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EFL preview: the games to look out for in midweek

1 December 2020

It's a case of new month, same excitement as we prepare for another round of fixtures across the EFL this midweek.

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AFC Bournemouth v Preston North End

AFC Bournemouth were denied a fourth win on the spin at the weekend after leaving South Yorkshire with only a point, as Rotherham United held firm.

Preston on the other hand we’re on the end of 4-1 defeat to promotion favourites Watford at Vicarge Road.

This is the first meeting between Bournemouth and Preston in any competition since September 2016, when Preston won 3-2 in a League Cup Round Three match with Simon Makienok scoring a hat-trick.

Rotherham United v Brentford

After celebrating his four-year anniversary in the hot seat at the ASSEAL New York Stdium, Rotherham United fans will undoubtedly look back at the fantastic job Paul Warne has done over the years.

But he's a man that only likes to look forward and will know Tuesday night’s game against Brentford will be a tough one, with the Bees being one of the form teams in the division, unbeaten in their last seven league games.

Thomas Frank’s side come into this one on the back of a 2-1 win over West London rivals Queens Park Rangers at the weekend, and know that three points, depending on Bristol City’s result against QPR, could see them take that last spot in the Play-Off places.

Middlesbrough v Swansea City

Middlesbrough and Swansea City kick off Wednesday night’s action in the Sky Bet Championship with a 7pm kick off at the Riverside.

The Swans have won their last three league matches against Middlesbrough, their best winning run against them.

It has been a fantastic start to the season for Steve Cooper’s side, who currently sit fourth in the standings, equally, Warnock will be impressed with how his side have handled themselves.

After staving off relegation last campaign to now sitting in the top half of the table, and just three points off the last Play-Off place, it shows the impressive job the 72-year-old has done since his arrival.

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Blackpool v Portsmouth

This will be the 70th Football League meeting between Blackpool and Portsmouth, with the Tangerines leading the head-to-head with 27 wins to 19 defeats.

Both teams progressed into the Third Round of the FA Cup at the weekend after wins over Harrogate Town and King’s Lynn respectively.

Portsmouth are unbeaten in their last six league away games (W4 D2), their best such streak on the road since a run of 11 unbeaten matches between August-December 2018.

AFC Wimbledon v Peterborough United

Compared to Blackpool and Portsmouth, AFC Wimbledon and Peterborough United will not be taking part in the Third Round of the FA Cup this season after suffering defeat at the weekend.

The Dons were knocked out by Sky Bet League Two side Crawley Town and the Posh were subject to one of the giant killings of the round as they were seen off by National League North side Chorley.

But attention now turns back to league action and the job at hand for both sides.

Promotion is certainly on the agenda for Darren Ferguson’s side who currently sit second in the League One standings, meanwhile AFC Wimbledon have left behind any thoughts of a relegation battle this season and are in 12th spot.

Hull City v Doncaster Rovers

This fixture will see Grant McCann face his old club for the first time since his departure from the Keepmoat Stadium back in 2019.

With McCann’s side sitting pretty at the top of the table, his attention will be firmly on the job at hand, rather than the making it a comfortable visit to the KCOM Stadium for his previous employers.

Doncaster last faced Hull in league competition in the 2011-12 Championship season, when both of their meetings were drawn.

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Forest Green Rovers v Newport County

It’s fourth v first tonight as Forest Green Rovers take on Newport County at the New Lawn.

Both teams have been fantastic early on and have shown no signs of letting up as they continue on their assault for League One football next season.

The Exiles have won nine of their last 12 league games, however they tasted defeat in their last away trip against Carlisle in early November.

Harrogate Town v Scunthorpe United

Both teams have hardly been on a run of form that would delight either manager, with Harrogate only winning one of their last five games and Scunthorpe winning just two.

Those two wins however have helped the Iron to climb the League Two table and are now level on points with the two teams above them who are currently in 21st and 22nd respectively.

The positive for Scunthorpe though is that they have two games in hand over Stevenage and Mansfield Town.

Simon Weaver will be hoping for better performances on home soil, with Town having won only one of their six home league games this season, scoring just once in their last three at Wetherby Road.

Carlisle United v Salford City

This will be only the second-ever Football League meeting between Carlisle United and Salford City; the first was drawn 2-2 in August 2019.

The teams are closely matched in the table, with Richie Wellens’ Salford in eighth place on 22 points, and Chris Beech’s side in that final Play-Off place on 23 points.

Will we see a blockbuster at Brunton Park or will it be a game that will see both sides cancel each other out?

You’ll have to wait until Wednesday night to find out!


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