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Preview: Weekend action

3 December 2020

With games coming thick and fast in across the EFL, we are back with another weekend of football from the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two.

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Barnsley v AFC Bournemouth

The Tykes and the Cherries kick off the action in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday evening.

Barnsley picked up a big win on their travels in midweek with a 2-1 victory over Birmingham City, which lifted them up to 14th in the standings.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth were on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline against Preston North End at home, a game which saw North End’s Scott Sinclair score one of the goals of the season so far.

Both teams have different objectives this season in terms of staying clear relegation and achieving promotion respectively, but there will be no doubt both sides will be looking to take the initiative early on in the game. 

Brentford v Blackburn Rovers

This game sees the division’s top-scoring players meet at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Bees’ Ivan Toney and Rovers’ Adam Armstrong have been amongst the goals this season, scoring 27 goals between them this campaign.

Armstrong has one more than the Brentford man, which both forwards scoring in midweek.

And, with both teams pressing for the Play-Off places, this fixture has the potential to be the game of the weekend in the Championship.

Stoke City v Middlesbrough

This has been a different campaign for both Stoke City and Middlesbrough, as they have left last season’s relegation worries behind them to mount an assault on the Play-Off places.

The hosts currently sit just a point off that all-important sixth spot, while Boro are only two points off that last Play-Off place. 

Both sides were victorious in the week; Michael O’Neill’s side picked up a 1-0 at Adams Park against Wycombe Wanderers, while Neil Warnock celebrated his 72nd birthday with three points against Swansea City. 

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Fleetwood Town v Blackpool 

It is derby day on the Fylde Coast as Fleetwood Town welcome their neighbours Blackpool to Highbury Stadium.

This is the ninth competitive fixture between the two sides, and it’s a fixture that hasn’t been too kind to the hosts in recent times. The Cod Army have only won once, that coming on home soil back in 2018.

It has been a debut season to remember so far for Fleetwood’s Callum Camps, though, who has bagged eight goals in 15 games since his arrival from Rochdale in the summer.

Oxford United v Hull City

Hull City have opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Sky Bet League One table, and made it four wins on the bounce with a 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers in midweek.

Grant McCann will undoubtedly have been delighted with the three points over his old employers on Wednesday night but, with games coming thick and fast, he cannot afford too much time of reflection. 

The U’s are three without a win but gained a creditable draw against Play-Off contenders Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening.

After their last-minute derby-day defeat at home to Swindon Town last weekend, they will be looking forward to welcoming fans back and will be hoping that the supporters can pull them over the line.

Portsmouth v Peterborough United 

It’s sixth v third on Saturday afternoon with Portsmouth and Peterborough United set to lock horns.

Posh might have the advantage in the league standings, but Pompey will have home advantage, with 2,000 fans set to descend on Fratton Park. 

Both teams lost in midweek, with Portsmouth suffering defeat against Blackpool and Peterborough losing out to AFC Wimbledon respectively.

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Cheltenham Town v Exeter City

Sky Bet League Two this weekend sees two of the top of the top three set to battle at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Both teams have picked up from where they left off last season, and have put their Play-Off disappointment behind them.

The Grecians have been in great form in this particular fixture, winning three of their last four league visits to Cheltenham and drawing the other 1-1 in April 2019.

Newport County v Morecambe 

Newport County lead the way in Sky Bet League Two but have drawn their last two league games 1-1.

This will be the 15th meeting in League Two between Newport and Morecambe, with the Exiles looking to win back-to-back such encounters for the first time.

Padraig Amond has netted four goals in 11 EFL appearances against Morecambe, doing so with three different teams .

Stevenage v Southend United

We’ve previewed the top three teams in the league, now let’s look at the two bottom sides in Sky Bet League Two. 

Stevenage and Southend United occupy 24th and 23rd spot respectively and both teams could do with all three points here.

The Boro are looking to record back-to-back league wins on home soil for the first time in over a year, last doing so in October 2019 against Grimsby and Morecambe respectively.


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