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Five things to look out for ahead of the EFL weekend action

5 August 2022

Matchday number two of the 2022/23 season is upon us!

Here are five key talking points ahead of the weekend...

A Robins reconciliation

Barnsley boss Michael Duff will be reunited with his ex-employers when Cheltenham Town make the trip to Oakwell this weekend, after making the switch to South Yorkshire in the summer.

The Northern Irishman, who secured his first managerial role with the Robins in September 2018, masterminded the Club’s first-ever EFL promotion in 2020/21 which saw Duff named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Year as Cheltenham went up as champions.

The hosts come into the clash on the back of a 1-0 loss to Plymouth Argyle, whilst Cheltenham were also defeated 3-2 by Peterborough United on the opening weekend.


Prolific Posh man hungry for more

Jonson Clarke-Harris wasted no time in getting his season off and running at the weekend, bagging a brace in Peterborough’s victory over Cheltenham in Sky Bet League One, tied for top scorer as it stands.

The 28-year-old, who was named captain prior to the 2022/23 campaign, knows what it takes to cut it at this level, having claimed the Golden Boot the last time the Posh were in the third-tier. Clarke-Harris notched 31 goals as they won promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.

And he will be looking to add to his tally this weekend if history is to repeat itself.

Long-awaited meetings

Monday night will see West Bromwich Albion and Watford go head-to-head in the Championship for the first time in  over a decade, with the clash set to be televised live on Sky Sports.

April 2010 was the last time the Baggies and the Hornets came up against each other in the second-tier, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw. Danny Graham struck first for Watford before Chris Brunt's late equaliser rescued a point.

Two teams pushing for promotion, Watford edged Sheffield United 1-0 on home soil in Rob Edwards' season opener to get the win, whilst West Brom were held to point away at Middlesbrough.

Repeat performances

Judging by the last meeting between these two teams, Newport County and Walsall fans could be in for a thriller this weekend.

The Exiles and the Saddlers last locked horns on New Year’s Day, when Walsall snatched a late point to draw 3-3 in the West Midlands. Conor Wilkinson had the final say, striking in the 95th minute in an end-to-end contest which eventually saw the spoils shared.

Elsewhere, Milton Keynes Dons and Sheffield Wednesday's last outing produced the Goal of the Season from Owls midfielder Barry Bannan. Will we see another contenter when the two teams face off this weekend?

New recruits look to make their mark

A number of Clubs bolstered their ranks on the back of the opening weekend, and among those fresh faces who could make an appearance is Blackburn Rovers’ new number eight Sammie Szmodics. The midfielder arrived from Peterborough United earlier in the week.

Forest Green Rovers swooped for experienced attacker Connor Wickham, who has played in the Premier League with Sunderland and Crystal Palace.


Meanwhile, Cardiff City completed a permanent deal for Kion Etet, and James McAtee - brother of Grimsby Town's John McAtee who secured a move to Luton Town before heading back on loan to the Mariners - joined Sheffield United. Lewis Dobbin arrived on loan at Derby County, and Lewis Bate made the switch to Oxford United on loan, to name a few.

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