9th September, Barnet decided to make a change at the top at the beginning of the week, replacing Rossi Eames with the experienced head of Mark McGhee.

Twenty-eight years Eames' senior, the Scotsman has enjoyed EFL success before, securing three promotions with three different clubs during his 26-year career in management.

His last game in the league came in January 2012, departing a Bristol Rovers side 23rd in the standings, and that's where the Bees sit upon his arrival. The first test comes at Port Vale, who themselves have been rejuvenated by a recent managerial appointment.

Trouble at home

Saturday 17th December, 2016. A Premier League meeting with Watford, resulting in a 1-0 win and a welcome three points for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Eleven months on, the home faithful are yet to taste victory again. The 3-3 draw against Bolton Wanderers at the end of October led to the club equalling an unwanted English record of 19 games without a home triumph.

Still yet to appoint a replacement for Simon Grayson, the Black Cats welcome Millwall to Wearside this weekend, so it will be down to Billy McKinlay and Robbie Stockdale to prevent Sunderland standing alone.

Friday night double

The Championship has been away for a while, with World Cup Play-Offs and international friendlies taking place over the past week, but it's back, and in some style.

On Friday night, there are not one, but TWO fixtures to enjoy as the action resumes. Sheffield United can put the pressure straight back on Wolves – three points at Burton Albion would take them back to the top, although the Brewers will be keen to haul themselves further clear of the bottom three.

Preston North End and Bolton Wanderers meet in the night's other game, with the hosts sitting in mid-table after four straight losses. Bolton are five unbeaten, and three points could take them out of the relegation zone, dependent on the result at the Pirelli. You can watch this one live on Sky Sports.

Hello, again

In League One this Saturday, Charlton Athletic welcome Milton Keynes Dons, in a match which pits Karl Robinson against his former employers.

The Addicks are unbeaten in seven League One outings, but the Dons won two and drew one of the four meetings in all competitions last term.

Then on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, Middlesbrough visit Leeds United, where Garry Monk will take his place in the dugout opposite to the one he sat in last season following his summer switch from Elland Road to the Riverside. That one gets under way at 1:15pm.

Shrews tamed?

Has the Shrewsbury Town bubble burst? That will be the question going into this weekend, after Peterborough United ended the club's stunning 16-match unbeaten League One streak last time out.

The Shrews remain top of League One, however, and they did bounce back with an emphatic showing in the FA Cup when easing to a 5-0 win over Aldershot.

But now it's back to the EFL, and a trip to Paul Hurst's former side, Rotherham United. The Millers also lost an impressive record recently, having not lost at home prior to Gillingham's visit at the end of October. Who will bounce back at the first time of asking?


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