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Five things to look out for in the EFL this weekend

7 October 2022

The games keep coming thick and fast across the EFL. Here are five things to consider ahead of another action-packed weekend...

Televised matches

The weekend kicks off with a clash of the blue and white hoops as Queens Park Rangers host Reading live on Sky Sports this evening.

Just one point separates the two teams in third and fourth, with both sides entering the fixture having claimed seven points from a possible nine.

A win would take the Royals top, while QPR require a victory by an eight-goal margin to dethrone current leaders Sheffield United, who the R's beat 1-0 at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere, Sunday sees Hull City visit Huddersfield Town for an all-Yorkshire encounter.

The Terriers are looking for a first win under new boss Mark Fotheringham, and are in desperate need of an upturn in results as they currently sit four points adrift of safety.

On the other hand, Hull ended a run of five consecutive defeats on Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over away day specialists Wigan Athletic. The impressive Óscar Estupiñán bagged the winning strike to take his goalscoring tally to eight already – more than anyone else in the Sky Bet Championship this season.

Everyone is beatable

The unpredictability of the EFL's three divisions was on full display once again last weekend as Sky Bet League Two leaders Leyton Orient and Sky Bet League One contenders Portsmouth both lost their unbeaten records, meaning all 72 EFL Clubs have experienced defeat this season.

Pompey had preserved a nine-game streak without a loss, but succumbed to a thrilling 3-2 reversal to promotion rivals Ipswich Town.

Meanwhile, Orient's run of 10 matches undefeated was ended by 17th-placed Newport County, reducing their lead at the top of the fourth tier to goal difference.

Lucky seven for Argyle?

Plymouth Argyle are the form team in the EFL, with eight wins and a draw from their last nine outings helping them climb to the top of the table.

That run of results includes triumphs against Ipswich – who had been unbeaten – Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton Wanderers and Derby County, all of whom are currently in the top eight of the division.

Argyle's consistency at home has been particularly admirable, registering a 100 per cent win rate from their opening six fixtures at Home Park.

Accrington Stanley stand in their way of a seventh successive victory in front of the Pilgrims' faithful on Saturday afternoon.

Early season six-pointers in League Two

This weekend's League Two fixture list looks set to shake up the standings, with a host of match-ups between teams close in the table.

Northampton Town, currently holding the third automatic promotion spot, host fifth-placed Salford City, while Barrow and Mansfield Town will be aiming to maintain their Play-Off positions when they meet at the SO Legal Stadium.

Elsewhere, second-placed Stevenage take on Swindon Town, who are only outside the Play-Offs on goal difference. Doncaster Rovers are also level on points with the seventh-placed Stags, but face a difficult outing against pacesetters Leyton Orient.

At the opposite end of the table, Harrogate Town visit Colchester United with both teams languishing in the bottom four. Matt Bloomfield's U's are only above the dropzone on goal difference, while Harrogate enter the weekend two points ahead of the relegation spots.

Lilywhites keeping a clean slate

Preston North End are just a single clean sheet away from entering double figures for the campaign already, with the Lilywhites having avoided leaking any goals in nine of their last 12 Championship outings.

Ryan Lowe's side bounced back with a 1-0 over West Bromwich Albion in midweek and will be looking to keep up their impressive defensive record when they travel to Norwich City this weekend.

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