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Five things: Storylines to look out for in the EFL

8 September 2017

Players are back from the international break, back from suspension, and a manager is back too, as the EFL returns with a full Matchday schedule.

Here are five of the storylines to look out for...

Perfect streaks and unwanted records

While Cardiff City look to extend their record of being the only EFL club with a perfect record, there are two other clubs desperate just to get off the mark this weekend.

One of those is Oldham Athletic, who have played five and lost five in Sky Bet League One so far, with the 4-3 reverse to Charlton Athletic the latest defeat for John Sheridan's men.

The other team without a point is Northampton Town, who weren't in action last week. They host Doncaster Rovers, and that brings us nicely on to...

Hasselbaink arrives in Town

The first managerial departure of the 2017/18 season came at Sixfields, where Northampton Town parted company with manager Justin Edinburgh, after a winless run stretching back to March of last season.

Earlier this week, the Cobblers brought in their replacement in the shape of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The Dutchman has one EFL promotion to his name during his time at Burton Albion, and was flying in Sky Bet League One before taking up a new position at Queens Park Rangers.

He's promising to put a smile back on the faces of fans and players alike, but is after hard work and dedication from his players if they are to start firing this season.

Read more: Click here for Hasselbaink's thoughts on new role

International break over!

There was a reduced schedule in the EFL last weekend due to a break for FIFA World Cup Qualifying, with a truncated round of Sky Bet League One fixtures, and no Sky Bet Championship action whatsoever.

In the second tier, the likes of Cardiff City and Leeds United are back in action, both with unblemished records still in tact, while Bolton Wanderers and Brentford are still seeking a first win.

Among the players returning to action is Charlton Athletic striker Josh Magennis, who scored two goals to help Northern Ireland move one step closer to securing a World Cup Play-Off place.

Monthly award winners

Congratulations to all the Sky Bet monthly award winners, who now face the challenge of carrying their form into September, and Cardiff City duo Neil Warnock and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing have set the bar high! Following their perfect month, they face a tricky test against Fulham in Matchday 6.

Peterborough United pair Grant McCann and Jack Marriott also enjoyed a winning month in Sky Bet League One with four from four, but their hot streak was halted last weekend. Next up, Bradford City.

And in Sky Bet League Two, Paul Tisdale's table-topping Exeter City visit Forest Green Rovers, while in-form Frank Nouble is back at Rodney Parade, the ground on which he scored a hat-trick to help him win August's Player of the Month honour.

Non-league new boys

After a busy summer of transfer activity, and of course a busy Deadline Day, one of the stand-out signings was that of Dave Tarpey, who joined Barnet in Sky Bet League Two from Maidenhead United.

The striker didn't get himself on the scoresheet in the 4-1 win over Swindon Town last week, but a home bow this weekend against Cambridge United could see the man who netted 46 goals last term get up and running for the Bees.

Another to keep an eye out for is Ricky Miller, available for his Peterborough United debut after serving a suspension carried over from last season, in which he hit 42 goals for Dover Athletic. After joining the fans for their clash with Northampton Town, he now becomes another striking option for Grant McCann and the free-scoring Posh.


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