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Five things: Storylines to look out for in the EFL

13 October 2017

Cotterill's dugout debut

The Sky Sports cameras will be at St Andrew's on Friday night, when Steve Cotterill takes charge of Birmingham City for the first time, following his appointment before the international break.

The new boss watched from the stands as the Blues suffered a 6-1 loss against Hull City, but has had a chance to make a mark on his new charges – and their first test won't be an easy one.

Cardiff City currently sit top of the Championship, 21 places above their hosts, but they have failed to score in any of their three previous visits to this ground.


Double drought

In Sky Bet League One this Saturday, Northampton Town and AFC Wimbledon do battle with both sides currently sitting inside the bottom four.

Bolton Wanderers (4) are the only side in the EFL to have scored fewer goals this term than the Dons, who haven't scored in four consecutive outings. The Cobblers, however, are without a goal in five – and were thumped 6-0 by Bristol Rovers at Sixfields last time out.

But the hosts may seek comfort in the fact that in 12 meetings between the pair, they have never lost, winning six and losing six. Lucky 13 for Neal Ardley's men, perhaps?

Derby dates

Matchday 12 of the Sky Bet Championship has thrown up a trio of enticing derbies to watch out for, with a capital clash between Brentford and Millwall the first, taking place on Saturday afternoon.

Later that evening, the cameras will be at Molineux for the Midlands derby between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa. Wolves are currently second, but the Villans are in fine form themselves and are just a point shy of the top six.

From the west to the east, where on Sunday, Derby County and Nottingham Forest to battle at Pride Park. It's another to be screened live on Sky, and Rowett gave his views – alongside former Forest star David Prutton – in a live interview with Sky Bet.

WATCH: Facebook Live interview with Derby boss Gary Rowett

Searching for success

The newest managers in Sky Bet League Two are on home turf this weekend looking for a first EFL win since taking charge.

Neil Aspin couldn't stop the rot at home to Grimsby Town last time out, but Port Vale are in front of their own fans once more, with Cheltenham Town hoping to make them wait a little longer – much like they did when Jack Lester took charge of Chesterfield a fortnight ago.

Lester's Spireites are back at home for the first time since that 2-0 reverse, and Morecambe – currently struggling in 21st – are the visitors to the EFL's bottom club.

One year on...

This week, a quite impressive statistic was doing the rounds. Exactly one year ago, Cardiff City, Shrewsbury Town and Exeter City were languishing in 23rd place in their respective divisions.


Well, what difference a year makes! Neil Warnock had only just taken charge of the Bluebirds at the time, but after making his mark on the squad, he has since guided them to the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

It’s a similar story in Shropshire, where Paul Hurst is approaching his one-year anniversary. The Shrews remain the only unbeaten side in the EFL, going 12 matches without a loss to sit two points clear at the top of Sky Bet League One.

And last but not least, Exeter, who kept faith with the EFL’s longest-serving boss, Paul Tisdale. He lifted his side up the standings last season and fell agonisingly short in the Play-Offs, but it’s back to business with the Grecians flying high once more.



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