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Preview: This weekend's action!

There are some huge games on the way across the three divisions!

9 January 2020

The EFL action returns this weekend with a full schedule of fixtures - including some huge games - across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two.

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After a quality performance against Premier League side Arsenal in the Emirates FA Cup on Monday night, Championship table-toppers Leeds United return to league action against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

The Whites are unbeaten in three league games against the Owls, winning once and drawing twice, since losing 2-1 at Elland Road back in March 2018. Meanwhile, Garry Monk’s men have been impressive this season, sitting just two points outside of the Play-Off spots.

Level on points with Marcelo Bielsa’s side are West Bromwich Albion; the Baggies are on the road at the weekend, heading south to lock horns with Charlton Athletic.

Slaven Bilic’s side travel to the Valley carrying a four league-game unbeaten record with them against the Addicks - they last tasted defeat all the way back in 2005 in the top-flight of English football. But the hosts have a more than impressive record on home soil, having only lost once in their last 14 league games against West Brom.

Brentford have recorded three wins in their last five games which have lifted them to third spot in the Sky Bet Championship standings. A West London derby awaits this weekend as Queens Park Rangers head to Griffin Park looking for revenge.

The Bees were 3-1 winners earlier on in the season, with a standout performance from Ollie Watkins stealing the show on that occasion. The striker has since gone on to be directly involved in eight goals in his last eight Championship outings.

Elsehwhere, bottom-of-the-table Luton Town welcome Birmingham City to Kenilworth Road. Graeme Jones’ side have lost four of their last five league games, and a win is much needed. The Hatters haven’t hosted Birmingham City in a league game since a 3-2 victory back in 2006, and are unbeaten in seven home league games against the Blues.

A relegation six-pointer is set to take place on Saturday as Huddersfield Town travel to fellow strugglers Barnsley. This fixture has made for bleak viewing for the Tykes fans over the years, who have only seen their side win one of their last nine league outings against the Terriers.

Three points for Danny Cowley’s side could see them climb to 18th in the league table, depending on results elsewhere, and with that win hand his side a league double over Barnsley for the first time since the 2002/03 season.

Wigan Athletic have only lost one game in their last five league games, but three of those games have ended in a draw, something which manager Paul Cook is keen to turn into wins.

Their 3-2 victory against Birmingham City on New Year’s Day ended a 13-game wait for a league win; they will be hoping to add another three points to their league total with victory over Lee Johnson’s Bristol City.


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We kick off the Sky Bet League One preview with the league leaders Wycombe Wanderers, who travel to the North East to take on Sunderland AFC.

There was much speculation after Jack Ross’ departure that Gareth Ainsworth could have been the man to take over the managerial position at the Stadium of Light but nothing concrete materialised. The Black Cats have never won a league game against the Chairboys after three attempts to date.

Rotherham United have been clinical in recent weeks; after a slow start they have risen up the division and sit firmly in the automatic promotion places after 24 games. The Millers face a tough challenge at the weekend as they head to the Kassam Stadium to take on Oxford United.

Karl Robinson’s side are looking to record a league double over the South Yorkshire outfit for the first time since the 1983/84 season after seeing them off earlier in the season by two goals to one.

Coventry City are hot on the tails of Rotherham though, and sit behind them in third by just one point. The Sky Blues host Milton Keynes Dons having won three on the bounce. The objective will be to secure another three points in their hunt for promotion.

MK Dons have won their last two league games, more than they had in their previous 15 outings.

At the foot of the table, Bolton Wanderers travel the mere 23 miles to take on Rochdale in a North West derby at the Crown Oil Arena. The Trotters haven’t won an away league game against the Dale. Now-Bolton boss Keith Hill will be hoping that he can somewhat pull his former side into a relegation battle with a win here.

Fellow relegation zone occupants Southend United and Tranmere Rovers are in action this Saturday, locking horns at Roots Hall. The Super White Army lost on their last trip to Essex in April 2015, however they haven’t lost back-to-back league games against Southend since 1991.


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It's first v third in Sky Bet League Two this weekend, as Swindon Town welcome Crewe Alexandra to the County Ground. Richie Wellens’ side will have to cope without talisman Eoin Doyle for the rest of the season after he was recalled from his loan by parent club Bradford City earlier on in the week.

This game will see the two top-scoring teams come head-to-head, with both netting 46 goals in this season. A win for the Railwaymen could see them close the gap on the Robins to just three points.

Exeter City boss Matt Taylor has been nominated for the League Two Manager of the Month award for December after picking up 11 points from five unbeaten games.

The Grecians take on Cambridge United on Saturday back on home soil; they have won three of their last four league games against the U’s, and have kept seven clean sheets at St James Park this season.

Colin Calderwood’s outfit won the reverse game back in October in very impressive style, notching four without reply, in turn ending a run of four straight defeats in this fixture.

Bradford City are level on points with Crewe Alexandra in the league standings, and with the return of Doyle, his partnership with James Vaughan could be a promotion-winning forward line come the end of the season.

The Bantams head south to Crawley looking to force their way into the automatic promotion places. Gary Bowyer’s side are unbeaten in their last eight league games, their longest run without defeat since October 2016.

Morecambe are currently bottom of the table, slipping back into the relegation zone after Stevenage managed a draw against Colchester United last time out.

The Shrimps have lost 15 games in the league this season, more than any other side in the competition, a win is much needed against Colchester at the Globe Arena at the weekend.

As mentioned, Stevenage sit just about Derek Adams’ side on goal difference. The Boro are unbeaten in all nine games against their opponents, Port Vale, in the Football League.

John Askey’s side sit just six points outside of the Play-Off places and have been impressive this season; they will be hoping that they can continue to find the back of their opponents' net, having scored six goals in their last three games – more than they managed in their previous seven League Two encounters.


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