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EFL action: What's coming up in midweek?

14 December 2020

The EFL fixtures continue to come thick and fast, and there's more action on the way in midweek across all three divisions.

Here's a look at some of the key games coming up...

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AFC Bournemouth v Wycombe Wanderers

AFC Bournemouth were one of the biggest winners of the weekend, as they overcame Huddersfield Town 5-0.

The Cherries’ win over the Terriers in their last match was their biggest league win since April 2019, when they won by the same scoreline at Brighton. 

Wycombe, on the other hand, were on the wrong end of 2-1 scoreline, at home against Coventry City. The Chairboys still find themselves in the relegation zone in their debut season in the Sky Bet Championship, but are only two points off safety.

This is the first league meeting between Bournemouth and Wycombe since January 2012, a 2-0 win for the Cherries in League One.

Watford v Brentford 

Vladimir Ivic celebrated winning the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for November with a tight 1-0 win over Birmingham City.

Troy Deeney’s late penalty was enough to wrap up the victory on the road, and they are now just a point off that second automatic promotion spot.

Brentford are the visitors to Vicarage Road on Tuesday evening and also come into this game on the back of an impressive victory at the weekend.

A 3-1 win over struggling Nottingham Forest kept them well in the hunt for the Play-Offs.

The Hornets are unbeaten in 16 matches against Brentford in all competitions (W11 D5), their longest unbeaten run against an opponent since joining the Football League in 1920.

Reading v Norwich City

You will have to wait until Wednesday evening to see current league leaders Norwich City in action, as they travel to the Madejski Stadium to take on Reading.

It was Teemu Pukki’s day on Saturday as his brace made sure that the Canaries won in Lancashire, as they saw off Blackburn Rovers 2-1.

The Royals were also weekend winners, as Michael Olise’s 89th-minute strike kept them in the hunt for promotion.

Reading have won 10 of their first 18 league matches this season, the earliest they’ve reached 10 victories in a league season since 2016/17 (also 18 games), when they went on to finish third under Jaap Stam.

 

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Blackpool v Hull City 

League leaders Hull City were surprisingly beaten 1-0 by Shrewsbury Town at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday, and will be out for three points in midweek to make up for that defeat.

Grant McCann’s side are two points ahead of Lincoln City and face a difficult Blackpool challenge in midweek.

Blackpool are unbeaten in their last seven matches against Hull in all competitions, and come into this game on the back of a goalless draw against Oxford United on home soil. 

The Seasiders have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three league games, last doing so in four in succession back in September 2002. 

Lincoln City v Shrewsbury Town 

It was a Saturday to forget for Lincoln City as they were comprehensively beaten by Sunderland AFC at the LNER Stadium.

A 4-0 defeat was certainly an uncharacteristic result for the Imps who have been more than impressive this campaign, finding themselves in second place after 16 games.

As mentioned, Shrewsbury Town alongside Sunderland recorded one of the wins of the weekend with their victory over Hull. The Shrews are unbeaten in their last seven away Football League matches against Lincoln.

Portsmouth v Fleetwood Town 

Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town both picked up three points at the weekend as they both continued on their hunt for promotion.

Kenny Jackett’s side overcame automatic promotion candidates Ipswich at Portman Road, winning 2-0.

Meanwhile, Joey Barton’s outfit were 1-0 winners away at Swindon Town. The Cod Army are looking to pick up back-to-back league wins away from home for the first time since February of last season.

 

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Salford City v Newport County

Richie Wellens’ Salford City gained a point at the weekend after a 0-0 draw against high-flying Cheltenham Town at the Peninsula Stadium. 

While a point against one of the form teams in the division is a positive, the promotion-chasing Ammies will want three points in midweek. Things do not get any easier, though, as they face league leaders Newport County on Tuesday night. 

This is only the second Football League meeting between Salford and Newport, with the home side winning 2-1 in November 2019 in the first fixture between the two. 

Cheltenham Town v Bolton Wanderers 

Cheltenham Town are only three points off top spot, and a win against Bolton Wanderers could see them put a significant amount of pressure on Newport County above them.

Ian Evatt was crowned as the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for November on Friday, but the Trotters suffered defeat at the weekend at the hands of Walsall.

Tuesday night’s game will be the first-ever Football League meeting between Cheltenham and Bolton.

Southend United v Grimsby Town

From the top of the table to the bottom, as we take a closer look at Southend United’s fixture against Grimsby Town.

The Shrimpers are League Two’s bottom side and managed to pick up their second win of the league season, in a 1-0 victory over Scunthorpe United at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Ian Holloway’s Grimsby Town could only draw on home soil against Mansfield Town. 

The Mariners are unbeaten in five league matches against Southend, since losing 1-0 back in October 1996.


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