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Hour glass kick off 19:45 15 Aug

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Derby County vs Oxford Utd

Calendar 15th August
Football icon kick off 19:45
Football icon Derby To Win
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Narrowly missing out on a playoff spot last year, Derby will be expecting to go one better this time around. Unlucky against Wigan in the opener (winning the xG battle 1.86 to 1.15), Derby turned on the style against Burton, cruising to a 3-0 victory. The Rams turn their attention to Oxford as they look to pick up their first Home win of the season.

Derby took almost 2 points per game and scored 60% of their 67 goals in their games at Pride Park. Derby also kept it tight at the back, conceding the 4th fewest goals at home, just 0.86 per game.

Oxford are the visitors today and managed their first win against Carlisle at the weekend, following defeats to Cambridge and Bristol City at the start of the season. Oxford are averaging just 0.54 xG compared to their opponents 0.71 and their numbers from last season are not favorable.

Oxford took just 24/69 points away from home last year, this is in part due to the leaky defense managing only 4 clean sheets and failing to score in over half of their travels (52%).

Derby won both games last year and at the rate both teams are going this year, I fancy their chances again.

Northampton vs Lincoln

Calendar 15th August
Football icon kick off 19:45
Football icon Over 1.5 Goals
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Northampton games averaged 2.26 goals in their promotion season last year, with 70% of matches getting over the 1.5 mark.

This goal record comes from both solid attacking play as well as an unreliable defense. Northampton only failed to score in 22% of games last year (joint 3rd highest in League Two). At home, they earned a clean sheet in just 35% of Home games. Quite predictably then, 54% of Northampton games saw BTTS, the 4th highest in League Two.

Sam Hoskins was the main threat for Northampton, with 22 goals in 40 starts last campaign. The star striker opened his account at the weekend in the 2-1 defeat away to Wigan.

Lincoln gave as well as they got last year, the only side in the EFL to finish on 0 goal difference, scoring and conceding 47 goals – an average of 2.04 goals per game.

However, Lincoln’s away games last season saw 2.39 goals, with 74% featuring at least 2 goals. Lincoln appear to be up to their old tricks again, conceding 3 in their opening day loss to Bolton, before going on to score 3 without reply against Wycombe at the weekend, maintaining their 0 goal difference.

The player to watch for Lincoln is Daniel Mandriu, his goal and two assists last week means he is responsible for 100% of Lincoln’s goals this season. Expect the Irish FWD to be part of any key attacking movements for the Imps.

Shrewsbury vs Burton Albion

Calendar 15th August
Football icon kick off 19:45
Football icon Shrewsbury Double Chance
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Won one lost one, that’s the start to the season for The Shrews. They will be keen to put their 2-0 loss to Stevenage at the weekend behind them in this midweek game against Burton.

Shrewsbury finished a respectable 12th place last year, pretty average to most people but at home they played much better than 12th place would suggest. Home form would rank Shrewsbury in 10th, with 36/69 points, and the joint 8th best attack at home with 32 goals scored in 23 matches, scoring 62% of their league goals at Croud Meadow.

I like Shrewsbury but there is a bit of doubt in my mind. 2/23 clean sheets at home for them last year deserves caution.

21st placed Burton had a horrid start to the year, losing to promotion hopefuls in Blackpool and Derby. Throw in Leiceter’s 2-0 win in the EFL cup and The Brewers have lost their opening three fixtures 7-0!

Despite a 15th placed finish last year, Burton’s Away record would rank them 19th in the division with just 22/69 points. Burton also only managed 3 clean sheets on the road, conceding 58% of their goals on the road.

Last season Shrewsbury won both fixtures against Burton convincingly, 6-1 across both games despite each game being fairly well contested. Burton are reeling after their poor start and are there for the taking, Shrewsbury will earn at least a point, if not all 3.

Doncaster vs Mansfield

Calendar 15th August
Football icon kick off 19:45
Football icon Over 1.5 Goals
Arrow down

Following the 4-0 rocking at the hands of Newport on Saturday, Doncaster are stuck in last place in League Two.

Last year Doncaster averaged 2.48 goals per game at Home, with 70% of games seeing two or more.

With the 5th worst defensive record last season, Doncaster only managed 4/23 clean sheets in front of their Home fans – 17% of games. Additionally, BTTS came in 48% of the time, which would satisfy the O1.5 mark for us as well.

Mansfield have started much brighter, 4pts from 6 is pretty good going for The Stags, who last season topped League 2 in average goals per game with 2.96. 78% of Away their games saw O1.5 goals scored.

Mansfield only failed to score in 22% of Away matches last year, a big reason why they were the number 3 side away from home, collecting 40/69 points on their travels, 5 more than they managed at Home.

Mansfield ran out as winners in both matches against Doncaster last year, including a 1-3 at The Eco-Power Stadium. Mansfield have now won 3 straight against their hosts and O1.5 goals have come in 5 of the all time meetings between these sides.

Wrexham vs Walsall

Calendar 15th August
Football icon kick off 19:45
Football icon Over 2.5 Goals
Arrow down

New boys in the EFL Wrexham started off in blockbuster fashion against MK Dons, a game featuring 8 goals. Things returned to normality with a 1-1 draw against Wimbledon but this game should have seen more than two goals: a game involving 21 shots and a combined 3.01 xg.

Wrexham averaged the joint most goals in the National League last year with 3.46. This number is blown out of the water when looking at Home games, an average of 4.04 goals per game, with O2.5 coming in a staggering 83% of matches!

Walsall are the visitors and they are no strangers to goals themselves, both of their two opening league games finished 2-1, sandwiching a 4-3 defeat to Blackburn in the EFL cup. Taking their average of goals per game this season to 4.34!

Last year, Walsall Away fixtures produced 2.09 goals on average with only 35% of games seeing at least 3 goals. However, things are different this year as new signings in the front line will be keen to make an impact. Aramide Oteh, signed from Crawley in the summer, has a goal and an assist to his name already, and fellow new signing Danny Johnson has chipped in with two goals in two starts, scoring in both Walsall’s league fixtures.

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