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Preview: this weekend's EFL action

15 October 2020

Following the international break, there's a full schedule of EFL football on the way this weekend!

Here are just a handful of the key fixtures to keep an eye out for across the three divisions...


Derby County v Watford

The weekend's action begins in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday evening as Derby County host Watford at Pride Park. While the two sides have had contrasting starts to the season, the hosts will be buoyed after picking up their first win of the season last time out - a late victory at Norwich City. Like the Canaries, fellow Championship new boys Watford suffered defeat on their last outing but will have a chance to go third here. The last meeting between these two was in April 2015, and resulted in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Blackburn Rovers v Nottingham Forest

Saturday's action will see a familiar face return to the dugout in the Championship, as Chris Hughton takes charge of his first fixture at Nottingham Forest. His task will be to guide the club to a first win of the season against a free-scoring Blackburn Rovers side who occupy the final Play-Off place after a positive start to 2020/21. Hughton has, of course, won promotion to the Premier League twice as a manager, and will be hoping to complete a hat-trick at the City Ground this season.

Luton Town v Stoke City

On the subject of managers, Saturday will see Luton's Nathan Jones come up against his former club Stoke City at Kenilworth Road. Jones left Luton for Stoke in 2019 but is back in Bedfordshire for a second spell, and has made a strong start to the campaign, with three wins from four. It's been a mixed start for Stoke, meanwhile, who have carded two draws, a win and a defeat so far but can move to within a point of their opponents with a win. This will be the 45th competitive meeting between the two sides.


MK Dons v Gillingham

The early kick-off on Saturday holds significance at both ends of the table, as bottom side MK Dons host Gillingham, who know that victory would send them top of the standings. The Gills have been in fine form since suffering defeat on the opening day and have amassed 10 points from their five games, scoring nine goals in the process. They'll be hoping to avoid a repeat of their last trip to Stadium MK, however, which ended in a 2-1 win for the home side. The same again here would lift Russell Martin's men out of the drop zone.

Ipswich Town v Accrington Stanley

At the other end of the table, Ipswich Town currently occupy top spot and remain the only undefeated side in League One going into the weekend. Paul Lambert's side face a tough test on home soil on Saturday, though, as sixth-placed Accrington Stanley make the long trip to Portman Road, having won back-to-back league games. These two have met in league action just twice before, with both fixtures coming last season, with Ipswich winning the last clash 4-1 back in January. 

Fleetwood Town v Lincoln City

After beating high-flying Hull City last time out, last season's Play-Off Semi-Finalists Fleetwood Town will be looking to turn over another of the early frontrunners this weekend when they take on Lincoln City. After winning their first four games, the second-placed Imps lost at home to Bristol Rovers last time out, setting this up to be a difficult one to call. History doesn't give too much of an indicator, with Saturday's clash just the second between these two sides, following a 2-0 win for Lincoln in August 2019.


Harrogate Town v Barrow 

It's the battle of the new boys on Saturday, as Harrogate Town welcome Barrow to the EnviroVent Stadium, for what will be the first game at their home ground since earning promotion to the EFL. Monday night's Yorkshire derby win at Bradford City has moved Simon Weaver's men into eighth position ahead of this clash with last season's National League champions and, with scores to settle, this one promises to be a cracker. With three draws from their opening five games, the visitors will be hoping to claim their first victory here.

Port Vale v Salford City

Another game which will see a managerial debut, this weekend's match between Port Vale and Salford City represents a chance for the Ammies' interim head coach Paul Scholes to take the reigns at the club for the first time. Unbeaten so far in league action, they sit fifth in the standings, two points above their next opponents, who could move into the top three if results go their way. Both previous league meetings between the sides have ended all square - who will come out on top in this one?

Crawley Town v Morecambe

It's Morecambe who lead the way in League Two, with four wins from their five opening games, and this weekend sees the Shrimps travel south to Crawley Town, who have had a mixed start to their 2020/21 campaign. Games involving these two certainly haven't been short of entertainment this season, with Morecambe scoring eight goals and conceding nine so far, and Crawley netting five and shipping seven. The visitors sit three points outside the automatic promotion spots going into the weekend but are without a win in two games.


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