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Match Previews

Preview: Sky Bet EFL Matchday

13 October 2017

Following the international break, the Sky Bet Championship returns this weekend, along with action from League One and League Two. Here’s our matchday preview…

Molineux’s Midlands meeting

Both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa have enjoyed positive starts to the campaign, and they clash in Saturday’s evening fixture at Molineux.

In terms of league position, the hosts have the edge, currently occupying second spot, but their West Midlands foes ar seventh and unbeaten since mid-August.

If they could extend that streak with victory, they would go within a point of their hosts. The Villans' last win at Molineux in an EFL fixture came in 1981, although they've enjoyed Premier League and cup success since.

East Midlands derby at Pride Park

Sunday sees Derby County and Nottingham Forest go head to head, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The Rams and Forest currently sit 15th and 13th respectively in the standings, with just two points separating them at present.

Gary Rowett’s men last picked up maximum points at the beginning of September, whereas their opponents come into the game on the back of a fine 2-1 victory over high-flying Sheffield United.

Around the grounds

There are two encounters to kick off the weekend on Friday night, as league leaders Cardiff City travel to Birmingham City, and Bristol City play host to Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion.

Third-placed Sheffield United take on Ipswich Town at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon, while Leeds United are also on home turf, with the Whites welcoming Reading to Elland Road.

Alex Neil will be hoping his Preston North End side can maintain their impressive start to the season when they visit Fulham.

Among the other fixtures, Bolton Wanderers host Sheffield Wednesday still seeking a first win of the campaign, and there's a clash in the capital when London pair Brentford and Millwall lock horns.

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 12 fixtures

Friday 13th October

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

Saturday 14th October

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

Sunday 15th October

Derby County v Nottingham Forest (1:15pm - live on Sky Sports)

Appointments: Match officials on weekend duty in the EFL

Argyle welcome table-topping Shrews

Plymouth Argyle could move off the bottom of the Sky Bet League One table on Saturday, should they achieve something no side has managed yet this season, and defeat Shrewsbury Town.

Paul Hurst’s men are unbeaten in their 12 outings so far and currently sit at the summit, with nine victories and three draws taking them two points clear of their closest competitors.

The Green Army, on the other hand, picked up their only league win in August. Their form guide reads DLLLLDLLLL — can Derek Adams' side upset the form book at Home Park?

Hat-trick looming?

A trio of wins are on the table at the Memorial Stadium for either Bristol Rovers or Oxford United this Saturday.

Both have earned two victories from their last two encounters, and another triumph this time out would see one move onto 21 points.

Rovers come into the game on a real high, following their emphatic 6-0 away success at Northampton Town last weekend. The U’s have impressed too, following a 4-1 win at Peterborough United with a 3-0 triumph against AFC Wimbledon.

Around the grounds

Fourth takes on eighth at the New York Stadium, with Rotherham United entertaining Scunthorpe United, while third-placed Bradford City travel to Bury.

Wigan Athletic earned all three points against the aforementioned Iron in their most recent fixture, and they host Southend United looking to keep the pressure on the league-leading Shrews.

There are home matches for Peterborough United and Charlton Athletic, who sit fifth and sixth in the table. The Posh welcome managerless Gillingham to the ABAX Stadium, with Doncaster Rovers visiting the Valley.

Elsewhere, Oldham Athletic and Blackburn Rovers meet for the first team in league competition since 1993, as the Latics look to move further away from the relegation zone, after racking up two consecutive wins under caretaker boss Richie Wellens.

Sky Bet League One: Matchday 13 fixtures

Saturday 14th October

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

Appointments: Match officials on weekend duty in the EFL

High five for Chairboys?

Four straight victories have seen Wycombe Wanderers move within touching distance of an automatic promotion spot, and a fifth consecutive triumph could move them up to as high as second place.

Standing in their way are Exeter City, who recently leapfrogged Notts County to go back to the top of Sky Bet League Two.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side, however, have scored three times in their last three matches, in wins over Crewe Alexandra, Barnet, and Cambridge United respectively. As a result, they're now the EFL's top scorers with 25 goals.

Sixth versus fifth

Two early season play-off contenders meet at the Wham Stadium, where Accrington Stanley take on Coventry City.

There’s almost nothing to choose between the two clubs after their 12 respective encounters so far in the current campaign, something which is reflected in the points tally — both 23.

Mark Robins' Sky Blues boast a fine defensive record, conceding just six goals so far, while Accrington had scored in every single game prior to last week's home loss to Luton Town.

Around the grounds

At Kenilworth Road, third-placed Luton host Stevenage, who will make the short journey three points and four places behind their hosts. Boro have won the last three between the pair.

Notts County have the chance to get back on the winning path, after failing to win their previous two outings. They welcome Barnet to Meadow Lane.

Forest Green Rovers’ point against the Magpies last weekend lifted them out of the relegation zone, their visitors are a Newport County side who have lost three of their last four away from Rodney Parade.

Elsewhere, Jack Lester and Neil Aspin are still seeking their first win as EFL managers. Morecambe are the visitors to Lester's Chesterfield, while Aspin's second game in charge of Port Vale sees Cheltenham Town visit Vale Park.

Sky Bet League Two: Matchday 13 fixtures

Saturday 14th October

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

Appointments: Match officials on weekend duty in the EFL

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