Following a reduced schedule last time out, there’s a full programme of EFL action this weekend. Here’s the preview…
Clough’s Blades reunion
Two fixtures get proceedings in the Sky Bet Championship up and running on Friday night, with one of the match-ups taking place at the Pirelli Stadium.
It sees Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion take on Sheffield United — a club where the Brewers boss previously spent just under two years in charge.
Chris Wilder’s Blades head into the encounter just two points behind league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers, so could return to the summit – temporarily at least – ahead of Wolves' Saturday trip to Reading
Sunday’s Championship entertainment comes from West Yorkshire, where Leeds United host Middlesbrough, live on Sky Sports.
It’ll be Boro boss Garry Monk’s first visit to his former employers since he left the Whites at the end of last season.
His current side sit fifth, five places and three points ahead of the hosts in the standings. Three straight wins have boosted Boro, while Leeds have lost six of their last seven.
Around the grounds
There are two additional live Sky Sports matches to enjoy over the weekend, as Preston North End welcome Bolton Wanderers to Deepdale on Friday night, before Derby County travel to Fulham on Saturday evening.
Looking to make inroads into the top two are Cardiff City and Bristol City, who face Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
Aston Villa will be aiming to put right their loss against Sheffield Wednesday on Matchday 16 when they visit Queens Park Rangers, who also suffered defeat in their most recent encounter — losing 4-0 at the hands of Nottingham Forest.
Forest have won three out of their last four Championship outings as a matter of fact and they go to a Birmingham City side without a goal in four, looking to further close the gap between them and the top six.
Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 17 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)
Friday 17th November
Burton Albion v Sheffield United (7:45pm)
Preston North End v Bolton Wanderers (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)
Saturday 18th November
Birmingham City v Nottingham Forest
Cardiff City v Brentford
Hull City v Ipswich Town
Norwich City v Barnsley
Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa
Reading v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City
Sunderland v Millwall
Fulham v Derby County (5:30pm - live on Sky Sports)
Sunday 19th November
Leeds United v Middlesbrough (1:15pm - live on Sky Sports)
Addicks aiming for eight
Karl Robinson’s Charlton Athletic team have put together a run of seven games without defeat and, as a result, they find themselves in third position in the table.
Included in that run are four victories in their last five games — next up for the men from the Valley is a home clash against Robinson’s former club, Milton Keynes Dons.
Robbie Neilson’s side were triumphant last Saturday, as Chuks Aneke’s strike earned them all three points against Fleetwood Town.
We meet again
Northampton Town and Scunthorpe United must know each other inside out by now, having met twice in the FA Cup over the past two weeks.
They now do battle in Sky Bet League One, as the two clash at Sixfields this Saturday, for three points rather than cup progression.
The Iron incidentally won out in their most recent meeting, with Hakeeb Adelakun settling the replay on Tuesday night at Glanford Park with a superb strike from distance.
Around the grounds
Paul Hurst will be looking for a reaction from his Shrewsbury Town players at Rotherham United, after they were beaten for the first time in the league last time out by Peterborough United.
Any slip-up could see Wigan Athletic replace the Shrews at the top, with the Latics hosting Bradford City at the DW Stadium.
Plymouth Argyle’s resurgence has been notable of late and, after victory over the Bantams on Saturday, the Green Army extended their unbeaten streak to five games. Taking on Derek Adams’ team at Home Park this weekend are Oxford United.
Nothing much separates Oldham Athletic and Rochdale in terms of mileage and, also points, with Richie Wellens’ men on 18 and Dale on 17 — they meet at Boundary Park.
Sky Bet League One: Matchday 18 fixtures (all 3pm kick-off)
Bristol Rovers v AFC Wimbledon
Bury v Blackburn Rovers
Charlton Athletic v Milton Keynes Dons
Fleetwood Town v Doncaster Rovers
Northampton Town v Scunthorpe United
Oldham Athletic v Rochdale
Peterborough United v Blackpool
Plymouth Argyle v Oxford United
Portsmouth v Southend United
Rotherham United v Shrewsbury Town
Walsall v Gillingham
Wigan Athletic v Bradford City
New man at the Bees' helm
Mark McGhee begins his tenure at Barnet on the road, against a Port Vale side who haven’t been under the stewardship of boss Neil Aspin that long themselves.
The Scotsman takes over at the Hive Stadium with the Bees currently occupying 23rd position, but a win over the Valiants would lift them out of the relegation zone.
This will be the first meeting since 2012/13, with Vale possessing the better overall head-to-head league record between the two, with five wins compared to Barnet’s three.
Tight at the top
Notts County may lead the way in Sky Bet League Two, however, anything but maximum against Cheltenham Town could see them slip from the summit.
There’s currently two points covering the top four ahead of the weekend’s action, with County holding just a one point advantage over Accrington Stanley and Exeter City respectively. Luton Town are also in striking distance.
The omens look good for Kevin Nolan’s men though, as the hosts have defeated the Robins in their last three meetings.
Around the grounds
As previously mentioned, Accrington are ready to capitalise should Notts County fail to pick up three points and, they could move into first position with a win at home against Newport County.
They’re not alone in the chasing pack however, as respective victories for Exeter and Luton over Chesterfield and Cambridge United may just change things too.
Elsewhere, Lincoln City, who have lost just one of their last eight, will be aiming to leapfrog Coventry City when they take on the Sky Blues at Sincil Bank.
Three wins out of their last four fixtures have strengthened Forest Green Rovers’ fortunes somewhat, and they face a Crewe side who have lost three on the bounce and nine of their last 11.
Sky Bet League Two: Matchday 18 fixtures (all 3pm kick-off)
Accrington Stanley v Newport County
Chesterfield v Exeter City
Colchester United v Morecambe
Forest Green Rovers v Crewe Alexandra
Grimsby Town v Carlisle United
Lincoln City v Coventry City
Luton Town v Cambridge United
Mansfield Town v Stevenage
Notts County v Cheltenham Town
Port Vale v Barnet
Wycombe Wanderers v Crawley Town
Yeovil Town v Swindon Town