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Match Previews

Preview: Sky Bet EFL Matchday

27 October 2017

There’s another bumper line-up of EFL action this weekend, as the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two all take centre stage. Here’s our preview.

Friday night Yorkshire derby

The EFL weekend kicks off at Elland Road, where Leeds United take on Yorkshire rivals, Sheffield United.

Just one place and four points separate the two teams in the Sky Bet Championship standings, with Chris Wilder’s side sitting above the Whites currently.

They last met back in 2011, when the Blades earned themselves a 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

Second City showdown at St Andrew’s

Not only does the EFL action begin with a derby fixture, but it reaches its conclusion with one, too.

Birmingham City and Aston Villa go head-to-head on Sunday lunchtime, in a match-up that needs no introduction.

The hosts haven’t picked up a league triumph against Villa in over a decade, with their last win coming in March of 2005.

Around the grounds

In between Friday and Sunday’s encounters, there are 10 meetings to be enjoyed throughout Saturday, with the first of these coming at Hillsborough, as Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley clash.

League leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers head to Loftus Road to face Queens Park Rangers, while second-placed Cardiff City are on home turf and, their task comes in the shape of Millwall, who got the better of Birmingham last time out.

Two sides on lengthy unbeaten runs do battle at Carrow Road on Saturday. It’s sure to be an intriguing clash, as Norwich City, who haven’t lost a league fixture since the end of August and, Derby County, without defeat in five games, meet in Norfolk.

Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 14 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Friday 27th October

Leeds United v Sheffield United (7:45pm - live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 28th October

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

Sunday 29th October

Birmingham City v Aston Villa (12 noon - live on Sky Sports)

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

Latics take on Rovers

Wigan Athletic will be looking to continue their excellent start to the Sky Bet League One season when Blackburn Rovers visit the DW Stadium.

The Latics currently sit second and just two points behind Shrewsbury Town in the standings, but they do have an eight-point cushion to Bradford City, with the Bantams on 27 points in third.

Tony Mowbray’s side will provide a stern test though, having only lost one of their last six League One outings.

A Posh triumph for the Shrews?

Shrewsbury Town’s wait for a league victory against Peterborough United goes back as far as March 2007 - eight attempts in total.

Should that change on Saturday, Paul Hurst’s team would at least maintain their two-point lead at the summit, with the previously mentioned Wigan hot on their heels.

Peterborough’s last League One win actually came against the Latics, but since that success at the end of September, they’ve failed to pick up another three points.

Around the grounds

Oldham Athletic’s resurgence under new boss Richie Wellens continued on Tuesday night, as he watched his team defeat Bury 2-1 at Boundary Park. They host a Scunthorpe United side who also won their last fixture, courtesy of a late comeback against Peterborough.

Oxford United extended their recent unbeaten league run to five games last time out, with a 3-3 draw at Rotherham United — next up for them is a trip to Fleetwood Town.

Bradford City make the long journey to Portsmouth, in what is the two clubs’ first meeting since 2003, while Charlton host AFC Wimbledon in a South London derby.

Plymouth Argyle could move off the bottom of the table with a win this weekend, and they’ll be in confident mood after three unbeaten games, culminating in a 1-0 win at AFC Wimbledon last Saturday. Rochdale are the visitors to Home Park.

Sky Bet League One: Matchday 16 fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Saturday 28th October

Bristol Rovers v Milton Keynes Dons
Bury v Doncaster Rovers
Charlton Athletic v AFC Wimbledon
Fleetwood Town v Oxford United
Northampton Town v Blackpool (2pm)
Oldham Athletic v Scunthorpe United
Peterborough United v Shrewsbury Town
Plymouth Argyle v Rochdale
Portsmouth v Bradford City
Rotherham United v Gillingham
Walsall v Southend United
Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers

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

Victorious Valiants

Three successive Sky Bet League Two wins have moved Port Vale onto 14 points and subsequently into 21st spot.

Neil Aspin’s team will be targeting a fourth victory under their new manager when they welcome Swindon Town to Vale Park.

Vale also have a striker in a rich vein of form too, with Tom Pope hitting six goals in the four matches under his new boss.

Three on the spin for Cooper’s men?

Forest Green Rovers have a third straight three-point haul in their sights this weekend, when Morecambe visit the New Lawn.

Victories over Coventry City and Stevenage have put Rovers within touching distance of the Shrimpers, and a win would be enough to lift Mark Cooper’s side out of the relegation zone.

Morecambe go into the fixture on the back of a goalless draw against Grimsby Town at the Globe Arena, although they ran out winners in their last away game, a 2-1 success at Chesterfield.

Around the grounds

All of the division’s top three have home encounters this weekend, with Luton Town, Notts County and Accrington Stanley taking on Coventry City, Newport County and Barnet respectively.

Chesterfield host Carlisle United at the Proact Stadium, in what will be their first match-up at this level since 2001.

There’s also a first ever meeting between Lincoln City and Crawley Town, who face each other at Sincil Bank.

Elsewhere, Colchester United take on Crewe Alexandra, Cambridge United travel to Grimsby Town, Mansfield Town host Exeter City, Cheltenham Town visit Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town welcome Stevenage.

Sky Bet League Two: Matchday 16 fixtures

Saturday 28th October

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

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


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